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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in CAD and Architectural Drafting

Majors Overview February 12, 2014

Those interested in becoming skilled with CAD or CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) should look into an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in computer-aided design (CAD) and architectural drafting. Many industries, such as manufacturing, fashion design, engineering, and electronics, use CAD today.

A.A. Programs in CAD and Architectural Drafting

Students enrolled in an Associate in CAD and architectural drafting degree program can expect to become adept at using AutoCAD, a popular CAD application. Schools offer this degree under various titles such as Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Occupational Science (AOS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs.

Those who successfully complete the AOS can seek entry-level jobs immediately after graduation, while those who wish to transfer to 4-year universities or colleges would be better off earning the AS or AAS. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Required Courses

Students can expect to become adept at creating 2-D and 3-D designs commonly employed in the architectural industry. They are also taught advanced drafting techniques and blueprint reading. Students involved in senior capstone courses usually design projects by using drafting application software and CAD. Coursework required in this program includes subject areas such as:

•General construction
•Architectural CAD applications
•CADD
•Architectural drawing
•Mechanics
•Engineering drawings
•Pre-calculus

Career Choices

Many career choices are available to graduates of CAD and architectural drafting programs, regardless of whether they choose to continue their education or to enter the workforce immediately. Career options include positions such as:

•Mechanical drafter
•Contractor
•Architectural drafter
•CADD designer/drafter
•Detailer
•Draftsman

Continuing Education Choices

While certification is not mandatory for drafters to seek employment, they can use certification to showcase their skills and knowledge of the modern procedures and drafting practices used in the field. The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers many types of certification for drafters. The examination tests students’ knowledge of general drafting concepts, drafting terminology, geometric concepts and drawings.

Those who successfully complete CAD and architectural drafting degree programs may choose to enter the workforce immediately after they graduate or seek continued education by earning bachelor’s degrees in various options offered. They may choose to transfer to a 4-year university or college to enroll in an engineering technology degree program. Alternatively, they can choose to become public school teachers after earning a technical or industrial bachelor’s degree.

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