Courses in an architectural drafting associate program teach students to define building elements, examine property locations, create architectural budgets and develop 3-dimensional building models. The central admission requirement is a high school diploma, though some programs also require standardized test scores or placement exams prior to enrollment. Graduates are prepared for entry-level careers as architectural drafters or design assistants.
Associate's Degree in Architectural Drafting
Most architectural drafting associate's degree programs are computer-based and allow students to practice drafting with AutoCAD, a commonly used drafting computer program. Courses students might take within this program include:
- CAD design concepts
- Blueprints and building materials
- Construction specifications
- Legal procedures and building codes
- Estimating construction costs
- Civil drafting techniques
Employment Outlook and Career Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected opportunities for architectural and civil drafters to decrease 3% from 2014-2024. Drafters with an associate's degree in architectural drafting should have more job prospects over drafters with less education. The mean annual salary for architectural and civil drafters was $53,470 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Most architectural drafting careers only require an associate's degree. However, students can pursue a bachelor's degree in drafting or engineering to increase career opportunities. Students interested in becoming certified drafters can achieve certification through the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). Drafters can become certified after passing the Drafter Certification Test. With professional experience, architectural drafters can also advance to senior and supervisory drafting and design positions.
Associate degree programs in architectural drafting can help students increase their understanding of topics like construction specifications, civil drafting techniques, CAD design concepts, and more. Graduates can usually seek employment right away, though more advanced degrees may provide a wider field of employment options.