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

Majors Overview December 7, 2013

Gain information about Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in design drafting and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Design Drafting

Students enrolled in these two-year programs are provided with the experience in mechanical design and architectural design, they would need to aspire for technician positions where they can become engineers’ assistants. Students augment instruction in traditional drafting methods by working with industry software, such as computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) programs. Specializations are offered by some drafting design programs, in fields such as surveying drafting, architectural drafting or mechanical drafting. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Before enrolling in these programs, prospective students would benefit by completing high school courses in drafting.


Coursework usually combines classroom lectures and hands-on training imparted in computer laboratories. Different programs may have different coursework but schools commonly offer courses in subject areas such as:

•Product detailing
•Surveying and measurements
•Engineering drawing
•Tool design
•Computer-aided engineering
•Statics and material strengths
•Design process
•Technical drafting
•Technical mathematics

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete the program can gain the skills they would need in order to pursue a variety of areas in the design drafting industry, including project management, mechanical parts design and architectural design. Commonly, graduates of these associate programs can aspire to career titles such as:

•Tool designer
•Mechanical designer
•CADD operator
•Product drafter

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates may pursue continued education by earning a 4-year bachelor’s degree in mechanical design, engineering technology, or a related area. Various specializations relating to drafting are offered by schools that offer varied training tailored according to specific area chosen by students.

Drafters can augment the degree by seeking certification offered by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) that will allow them to showcase their skills and knowledge to potential job givers. To achieve certification, graduates will need to pass an exam that tests them on their knowledge of basic drafting principles, geometric designs, architectural terms and drawings.

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