Online degree programs focusing exclusively on AutoCAD are rare, but there are certificate programs that can provide a non-degree-granting introduction to the software. These programs go over drafting equipment, geometric construction and civil drafting. Although courses and practice exercises can be completed online from home, students usually must purchase software and extra materials like a compass, triangle, sketching workbook and pencils. An associate's or bachelor's degree is typically required for admission to certificate programs.
Those who are seeking to develop AutoCAD skills but wish to earn a degree might consider online bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering, which often include substantial CAD training. Students might also learn about system design, manufacturing, fabrication and construction. These programs often offer concentrations and may be taken entirely online.
AutoCAD (computer-aided design) uses software to create drawings frequently used in architecture and engineering. Online certificate programs are typically meant for drafters working in the fields of engineering or architecture who wish to become more proficient in AutoCAD.
Program Information and Requirements
Students who wish to pursue an online certificate in AutoCAD should typically hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in drafting technology or a related field. Certificate programs are focused and vocationally oriented, and generally take only a few months of part-time study to complete. They can often be completed at a student's own pace.
Resources and learning tools are available online for students, and necessary AutoCAD software is provided as well. Students use the provided AutoCAD software to learn drafting methods and techniques using their own computers.
Coursework focuses on familiarizing students with drafting techniques necessary to become proficient in AutoCAD. Students will gain experience in drafting construction documents applicable to engineering, architecture and related fields.
Introduction to AutoCAD
This course is meant to familiarize students with the basic commands and options in AutoCAD. Students will work on developing and assembling construction documents.
Students will prepare working drawings using manipulation tools and advanced commands. This course provides students with a more advanced understanding of AutoCAD.
Students work on preparing a complete set of structural drawings. This course provides students with the skills needed to draw an entire site plan using AutoCAD.
Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology
Online bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering tend to integrate computer-aided design (CAD) into their curriculum. The emphasis placed on CAD prepares students for the design aspects of mechanical engineering. In addition to CAD techniques, mechanical engineering programs focus on applied science and mathematics. They prepare students for entry-level work as technicians in construction or architecture firms.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering programs typically take 3-4 years to complete. In addition to technical knowledge, students develop design skills and management strategies. Students will explore methods in designing machines, mechanical tools and products with a focus on CAD, as well as management techniques needed in overseeing people, resources and systems in the workplace.
Access to high speed Internet is necessary for streaming videos and viewing lectures and materials for class. Student resources, notes and library materials are typically offered online through the course website. Coursework and class discussions are completed online.
Coursework tends to place heavy emphasis on design aspects in mechanical engineering. Students explore methods in mathematics and physics and how they relate to mechanical engineering and manufacturing.
This course analyzes problems in dynamics and thermodynamics. Students will study basic concepts and procedures in applying proper analysis of these concepts to mechanical engineering tasks.
Advanced Computer Aided Design (CAD) Concepts
Students will explore subjects relevant today in CAD and how it relates to mechanical engineering. Two-dimensional drafting and three-dimensional modeling are covered.
Engineering Design and Management
This course explores concepts and processes of engineering design. Students study topics in project planning, problem definition, design communication and concept generation.
Many people who earn a certificate in AutoCAD work as drafters in architecture firms, construction agencies and other building-related settings. As of May 2018, the median annual income for architectural and civil drafters was $54,920, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that, between 2018 and 2028, job opportunities in the field are expected to decline by 2%.
Graduates of mechanical engineering bachelor's degree programs often go on to work as mechanical engineering technicians. As of May 2018, the median annual income for someone working in the field was $56,250, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that between 2018 and 2028, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow by 3%.
In online certificate programs in AutoCAD, students learn how to use drafting software to design drawings used for architectural and engineering projects. Graduates are eligible to work as architectural and civil drafters, while those holding an online bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology can find employment as mechanical engineers.