Many employers and a number of technical schools and community colleges offer AutoCAD certificate programs. Certificate programs in AutoCAD can require as little as 15-24 hours of training or as long as two academic years. Some certificate programs offer specialized AutoCAD training in a particular field, while others offer certificates in all Autodesk programs, including AutoCAD. Most programs provide access to student versions of AutoCAD software so that people can learn the program firsthand.
Many certificate programs are intended for professionally qualified architects or engineers who need to learn CAD technology, while others are meant to train inexperienced candidates for entry-level CAD positions. All programs require incoming students to have strong computer skills and a familiarity with some advanced mathematical concepts.
AutoCAD Software Training Programs
Candidates enrolled in an AutoCAD training program can expect to gain familiarity with digital drafting techniques and the various drafting tools the software provides. Students learn to create 2- and 3-dimensional designs of structures, tools, consumer products and electronics. Courses on the following topics are often required:
- Digital design concepts
- Color and line manipulation
- Engineering drafting
- Technical drawing
Popular Career Options
Earning a certificate in AutoCAD gives graduates the knowledge necessary for many drafting and design careers. Some pursue AutoCAD training concurrently with instruction in engineering or architecture. Graduates often choose careers as engineering drafters, electronics drafters or architect assistants.
Employment Options and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 3% decline in employment for all drafters between 2014 and 2024. Earnings vary by specialty. For example, electrical and electronics drafters made mean annual wages of $62,890 as of May 2015, while mechanical drafters made a mean wage of $56,610 per year, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
The American Design Drafting Association offers voluntary certification programs for professional drafters. Some people enroll in AutoCAD certificate programs each time a new version of the program is released to keep their knowledge current.
Students can receive AutoCAD training through certificate programs offered by schools or private companies. However, there is a predicted employment decrease for drafters over the 2014-2024 decade.