Computer Aided Design & Drafting (CADD) Certification: Program Overview
Research computer-aided drafting and design certification and certificate programs. Get information about courses, requirements, and job options to make an informed decision about your education.
Certificate programs in computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) teach students design techniques that are used in engineering and architecture industries. Students learn to use computer software programs to create designs, manage data, and analyze plans. They develop drafting skills in areas such as electronics, structures, and fluid power.
Most CADD programs take less than a year to complete and have no education prerequisites beyond a high school diploma or its equivalent. Graduates can apply their skills in engineering and architecture industries.
CADD certificate programs may include some general education courses in communications, composition and mathematics. Most courses, though, focus on teaching students skills in CADD and related topics. Areas covered may include:
- Blueprint reading
- Engineering graphics
- Computer drafting techniques
- Residential drafting
Popular Career Options
Graduates of CADD certificate programs are prepared to work in fields that involve drafting work. CADD professionals may work as:
- Civil drafters
- Mechanical drafters
- Architectural drafters
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that architectural and civil drafters earned a median annual wage of $47,870 in 2012 and should see a 1% job growth rate from 2012 to 2022. During the same period, mechanical drafters are projected to experience a five percent decline in jobs; in 2012, the BLS listed a median annual salary of $50,360 for mechanical drafters, with the top 10% in the field making yearly wages of $78,960 or above.
The American Design Drafting Association offers several professional certification exams for drafters and apprentice drafters in mechanical, civil and architectural drafting (www.adda.org). There is no minimum education requirement to sit for these exams. Test content covers drafting theory and principles and computer-related topics like sketching and layouts. Individuals must achieve a 75% on the exam to pass. Recertification is necessary every five years.
Software manufacturer Autodesk also offers certification in Modflow, AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor at the associate and professional levels (usa.autodesk.com). To become certified through Autodesk, individuals first must choose which certification they'd like to pursue based on the product and level. They then prepare for the test using Autodesk study materials or training courses. Lastly, they take a certification exam.
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