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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Architectural Design Technology

Majors Overview December 9, 2013

Those interested in drawing blueprints for structures may want to consider education and training in architectural design. Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree programs in architectural design supply students with entry-level expertise to construction professionals and aspiring drafters.

A.A. Programs in Architectural Design Technology

Students enrolled in Associate’s degree programs in architectural design, such as the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Architectural Design Technology and the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Architectural Design and Drafting Technology train graduates to seek entry-level jobs that require them to design space in structures such as buildings. Coursework focuses on the fundamentals of drafting, apart from new technology in the field, such as three-dimensional modeling software and computer-aided drafting and design. Architectural design and construction technology can be paired together thereby leading to the inclusion of construction materials and building codes.

Online courses are offered by many associate’s degree programs in architectural design technology that require students to have a good background in engineering, science and math.


The associate degree program augments general education classes with courses that focus on designing structures apart from fundamentals of construction technology. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Computer-aided architectural drawing and 3-D modeling
•Introductory architectural sketching and modeling
•Hand sketching techniques and digital design concepts
•Working with building materials
•Designing spaces for offices and commercial buildings

Career Choices

Those who complete an associate’s degree in this field can seek various entry-level design careers in areas such as engineering, architecture and construction, and aspire for job titles such as:

•Computer-aided drafting (CAD) technician
•Construction specialist
•Architectural drafter
•Mapping drafter

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Professional drafters can volunteer for various certifications as offered by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA); these include Certified Digital Designer, Certified Drafter and Certified Apprentice Drafter. Passage of a specific examination is a requirement for individuals who wish to earn any certification. ADDA also offers career resources, continuing education and school and program accreditation.

Many associate degree programs allow transfer of credits to four-year bachelor’s degree such as in construction management, engineering and architecture. Depending on his or her background, an applicant can use the coursework in a bachelor degree program in architecture as preparation for licensure and certification as an architect (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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