What is CAD?

CAD stands for computer-aided design, which is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation.

What should I look for in an online CAD school?

The best online CAD schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online CAD schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online CAD school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online CAD programs are available?

The following levels of CAD degree online programs are available:

  • Online CAD Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in CAD
  • Online Bachelor in CAD
  • Online Masters in CAD
  • Online PhD in CAD

How long does it take to get an online CAD degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online CAD degree depends on the level of CAD degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online CAD Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online CAD Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online CAD Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online CAD Masters – 2 years
  • Online CAD PhD – 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online CAD courses?

CAD courses are heavy in computer and graphic design subjects that prepare students to effectively convey various specifications required in a finished project. Courses in a top online CAD school could include the following:

  • Introduction to Design Computing
    This introductory course provides students with basic information on design, modeling, and computer rendering.
  • Design Computing II
    This course continues where the introductory course left off, having students take part in more hands-on activities with design renderings and creating presentations with special software.
  • Digital Design Fabrication
    This advanced course teaches students how digital design and construction principles can be used to minimize costs and errors in actual construction projects.
  • Introduction to Digital Design
    This course prepares students for work with digital design and construction principles.
  • AutoCAD Architecture
    In this course students explore the parametric building modeling capabilities of the latest versions of AutoCad architecture concepts and the default modeling interface.

What areas of CAD specialization are available?

CAD specializations in a good online CAD degree program are designed to meet the needs of various aspects of computer program design, such as engineering, drafting and design, architectural drafting, and mechanical drafting.

What can I do with a CAD degree?

A CAD degree from an accredited online CAD program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter into a drafting profession. Some careers could include:

  • Architectural Drafter
  • Construction Drafter
  • Mechanical Drafter
  • Electrical Drafter
  • Engineer

What is an architectural drafter?

Architectural drafters with the best online CAD degrees are individuals who have special knowledge of both traditional and computer-generated drafting techniques.

What does an architectural drafter do?

An architectural drafter from a top online CAD degree program uses CAD systems to create and store drawings so they can be viewed, printed, or programmed directly into automated manufacturing systems. They draw and design through computer graphic programs to create drawings electronically.

How much does an architectural drafter earn?

An architectural drafter from the best online CAD degree programs can make an average annual salary of around $44,490 with an expected growth of about 4% through the year 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This lower than average growth is actually split as mechanical and electrical drafters will see a reduction in demand, while architectural and civil drafters will see more demand as attention turns to the infrastructure.

How do I become an architectural drafter?

A degree from an accredited online CAD degree program is the first step in how to become an architectural drafter. Most firms require a post-secondary degree of some form, or a certificate from a technical institute. It should be noted that drafters can become certified by taking a certification exam, but this is not required by all firms. Hands-on experience is also an important aspect, and students should look for degree programs that help provide this crucial element.

CAD Schools (Campus)

SchoolCertificateAssociatesBachelorsMastersPhD
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X X
Salt Lake Community College
4600 S Redwood Rd
Salt Lake City, UT, 84123
http://www.slcc.edu
X X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
X X
Tidewater Community College
121 College Place
Norfolk, VA, 23510
http://www.tcc.edu
X X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
425 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
http://www.iupui.edu
X
Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97219
http://www.pcc.edu
X X
Columbus State Community College
550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH, 43215
http://www.cscc.edu
X
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48304
http://www.oaklandcc.edu
X
Central New Mexico Community College
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106
http://www.cnm.edu
X X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
X X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X
Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
X X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X X
Macomb Community College
14500 E Twelve Mile Rd
Warren, MI, 48088
http://www.macomb.edu
X X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X X
University of Toledo
2801 W Bancroft
Toledo, OH, 43606
http://www.utoledo.edu/
X
Eastern Michigan University
1000 College Pl
Ypsilanti, MI, 48197
http://www.emich.edu
X X
Owens Community College
30335 Oregon Rd
Perrysburg, OH, 43551
http://www.owens.edu
X X
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
X
Rio Hondo College
3600 Workman Mill Rd
Whittier, CA, 90601
http://www.riohondo.edu
X X
Des Moines Area Community College
2006 Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA, 50023
http://www.dmacc.edu
X X
Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523
http://www.dvc.edu
X X
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA, 91355
http://www.canyons.edu
X X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X X
Wayne County Community College District
801 W Fort St
Detroit, MI, 48226
http://www.wcccd.edu
X X
Sierra College
5000 Rocklin Road
Rocklin, CA, 95677
http://www.sierracollege.edu
X X
Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15233
http://www.ccac.edu
X X
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X X
San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA, 95207
http://www.deltacollege.edu
X X
Glendale Community College
6000 W Olive Ave
Glendale, AZ, 85302
http://www.gc.maricopa.edu
X X
Tulsa Community College
6111 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK, 74135
http://www.tulsacc.edu
X X
Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
http://www.ccp.edu
X X
Front Range Community College
3645 W 112th Ave
Westminster, CO, 80031
http://www.frontrange.edu/FRCCTemplates/FRCC1.aspx?id=47
X X
Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA, 95350
http://mjc.edu
X X
Bakersfield College
1801 Panorama Dr
Bakersfield, CA, 93305
http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/
X
College of Lake County
19351 W Washington St.
Grayslake, IL, 60030
http://WWW.CLCILLINOIS.EDU
X X
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406
http://www.kirkwood.edu
X
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W. College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL, 60465
http://www.morainevalley.edu
X
Henry Ford Community College
5101 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI, 48128
http://www.hfcc.edu
X X
Metropolitan Community College Area
30 & Fort Street
Omaha, NE, 68111
http://www.mccneb.edu
X X
Grand Rapids Community College
143 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
http://www.grcc.edu
X
Anne Arundel Community College
101 College Pky
Arnold, MD, 21012
http://www.aacc.edu
X
Moorpark College
7075 Campus Rd
Moorpark, CA, 93021
http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/index.shtml
X
Universidad Del Turabo
Carr. # 189 Km 3.1
Queensbury, PR, 778
http://www.suagm.edu
X
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA, 95003
http://www.cabrillo.edu
X
Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Parkway
Sacramento, CA, 95823
http://www.crc.losrios.edu/
X X
Harper College
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL, 60067
http://www.harpercollege.edu
X X
Triton College
2000 5th Ave
River Grove, IL, 60171
http://www.triton.edu
X X
Rochester Institute of Technology
1 Lomb Memorial Dr
Rochester, NY, 14623
http://www.rit.edu/
X
CUNY New York City College of Technology
300 Jay St
New York, NY, 11201
http://www.citytech.cuny.edu
X
Washtenaw Community College
4800 E Huron River Dr
Ann Arbor, MI, 48105
http://www.wccnet.edu
X X
Oklahoma City Community College
7777 S May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK, 73159
http://www.occc.edu
X X
Golden West College
15744 Goldenwest St.
Huntington Beach, CA, 92647
http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu
X
Vincennes University
1002 N First St
Vincennes, IN, 47591
http://www.vinu.edu
X
Ferris State University
1201 S State St
Big Rapids, MI, 49307
http://www.ferris.edu/
X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne
2101 E Coliseum Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN, 46805
http://www.ipfw.edu
X X
Pikes Peak Community College
5675 S Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO, 80906
http://www.ppcc.edu
X X
Idaho State University
921 S 7th Ave
Pocatello, ID, 83209
http://www.isu.edu
X X
Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Rd
Victorville, CA, 92395
http://www.vvc.edu
X
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
470 Cooper Drive
Lexington, KY, 40506
http://www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu/
X
Illinois Central College
One College Drive
East Peoria, IL, 61635
http://www.icc.edu
X
Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way
Vancouver, WA, 98663
http://www.clark.edu
X
Truckee Meadows Community College
7000 Dandini Blvd
Reno, NV, 89512
http://www.tmcc.edu
X X
Citrus College
1000 W Foothill Blvd
Glendora, CA, 91741
http://www.citruscollege.edu
X
City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College
4300 N Narragansett
Chicago, IL, 60634
http://wright.ccc.edu/
X X
Stark State College of Technology
6200 Frank Ave NW
North Canton, OH, 44720
http://www.starkstate.edu
X
Delaware County Community College
901 S Media Line Rd
Media, PA, 19063
http://www.dccc.edu
X X
Chemeketa Community College
4000 Lancaster Dr NE
Salem, OR, 97305
http://www.chemeketa.edu
X
Phoenix College
1202 W Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ, 85013
http://www.pc.maricopa.edu
X X
Oakton Community College
1600 E Golf Rd.
Des Plaines, IL, 60016
http://www.oakton.edu
X X
Del Mar College
101 Baldwin Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX, 78404
http://www.delmar.edu
X
Kalamazoo Valley Community College
6767 West O Ave
Kalamazoo, MI, 49003
http://www.kvcc.edu
X X
Eastfield College
3737 Motley Dr
Mesquite, TX, 75150
http://www.dcccd.edu
X
Elgin Community College
1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL, 60123
http://www.elgin.edu
X X
Southeast Community College Area
301south 68th Street Place
Lincoln, NE, 68510
http://www.southeast.edu
X
Chattahoochee Technical College
980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE
Marietta, GA, 30060
http://www.chattahoocheetech.edu
X
Northampton County Area Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd
Bethlehem, PA, 18020
http://www.northampton.edu
X
University of Central Missouri
306 Broad St
Warrensburg, MO, 64093
http://www.ucmo.edu
X
Allan Hancock College
800 S College Dr
Santa Maria, CA, 93454
http://www.hancockcollege.edu/
X X
Tyler Junior College
1400 East Fifth Street
Tyler, TX, 75789
http://WWW.TJC.EDU
X
St Philips College
1801 Martin Luther King Dr
San Antonio, TX, 78203
http://www.alamo.edu/spc/
X X
Scottsdale Community College
9000 E Chaparral Rd
Scottsdale, AZ, 85256
http://www.sc.maricopa.edu
X X
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
1501 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN, 55403
http://www.minneapolis.edu
X
Thomas Nelson Community College
99 Thomas Nelson Drive
Hampton, VA, 23666
http://www.tncc.edu
X X
Century Community and Technical College
3300 Century Ave N
White Bear Lake, MN, 55110
http://www.century.edu
X
Hartnell College
411 Central Avenue
Salinas, CA, 93901
http://www.hartnell.edu
X
Merced College
3600 M St
Merced, CA, 95348
http://www.mccd.edu
X X
Ocean County College
College Drive
Toms River, NJ, 8754
http://www.ocean.edu/
X
Purdue University-Calumet Campus
2200 169th St
Hammond, IN, 46323
http://www.calumet.purdue.edu
X X
Burlington County College
601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Road
Pemberton, NJ, 8068
http://www.bcc.edu
X
Parkland College
2400 W Bradley Ave
Champaign, IL, 61821
http://www.parkland.edu
X
Cuyamaca College
900 Rancho San Diego Pky
El Cajon, CA, 92019
http://www.cuyamaca.edu
X X
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI, 49855
http://www.nmu.edu
X
Lakeland Community College
7700 Clocktower Dr
Kirtland, OH, 44094
http://www.lakelandcc.edu
X