dcsimg
HomeVocational School Articles → Don't Dodge Drafting: CAD Schools Can Be A Great Investment

Don't Dodge Drafting: CAD Schools Can Be a Great Investment

Architecture firms today look markedly different than they looked 100 years ago. Until the latter part of the 20th century, architects and drafters would typically labor in large drafting rooms, hunched over tables covered with architectural drawings.

Cad Cadd Computer Aided Drafting Design

While drafting tables are still vital to an architect's work today, much of the space formerly taken up by large rows of tables is now occupied by sophisticated computer work stations. The reason for this shift is computer-aided design, or CAD. CAD, sometimes known as CADD (computer-aided design and drafting), has transformed the fields of engineering, architecture, electronics, interior design, and more.

CAD Spelled Out

CAD plays a role in nearly every field that involves designing and technical drawing. Its application extends to mechanics, electronics, architecture, and industrial and civil engineering, as well as automotive, interior, landscape, and fashion design.

A mechanical engineer might use a CAD program to design a building's HVAC system. A civil engineer could use CAD to calculate the load-bearing capacity of a bridge. Interior designers use CAD to create 3-dimensional designs for homes.

In fact, if you have ever used a computer program that has enabled you to perform some kind of design, whether to remodel your kitchen, see what your house would look like with different paint colors, or build a virtual city, you've used CAD software.

Of course, this doesn't mean that CAD is a simple technology. As one CAD blogger puts it, CAD programs can be easy to learn but difficult to master. Mastery is generally achieved through CAD classes and a lot of practice.

Designing a Career through CAD Schools

Because CAD refers to a wide range of computer software with an even wider range of applications, CAD schools are diverse in their programs. Many CAD school courses train students in specific software, such as AutoCAD, Solid Works, ProE, Cadence, Mentor, Cad Key, and Civil 3D. Others focus on a particular application, such as architecture or electronics, and train students in the programs most commonly used in those fields.

CAD schools also offer a variety of degrees, including certificates, diplomas, associate's degrees, and even bachelor's degrees. Two-year degrees are most common for entering the field and are usually offered through technical schools and community colleges.

Online CAD Schools: A Good Choice for the Busy Professional

Numerous online schools also offer degrees and certificates in CAD programs. Because CAD has become an industry standard, some professionals find that online CAD schools can enable them to develop proficiency in the technology while remaining employed. Students can study at their own pace from home, using convenient Web-based technology to participate in CAD school courses and learn the technology.

CAD School Programs: What's Important

Developing technical skills through CAD school is, of course, paramount. But CAD professionals also need to be able to communicate effectively with in-house architects or engineers or with clients, so written and oral communication are useful skills to develop through CAD school.

Typical courses offered through a two-year CAD school program may include:

  • Introduction to drafting
  • Dimensioning and tolerancing
  • Descriptive geometry
  • Production drawings
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Electrical and electronic diagrams

Real-World Applications

Students graduating from CAD schools usually enter the field as drafters, who may report to an engineer, architect, designer, or senior drafter. Some find employment through CAD firms that sell their services to clients. CAD professionals can work for:

  • Architectural firms
  • Civil engineering firms
  • Clothing and textile designers
  • Environmental engineering firms
  • Interior designers
  • Manufacturing companies

Not all of these industries are created equal, however--at least when it comes to career opportunities. Jobs for CAD drafters working in architectural and civil engineering are projected to increase 9 percent from 2008 to 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. Although job growth is projected to be slow for mechanical, electronic, and electrical drafters in that time frame, those are also the fields with higher salaries--especially electronics.

Return on Investment: Is CAD School Worth It?

Most technical and community colleges offer tuition rates that are significantly lower than those at a four-year institution. Mean annual salaries, on the other hand, can be reasonably high, given the level of education required. According to the BLS, as of 2009, mean annual salaries for drafters were as follows:

  • Architectural and civil: $47,710
  • Electrical and electronics: $54,800
  • Mechanical: $49,790
  • Other: $48,210

While some drafters love their jobs and choose to stay in their occupations, others go on to become engineers, architects, or designers. Whichever path you choose, your career options are versatile, making CAD school a great investment in your future.

Schools

    Searching Searching ...

    Matching School Ads
    AutoCAD
    • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
    • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
    • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
    • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
    • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    Drafting Technology & Design (AS)
    Good for Working Adults
    • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
    • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
    • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
    • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
    • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
    Show more [+]
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    Master Of Science in Systems Engineering
    • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
    • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
    • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
    • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
    • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
    • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    BS in Aeronautics
    • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
    • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
    • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
    • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
    Show more [+]
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Master of Civil Engineering Online
    • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
    • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
    • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
    • Take advantage of four start dates per year
    • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
    • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
    • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
    Show more [+]
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Mechatronics - Bachelor's
    Good for Working Adults

    Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.


    What sets ECPI University apart? Just ask the employers who hire our graduates. Since 1966, more than 3,800 employers have looked to ECPI for talented professionals who are capable of entering the workplace and doing the job right on the very first day. That’s because our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of today’s highly-specialized job market.

     

    What Are You Waiting For?

    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician
    • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
    • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
    • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
    • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
    • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
    Show more [+]
    • Financial Aid
    Electrician
    Milan Institute , Bakersfield
    • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
    • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
    • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
    • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
    • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
    Show more [+]
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
    • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
    • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
    • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
    • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
    • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
    • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation

    Change the World with American University

    Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

    Set Yourself Apart at American University

    At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

    • Online Courses