AutoCAD software is used by architects, engineers and other design professionals. AutoCAD instruction is incorporated into on-campus associate degrees in drafting, engineering, architecture or design; however, dedicated online degree programs, though rare, do exist.
Students looking for online training in AutoCAD can look to shorter certificate programs and classes that prepare them for certification by walking them through the basic and advanced features of the software. Students in online programs will need access to AutoCAD software and may need specialized computer hardware.
In addition to accredited certificate programs, less formalized tutorials are available online to acquaint users with AutoCAD software or continue their professional development. Certification requires an in-person exam at a testing center.
AutoCAD Certification Programs
While online courses in AutoCAD 2D and 3D modeling are available, they are often offered as part of broader training in mechanical engineering, interior design, or architecture degree programs. AutoCAD certification may be completed online from a number of accredited universities and educational providers.
Certification Information and Requirements
Employers may require AutoCAD certification as a prerequisite for new hires as well as for continued professional development. Access to the latest version of AutoCAD is required as is basic proficiency with computer software and a high-speed Internet connection. A digitizing tablet may be necessary for some projects. Digital drawings may be submitted electronically for evaluation. Certification training may take a single semester or up to six months.
Courses lead students through the software's features starting with the simplest tools and building up to more sophisticated applications for various fields of design.
Introduction to AutoCAD
The AutoCAD interface is introduced in addition to basic commands for creating and modifying 2D designs. Practice exercises will cover everything from drafting to printing.
Instruction is given on how to render more advanced 3D designs with AutoCAD. Use of blocks, layers and hatching are explained.
Advanced topics covered in this class include managing layers and customizing the interface. AutoCAD experts will learn how to add annotations, external references and hyperlinks.
AutoCAD is used by design professionals in the architecture, construction, engineering and manufacturing industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the mean annual salary for architectural and civil drafters was $56,700 in 2018 (www.bls.gov).
Once training is completed, a certification exam must be taken in person at an official AutoCAD certification center. Certification is valid only for a specific version of the software. Therefore, recertification exams must be taken each year that a new version is released in order to remain current.
Students can complete AutoCAD courses at an introductory, intermediate, and mastery level within an online AutoCAD certification program. Certification in this area is helpful in a variety of industries, including construction, engineering, and architecture, and it requires an in-person exam with periodic renewal.