An associate's degree in CAD drafting typically requires 60-65 credit hours. Most credit hours are completed in a high-tech lab environment, where students will learn the basics of drafting and technical drawing and CAD/CAM software programs. General program requirements include mathematics and communication. Construction, manufacturing and machining techniques may also be covered.
A broad range of technical and scientific industries require computer-generated technical drawings, making CAD drafting skills valuable in many fields, such as architecture, manufacturing, electronics and engineering. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as CAD drafters. Most CAD drafters are supervised by designers or engineers, but with further experience or education, they may advance to the position of designer or supervisor.
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Associate's Degree in CAD Drafting
Students interested in an associate's degree in computer-aided drafting need only a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment in most programs. Once enrolled, students can expect coursework to be customized based upon the student's selected field of concentration, which can be mechanical, structural or electronics CAD. Common courses include:
- 3-D modeling
- AutoCAD and CAD/CAM software
- Technical writing
- Building materials and methods
- Mechanical drafting
- Architectural drafting and design
Popular Career Options
Many industries look for workers with a degree in CAD drafting. Some of the more common career options include:
- Mechanical drafter
- Architectural drafter
- Civil drafter
- Electrical drafter
- CAD operator
- CAD technician
- Project manager
While most associate's degree programs in CAD drafting are designed to prepare students for the workforce, graduates can pursue a bachelor's degree in a related area of study. Some course credits from an associate's program may be transferable. Since technology changes rapidly, workers may enroll in CAD courses to keep their skills current.
CAD drafting is a program where students learn computer-aided design and drafting in a high-tech lab. Upon graduation, students can seek careers as a mechanical drafter, civil drafter, or project manager.