Bachelor of Drafting Technology: AutoCAD Degree Overview
Bachelor's degree programs in drafting technology focus on proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software and equip students with skills to construct professional quality representations of 3-dimensional structures and objects. CAD software is indispensable to the fields of architecture, engineering and product development.
Bachelor's Degrees in Drafting Technology with AutoCAD
Drafting technology programs include training in CAD software, such as AutoCAD. These programs prepare students to use CAD software to model and plan various construction projects, including highways, commercial buildings, sewage systems and pipelines. In some programs, students can choose a concentration in an area such as mechanical design, design drafting or architectural drafting. Students also might learn about other relevant concepts, such as technical writing, industrial design, machine drafting and computer drafting.
A high school diploma is required to begin a bachelor's degree program in drafting technology. Some schools offer programs in conjunction with community colleges; these schools could require the completion of an associate's degree program in drafting prior to beginning a baccalaureate program.
Because effective use of CAD software relies on a variety of interdependent skills, curricula typically include both courses that are narrowly focused on CAD and classes that provide complementary knowledge. Students may take these courses, among others:
- CAD modeling
- Basic AutoCAD
- Architectural design
- Structural drafting
- Topographic mapping
- Machine design
Popular Career Options
CAD software aids a large variety of companies and entrepreneurs in many phases of conceptualization and development, and a degree program that focuses on drafting technology can provide individuals with a variety of career options. Students can apply their CAD software training to a multitude of endeavors; this software is used for designing or accurately representing everything from mechanical objects such as automobile motors and computers to furniture and toys for children. Common careers include:
- Architectural drafting
- Civil drafting
- Mechanical drafting
- Electrical drafting
- Product design
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment of drafters is expected to increase very little, if at all, between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). As reported by the BLS in May of 2013, mechanical drafters earned a median annual salary of $51,520, and architectural and civil drafters received $48,800.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Individuals can earn certification to demonstrate the validity and range of their drafting skills, but employers typically do not require their drafters to be certified, according to the BLS. Graduates of drafting technology programs who wish to continue their education can pursue advanced degrees in fields such as architecture or engineering.
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