Computer Drafting Career Training in Washington State
There are more than 30 schools within Washington that have computer drafting courses. Read an overview of the 10 largest schools' programs, requirements, and tuition information, and find out which school is the right one for you.
Washington State Computer Drafting Training
Washington state has more than 30 schools that offer courses and programs in computer aided drafting (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), or computer aided drafting and design (CADD). Careers as a CAD drafter may be found in the fields of architecture, interior design, mechanical or civil engineering, and building trades. Furthermore, CAD classes are typically offered in schools' interior design, architecture, or engineering departments. Jobs in this field typically require an associate degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CAD drafters may be required to complete continuing professional development throughout their careers to stay current on emerging technologies.
Software programs currently in use in this industry include AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks, Civil 3D, and CATIA (computer aided 3-dimensional interactive application): the programs offered at schools in this state expose students to these applications, and some offer internship or field-experience opportunities as well. Read about the 10 largest schools to offer certificate and associate degree programs in CAD, and use the school comparison table to weigh the details.
Clark College is located in Vancouver, Washington, and there are close to 13,000 students enrolled in the range of certificate and associate degree programs available. There are more than 20 courses available to students seeking CAD training, which range from 1 to 6 units each. CAD majors at Clark commence their program with 2 CAD orientation classes that consist of a combination of field trips and on-campus exploration of the available CAD software applications, as well as exposure to the different types of careers available for people in this field. This orientation aims to allow students to create an educational plan that will relate directly to future career goals. Courses like basic sketch-up, architectural drafting with AutoCAD, cooperative work experience, and CADD capstone practicum aim to provide the appropriate training for successful CAD careers related to the fields of architecture, interior design, civil engineering, or mechanical engineering. Units earned in these courses can be applied to an associate degree or certificate in CADD.
Clover Park Technical College
Located in Lakewood, a large suburb south of Tacoma, Clover Park Technical College serves more than 4,700 students. Those seeking career training in computer aided design and drafting can enroll in the architectural CAD certificate program, which requires the completion of 39 units in courses like architectural drafting and design, construction materials research, and drafting technologies. This program is designed to be completed in 3 quarters, and it aims to provide students with the basic skills and technological know-how to be successful in the field of architectural CAD drafting. Also offered for students seeking architectural engineering design training at CPTC, are the Associate of Applied Technology and the Associate in Applied Science-T degree programs, which have slightly different general education requirements, but may be appropriate for degree-seekers in this field.the A.A.S.-T option is provided for students seeking transfer to 4-year degree programs in related fields.
Everett Community College
Everett Community College is located in the small city from which it takes its name, and it has close to 7,000 students enrolled in its courses and academic programs. for students interested in CAD training, there are 3 progressive options: for students seeking direct entry into the work-force, there is the manufacturing pre-employment certificate; for those seeking more exposure to CAD training opportunities, there is the skills-oriented certificate; or for degree-seekers, there is the Associate in Technical Arts in Technical Design. These technical design programs aim to prepare students with the skills and knowledge of software used in this career-field including CATIA version 5, SolidWorks and AutoCAD, and they also offer students both, in-class and hands-on training.
Green River Community College
Located in Auburn, which is a large suburb northeast of Tacoma, Green River Community College serves about 8,300 students, and it awards associate degrees and certificates. Course offerings for prospective CAD students include introductory CAD, CAD for architectural design, and technical design for mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering. Additionally, supervised work experience courses may allow students in this discipline to gain some real-world hands-on training, while also earning college credit. The certificate of proficiency in design technology/ mechanical 3-D CAD program requires the completion of 43-44 units in courses like technical drafting, mechanical drafting, 3-D CADD/CAM, and introduction to SolidWorks. Credits earned in the certificate program may also be applicable to the Associate in Science in Industrial or Materials Science/ Pre-Engineering program available at this school, which requires 60 or more units of additional general education courses and may be transferable to a 4-year degree program in related fields.
Highline Community College
Des Moines, Washington is home to Highline Community College, where more than 6,700 students are enrolled each year. There are 2 options for students seeking CAD training at Highline: the drafting department offers a certificate and an Associate of Applied Science in Drafting Design. Sustainable design, architectural drafting, portfolio development, 2-D design, civil drafting, engineering graphics, and SolidWorks are some of the topics covered in the course offerings in the drafting department. Students seeking a certificate in this discipline are required to complete 44 credits, whereas associate degree candidates are required to complete 100-107 units. The Associate of Applied Science degree is available as a transfer program for students hoping to later continue on to 4-year degrees, and CAD courses are also offered in the interior design department at Highland.
South Puget Sound Community College
South Puget Sound Community College is located in Olympia, and it serves more than 5,200 students in its certificate and associate degree programs.This school offers both a certificate of proficiency and the Associate of Applied Science in Computer Aided Drafting/ Building Information Modeling Technology. Both programs aim to provide training for prospective CAD designers that is relevant to the construction and architectural industries. Courses in architectural, mechanical, and civil CAD and drafting are available to students in these programs.
Spokane Community College
Spokane Community College serves more than 6,800 students, and it offers certificates and associate degrees. The architecture/engineering department at Spokane offers 2 program options for potential CAD designers. Both the certificate and the Associate of Applied Science programs aim to provide up-to-date CAD training appropriate for people seeking entry-level employment in drafting technology. Career fields in which this school aims to provide training include architectural drafting, fabrication/piping drafting, mechanical, civil and structural engineering, and electrical and fluid power schematics. The certificate program may be completed in 4 quarters and includes training in drafting and solid modeling, whereas the associate degree program can take 6 quarters to complete and includes general education requirements.
University of Washington - Seattle
The University of Washington has 3 campuses, one of which is located in Seattle: this university serves more than 42,000 students, and it is the largest institution of higher education in this state. The certificate program in digital design and fabrication for architecture and design (DDFAD) is offered in the department of professional and continuing education, which provides career training in 125 different subjects. Students in the DDFAD program will be offered design training in a variety of different digital environments, and students will be given a chance to design projects using current CAD/CAM technology. This 9-unit program requires the completion of 3 classes, taken in succession over the course of 9 months. Introduction to digital design and fabrication processes; solid digital modeling and parametric designs; and computer aided design and manufacturing are typically offered in the evening, once a week, beginning each fall. Additional technology fees may also apply.
Western Washington University
Western Washington University is in Bellingham, and it enrolls more than 14,800 students: WWU offers a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering Technology/ Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM). This program is offered in its engineering technology department, and required course-work includes introduction to computer aided design, strength of materials, manufacturing process planning, advanced CAD: surface modeling, calculus, and physics. This 4-year degree program requires the completion of almost 150 units.
Yakima Valley Community College
Yakima Valley Community College, is located in a small city that is about equidistant from both Portland and Seattle, and there are more than 4,200 students enrolled in the classes and programs at this school. The CAD certificate at YVCC is a 51-unit program that may be completed in as little as 1 year. YVCC aims to provide its CAD students with relevant training for drafters by matching software applications used in local business to the applications on which students train. The computer labs at this school are equipped with a full-size digitizer, plotters, and scanners, each student work-station has a 17-inch color monitor, and typically, the latest version of AutoCAD is used. Furthermore, students will also be offered training in SolidWorks and Microstation. In addition to CAD related course-work, classes like estimates, business writing and surveying are included in this program.
School Comparison Table
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Computer Drafting Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees|
|Clark College||2-year public; midsize city|| Certificate of Proficiency in CAD, |
Certificate of Achievement in CAD,
Certificate of Completion in CAD,
Associate in Applied Technology: CAD
|$3,650 in-state, |
$8,840 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|Clover Park Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Architectural CAD Drafting, |
Associate of Applied Technology in Architectural Engineering Design,
Associate in Applied Science in Architectural Engineering Design-T
| $4,561 in-state, |
$9,841 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|Everett Community College||2-year, public; small city|| Pre-employment Certificate in Manufacturing, |
Associate in Technical Arts in Technical Design
| $3,609 in-state, |
$8,799 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|Green River Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate of Proficiency in Design Technology/ Mechanical 3-D CAD, |
Associate in Science in Industrial or Materials Science/ Pre-Engineering
| $3,961 in-state, |
$10,047 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|Highline Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Drafting Design,|
Associate of Applied Science in Drafting Design
| 4,000 in-state, |
4,401 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|South Puget Sound Community College||2-year, public; small city|| Certificate of Proficiency in Computer Aided Drafting/ Building Information Modeling Technology, |
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Aided Drafting/ Building Information Modeling Technology
| $4,200 in-state, |
$9,438 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|Spokane Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Certificate in Computer Assisted Design and Drafting, |
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Assisted Design and Drafting
| $3,467 in-state, |
$8,657 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|University of Washington - Seattle||4-year, public; large city||Certificate in Digital Design and Fabrication for Architecture and Design||$3,690 total program cost, 2013**|
|Western Washington University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering Technology/ Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM)|| $8,805 in-state, |
$19,152 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
|Yakima Valley Community College||2-year, public; small city||Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting/ Design|| $3,820 in-state, |
$4,214 out-of-state, 2012-2013*
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of Washington
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