Tampa Schools with AutoCAD Technology Programs
Individuals interested in learning about AutoCAD (computer-aided design) technology have several school options near Tampa, FL. This article looks at three public schools that are no more than a half-hour's drive from the city center. Also included is a table that makes it easy for prospective students to compare important information, such as costs and size, regarding the three schools. Information on another school, almost 50 miles from downtown Tampa, is included at the end of the article.
- Erwin Technical College, approximately four miles from downtown Tampa, offers a drafting training program that prepares students for employment in various industries. Erwin Technical Center occasionally offers part-time drafting courses as well.
- Students can choose from certificate programs or an associate degree program at St. Petersburg College, which utilizes AutoCAD as part of its curriculum. This school is around 18 miles from the city center.
- Pinellas Technical Education Centers, with a campus almost 26 miles from downtown Tampa, has a drafting program that can be completed in less than two years while teaching students about civil, architectural, mechanical and structural drafting. Students completing this program can obtain industry certifications.
Comparison of Schools
Students who are looking for AutoCAD training must consider many factors when choosing a school. This table of information compares programs in several important categories.
|Erwin Technical College||St. Petersburg College||Pinellas Technical College - St. Petersburg|
|School Type||2-year, public||4-year, primarily associate's, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||1,015*||29,548*||764*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Small city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$5,072.38 program cost (2018)**||$3,352 in-state; $11,607 out-of-state*||$5656.27 total program cost (2018)***|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)||68%*||72%*||94%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2017)||81% for full-time students*||N/A||78% for full-time students; 83% for part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||72% (of students beginning in 2014-15)*||29%; 12% transfer-out (of students beginning in 2011)*||58% (of students beginning in 2014-15)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Erwin Technical College, ***Pinellas Technical College
Erwin Technical Center
Part of the Hillsborough County Public School system, Erwin Technical College is a small school that offers career-oriented programs in health, business and industrial design. The school offers full- and part-time programs. The drafting program is a full-time program that prepares students to work in various industries.
The drafting program teaches students how to use drafting software programs used in the industry. Classes for this 17-month program run during the day and the program requires 1,500 contact hours. While the program focuses on structural, architectural and civil drafting, it starts students off on an introductory study of board drafting. As they gain knowledge of basic drafting principles, students advance to computer-aided drafting software such as REVIT, AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD. Students are also introduced to mechanical drafting. Applicants must have adequate TABE (test of adult basic education) scores in reading, math and language.
St. Petersburg College
As an Authorized AutoCAD Training Center, St. Petersburg offers several career and technical AutoCAD-related programs.
Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Certificate
Offered through the science, technology, engineering and mathematics division, this program is also used as the digital design and modeling subplan in the school's engineering technology program. This 24-credit program consists of three AutoCAD courses and three Solidworks courses. Graduates are qualified for employment as CAD technicians, CAD designers, detailers or design technicians.
Associate in Science in Drafting and Design Technology
This 62-credit program includes a curriculum of general education courses, drafting courses, support courses and co-op work experiences. Structural and mechanical engineering are explored, as well as codes and materials and architectural and building construction. In addition to three chronological AutoCAD courses, students take courses such as blueprint reading, basic and advanced construction drawing, building specifications and architectural drawing. Business and leadership courses are also part of the curriculum.
Pinellas Technical Education Centers
Pinellas Technical Education Centers (pTEC) offer career and technical education programs through two Florida campus locations. Students interested in careers in drafting and design can enroll in the drafting certificate program offered at pTEC's St. Petersburg campus.
The 1,500-hour full-time program requires the completion of a sequence of courses related to drafting and AutoCAD. Students learn about basic drafting techniques, sectional and auxiliary drawings, electrical/electronic drawings, 3-D drawings and applied mathematics. Each course requires completing a designated number of hours. Course topics include drafting assisting, blueprint reading, civil and architectural drafting, structural drafting and drafting detailer. Graduates of this program can obtain Autodesk and American Design Drafting Association certifications.
Other School Options
Students can also find AutoCAD programs at Manatee Technical Institute, located 46.2 miles from downtown Tampa. Manatee has several career preparation programs that focus on drafting and AutoCAD programs.