If you're interested in a career as a CAD Drafter, here are five steps to keep in mind and help you prepare.
- High school students may prepare for a future as a CAD drafter by developing computer and communications skills. Students who participate in courses like: algebra, trigonometry, English, and keyboarding, combined with elective courses (when available) in: basic drafting, computer science, and design increase skills and an educational background to base a future career upon
- An AutoCAD certificate program offered through a trade, technical, traditional, or online school requires a 6 to 12 month training process. Students participate in courses like: manual drafting, computer aided drafting, technical writing, drafting and print reading, computer graphics, and college algebra to gain skills necessary to sketch structures, develop documentation, and create 2 and 3 dimensional drawings and models. Students who complete a certificate program may advance to professions as entry level CAD drafters or pursue a college degree.
- An associates degree in offers intensive technical training with courses in: AutoCAD, commercial drafting, 3-D CAD, mechanical engineering, engineering principles, building and design materials, architectural drafting and Microstation. Students learn how to use technology, principles and techniques to prepare plans, technical drawings and construction blueprints for careers as CAD drafters upon graduating. Students also may advance to a bachelor degree program with courses in: technical mathematics, general drafting, design, architectures, engineering, drawing, AutoCAD and MicroCAD, computer programming, industrial design, computer keyboarding, basic and advanced design, structural design, and computer graphics. Bachelor degree graduates often choose to specialize training in master degree programs or advance to employment as CAD drafters.
- A masters degree allows students to take courses in: design theory and history, statistics for design, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, interactive design studio, collaborative design studio, building and design strategies, and human social factors. An internship under the supervision of a qualified drafting and design engineer allows students to gain hands on experience to work as CAD draft managers or advance to doctoral degree programs. Doctoral degree courses in civil or mechanical engineering programs allow students to participate in courses like: quanititive research, theory, organizational behavior, and specialized areas of study pertaining to discipline. Doctoral students must pass a publishable dissertation before advancing to employment as expert researchers or professors.
- Licensing is available through the American Design Drafting Association. Licensing exams offer students opportunities to demonstrate skills in geometric construction, architectural terminology, and drawing. Licensing also expands client base and provides a professional standard for employers to verify a graduate's ability, as well as offer continuing education courses.
For more, check out: How to Become a CAD Drafter