Studies & Degrees in Computer Aided Drafting
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Are you interested in pursuing a degree and eventually a career in the exciting field of Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)? Have you done any research yet regarding the types of qualifications you’ll need to embark on one of the many professional careers currently available for qualified graduates? Individuals who possess computer aided drafting skills are currently in high demand, and with thousands of universities and other institutions now offering associate and bachelor degree programs in the field, it has never been easier to get started. To help you take that first step, below we have outlined some of the features of both the associate and bachelor degree program in Computer Aided Drafting, including a brief description of some of the career opportunities now available to those who have earned those respective degrees.
Associate’s Degree in Computer Aided Drafting
An associate degree in computer aided drafting is aimed to ready students for one of the many entry-level careers in the drafting field. The associate degree program typically spans two years, or four full semesters, and includes classes such as Introduction to Drafting, Descriptive Geometry, Industrial Drawing, Manufacturing Processes, Advanced Computer Technology and more. Students will be trained how to use powerful state-of-the-art drafting software to formulate technical drawings according to industry standards. The various drawings they create can be used in an assortment of applications, ranging from electronics to manufacturing. Some programs focus solely on specific areas of the drafting discipline, including architecture and aeronautical drafting, and all programs feature hands-on instruction pertaining to the various drafting techniques.
Students who graduate with an associate’s degree in Computer Aided Drafting can go on to fill a variety of career roles. Some of these include architectural drafting, aeronautical drafting, civil drafting, electrical drafting, manufacturing drafting and mechanical drafting. Last year the median salary in the U.S. for entry-level computer aided drafters was $43,000.
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Aided Drafting
The Bachelor Degree program in Computer Aided Drafting includes all of the coursework of the associate’s program plus many more classes in subjects such as mathematics and technology. Many schools offer a 2+2 degree program that allows students to transfer their associate’s degree credits in computer aided drafting directly to the Bachelor’s degree program. These credits, however, will be much easier to transfer if they’re earned in a community college rather than a private technical or vocational school, as junior or community colleges tend to place more emphasis on the general education courses needed to succeed in this growing field.
The coursework students can expect to complete in the Bachelor degree program includes commercial and residential architectural drafting, civil drafting, drafting fundamentals, structural drafting, mechanical drafting, CAD applications, product design, machine drafting, and more. The Bachelor Degree program also includes several elective courses and an internship, during which students can focus on a particular specialty that appeals to them.
The careers available for students who have earned a Bachelor Degree in Computer Aided Drafting are very similar to those held by those with an associate’s degree, only more advanced. In most fields a Bachelor degree is required for senior drafters and supervisors, positions in which the average wage is considerably higher. For example, Bachelor degree graduates with positions in mechanical and electrical drafting can expect initial wages of $51,200 and $55, 960 respectively, and with many years of experience they can top out at over $70,000.