Mechanical design and drafting is most often studied at the associate degree level, although students can also find certificate programs in the subject. These programs are usually available through continuing education and technology divisions at community colleges, technical colleges and universities.
10 Schools with Mechanical Drafting Programs
Mechanical drafting programs are offered at these colleges and universities.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered|| Tuition*
|De Anza College||Cupertino, CA||2-Year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,561 In-state; $7,501 Out-of-state|
|Des Moines Area Community College||Ankeny, IA||2-Year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,680 In-state; $9,360 Out-of-state|
|Diablo Valley College||Pleasant Hill, CA||2-Year, Public||Associate's||$1,312 In-state; $8,564 Out-of-state|
|Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis||Indianapolis, IN||4-Year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$9,465 In-state; $29,821 Out-of-state|
|Long Beach City College||Long Beach, CA||2-Year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,174 In-state; $7,750 Out-of-state|
|Los Angeles Pierce College||Woodland Hills, CA||2-Year, Public||Associate's||$1,220 In-state; $7,746 Out-of-state|
|Mesa Community College||Mesa, AZ||2-Year, Public||Certificate||$2,070 In-state; $7,854 Out-of-state|
|Oakland Community College||Bloomfield Hills, MI||2-Year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,472 In-state; $4,472 Out-of-state|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-Year, Public||Associate's||$4,340 In-state; $9,200 Out-of-state|
|Wake Technical Community College||Raleigh, NC||2-Year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,768 In-state; $8,912 Out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
Students entering this field should keep a number of factors in mind when choosing a program.
- Students in a mechanical design and drafting program learn the basics of machinery and drafting while taking math and English courses.
- Much of a mechanical designer's work is completed on a computer, and schools devote components of their programs to teaching the necessary computer skills, such as computer-aided design (CAD).
- Because this skill set is computer based, schools also offer programs that students can complete solely online. Distance or nontraditional students might consider online programs as an option.
- As mechanical designers learn their trade, they often complete an internship in manufacturing and engineering.
Certificate in Mechanical Design and Drafting
Students can earn a certificate after completing 27-33 units in CAD and drafting courses. Many aspiring mechanical drafters prepare to enter certificate programs by taking drafting courses in high school; those who haven't may be required to complete extra courses in the basics. Some certificate programs are designed as continuing education for professionals and have education or work experience prerequisites.
Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Design and Drafting
Associate degree programs require completion of anywhere from 60-74 credit hours and prepare students for entry-level positions in mechanical, engineering or architectural firms. Some students may continue on to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering or manufacturing technologies, which makes them eligible for promotions, as well as management positions.
Many colleges and institutions offer certificate and associate's degree programs in mechanical design and drafting. Factors that may influence the choice of program include school facilities, internship opportunities, cost and location.