Few schools, if any, offer master’s degree programs in AutoCAD; fundamental training in the field is available through associate’s degree programs. This article talks about master’s degree programs in AutoCAD and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Master’s Programs in AutoCAD
3-dimensional (3-D) and 2-dimensional (2-D) designs are created through the use of a brand of computer-aided drafting (CAD) software called AutoCAD. Given that AutoCAD is a relatively narrow subject area, most degree programs only cover it briefly, and master’s degree programs may not discuss it at all. However, associate’s degree programs cover it most extensively.
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs in Computer-Aided Drafting teach students about creating 3-D and 2-D images by using software programs such as AutoCAD. Program graduates can expect to become adept at the skills pertaining to architectural, electrical, and mechanical drafting. Also covered are the communication skills and terminology necessary for translating engineering designs into drafts.
Completion of high school coursework in computer science would give incoming students an edge over others who haven’t completed such coursework. Applicants for admission would also find it helpful to have completed high school courses in mechanical drawing, algebra, technical writing, and geometry.
The emphasis of program coursework is on the computer, technical, and creative skills necessary for making useful and realistic images for engineers and architects. In most classes, students are provided opportunities for hands-on experience while others discuss theoretical concepts. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•3-D AutoCAD methods
•Residential construction drafting
•Modeling solid objects
Program graduates can seek entry-level positions in mechanical, electrical, or architectural drafting. Graduates can seek employment in drafting firms, or work directly with architects or engineers. Program graduates may aim for possible job options such as:
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of one percent has been predicted for drafters (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same period, civil and architectural drafters are expected to see only 3% growth. In November 2013, AutoCAD designers brought in average annual wages of $48,322, in the minimum – maximum range of $31,711 – $74,714. During that period, computer-aided design drafters with AutoCAD skills earned between $29,232 and $58,042 per annum, on average.
Continuing Education Choices
The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers professional certification for some drafters. They can gain certification through the passage of the Drafter Certification Test. The test covers geometry, drafting techniques, and architecture terminology.