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Best Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Medinah Aina - May 17, 2022


Computer-aided drafting (CAD) and design is the use of software to create, modify, and analyze products. It is used in engineering, architecture , and design for many manufacturing and production processes. Through one of the best computer-aided drafting associate degree programs, you can gain adequate knowledge and skills in CAD, which can open multiple doors within many industries.

You can get started in this field by earning an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and landing entry-level positions. This article includes helpful information on some of the best computer-aided drafting associate degrees. You will also learn about the highest-paying computer-aided drafting associate degree jobs, their salaries and outlook, and other important information.

Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

You can get an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting at Baton Rouge Community College, Century College, Elgin Community College, Minnesota State College Southeast, Ridgewater College, Thomas Nelson Community College, or Tidewater Community College. While there are many other reputable institutions where you can pursue this degree, these are some of the top schools for this program.

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What Schools Offer the Best Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degrees?

  • Baton Rouge Community College
  • Century College
  • Elgin Community College
  • Minnesota State College Southeast
  • Ridgewater College

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

The admission requirements for an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting are an online or in-person application, official high school transcript or GED scores, placement tests, and SAT or ACT scores . These are the standard requirements for this program, but they could differ depending on the school.

Unlike traditional universities, community colleges have a more straightforward admission process and only require applicants’ high school diplomas or GED scores as admission requirements. Only a select few request a standardized test, which is often made optional. Some schools also don’t require prospective students to pay an application fee.

Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • Online or in-person application
  • Official high school transcript or GED scores
  • Placement test
  • Standardized tests (optional)

How to Get a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree

You can get a computer-aided drafting associate degree by fulfilling all the degree requirements set by the school. The requirements may include specific credit hours comprised of general education courses, technical courses, elective courses, and core courses. This differs based on the school. You can find more details below.

How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

You need to complete between 45 and 68 credits for an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting. The exact number of credits depends on the school and the program. The average number of credit hours is usually 60, which is what prospective students of this program should expect.

Computer-Aided Drafting Degree Requirements

  • 45 to 68 total credit hours
  • 22 to 44 credits of technical electives
  • Nine to 16 credits of general education courses
  • 14 to 16 credits each semester
  • Three to six credits of elective courses

Best Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Baton Rouge Community College Technical Studies Associate of Applied Science – Concentration in Drafting and Design Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Associate in Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Century College Associate of Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Eastern Florida State College Associate of Science in Drafting and Design Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Elgin Community College Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Mohawk Valley Community College Associate in Occupational Studies Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Northampton Community College Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Seminole State College of Florida Associate of Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Thomas Nelson Community College Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Tidewater Community College Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Best Schools for Computer-Aided Drafting: Top Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Programs

Computer-aided drafting associate degree programs are offered by various community colleges across the country. The table above shows a list of the top 10 schools, followed by the section below, which covers essential details of each school and program.

1

Baton Rouge Community College

Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge Community College is a public community college founded in 1995. It offers over 60 degrees, certificates, and training programs through online and in-person formats. Some programs can be completed fully online, while others can be completed through a hybrid format or entirely on campus.

Technical Studies Associate of Applied Science - Concentration in Drafting and Design Technology

The technical studies program has different areas of concentration, including one in drafting and design technology. This program will equip students with the knowledge and skills required to become professionals and start entry-level positions after graduation. Students who want to get an Associate of Science degree will have to take the technical coursework necessary for their area of concentration.

Technical Studies Associate of Applied Science - Concentration in Drafting and Design Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $134.89/credit
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 27%

Technical Studies Associate of Applied Science - Concentration in Drafting and Design Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT (or placement tests)
  • Application Fee: $45 (for international students only)
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Proof of immunization

Applying to Baton Rouge Community College

  1. Complete your online application
  2. Submit your proof of immunization
  3. Submit standardized or placement scores
  4. Apply for financial aid
2

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Lexington, KY

Bluegrass Community and Technical College is a public community college founded in 2005. It is one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It offers certificates, diplomas, and degree programs in over 40 fields of study. It has seven campuses and offers both full-time and part-time learning formats.

Associate in Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design

This program is designed to give students the hands-on training and experience needed to become professionals in the field through individual work and teamwork. Students will get the required knowledge and training necessary to get an entry-level job after graduation.

Associate in Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Overview

  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $179/credit (in state); $358/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60-62 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 30%

Associate in Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT or placement test
  • Application Fee: $25 (for international students only)
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Official high school transcript or GED scores

Applying to Bluegrass Community and Technical College

  1. Submit your online application
  2. Send your official high school transcript or GED scores
  3. Submit your ACT/SAT or placement scores
  4. Apply for financial aid
3

Century College

White Bear Lake, MN

Century College is a community and technical college founded in 1967. It offers courses, certificates, diplomas, and degrees in multiple areas of study. The school offers student services to help them during and after school, including advising and counseling, academic support, disability services, career services, technology services, and veteran services.

Associate of Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology

The engineering CAD technology associate of applied science program will teach students to use CAD systems to create engineering drawings. The program emphasizes mechanical drafting standards, components, and design for manufacturing. There are specific prerequisites that students have to complete.

Associate of Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition and Fees: $196.89/credit
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 22%

Associate of Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Official high school transcript or GED scores

Applying to Century College

  1. Complete your online application
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit your official high school transcript or GED scores
  4. Wait for an admissions decision
4

Eastern Florida State College

Cocoa, FL

Eastern Florida State College (EFSC) was founded as a public institution in 1960. EFSC offers more than 100 bachelor’s and associate degree and certificate programs at its four campuses located within Brevard County. About 35,000 students enroll in programs at these campuses as well as online each year.

Associate of Science in Drafting and Design Technology

Students in this program receive cutting-edge computer-aided drafting training. The program includes a focus on design technology, AutoCAD foundations, and civil and architectural drafting. Students can also choose certificate programs in AutoCAD Foundations College Credit and Drafting College Credit.

Associate of Science in Drafting and Design Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition and Fees: $104/credit (in state); $405.76/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 62 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 47%

Associate of Science in Drafting and Design Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT/SAT or placement tests
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Eastern Florida State College

  1. Create a student account and complete the online application
  2. Send official high school transcript or GED scores
  3. Take the placement test or send ACT/SAT scores
  4. Apply for financial aid (if applicable)
5

Elgin Community College

Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College (ECC) is a public community college founded in 1949. It offers a wide range of certificate and associate degree programs that students can use to transfer to four-year universities, start new careers, or advance their careers. ECC has financial packages and scholarships available for low-income students.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design

This program teaches students how to use CAD software and become professionals in technical drawing, modeling theory, software application, and manufacturing processes and materials. Students will learn to use AutoCAD, Revit, and SolidWorks.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design Overview

  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $132/credit (in-district resident); $297/credit (out-of-district, in-state resident); $396/credit (out-of-state resident)
  • Required Credits: 63.5 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 42%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Elgin Community College

  1. Submit your online application
  2. Submit your high school transcript and SAT/ACT scores
  3. Take your placement tests
  4. Attend the orientation
6

Mohawk Valley Community College

Utica, NY

Mohawk Valley Community College is a public community college established in 1946 as part of the State University of New York System. The school offers over 90 degree and certificate programs in two locations that students can use to join the workforce or transfer to universities. It has transfer agreements with over 170 four-year institutions to enable easy transfer of credits for its students.

Associate in Occupational Studies Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting

This program emphasizes architectural and mechanical drafting and related courses. It is designed to prepare students to become professionals that can carry out any duty in the workforce and stresses problem-solving skill development. At the end of the program, students will be able to use CAD software with expertise.

Associate in Occupational Studies Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting Overview

  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Tuition: $143.56/credit (in state); $215.37/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 64 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 32%

Associate in Occupational Studies Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Mohawk Valley Community College

  1. Submit your online application
  2. Submit your high school/GED transcript
  3. Apply for financial aid
7

Northampton Community College

Bethlehem, PA

Northampton Community College is a public community college that was founded in 1967. Its two main campuses are in Bethlehem and Tannersville, PA. NCC offers associate degrees and certificates in more than 100 fields of study to more than 20,000 students each year. With approximately 1,300 employees, NCC is also one of the top employers in the Lehigh Valley.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design

This program teaches students the CAD skills required to start careers in the drafting and design field. The program covers both theoretical and practical topics, including trigonometry, engineering graphics, and electrical fundamentals, equipping students with the knowledge and skills to immediately enter the workforce upon graduation.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design Overview

  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Tuition and Fees: $2,445-$7,635/semester
  • Required Credits: 63 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 22%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts or GED scores

Applying to Northampton Community College

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Attend a new student info session
  3. Apply for financial aid
  4. Submit the required documents
  5. Take your placement tests
8

Seminole State College of Florida

Sanford, Florida

Seminole State College of Florida is a public community college and part of the Florida College System. It was founded in 1966 and has four campuses in Central Florida. It offers over 200 degree and certificate programs in multiple fields of study. The school has over 30,000 full-time and part-time students and a 75 percent acceptance rate.

Associate in Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design

The AS in CADD program is offered through in-person, online, and hybrid formats and provides hands-on experience to equip students with the necessary skills needed to pursue a successful career in design. The credits earned in the program can be transferred to a four-year university for higher education. This school's associate programs lead to an over 90 percent job placement rate.

Associate in Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Overview

  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition and Fees: $104.38/credit (in state); $381.87/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 62 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person, online, hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 47%

Associate in Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Official high school transcript

Applying to Seminole State College of Florida

  1. Complete your online application
  2. Submit your educational history/transcripts
  3. Provide proof of residency status
  4. Apply for financial aid (if applicable)
9

Thomas Nelson Community College

Hampton, VA

Thomas Nelson Community College is a public community college that offers transfer and career programs. It was established in 1967 and offers online and in-person programs with career services to help students highlight and maximize their skills to navigate the job market. With two campuses in Virginia, it is the fifth-largest community college in the state.

Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology

This program offers hands-on experience in drafting and design technology to build students' drafting, modeling, and prototyping skills. The curriculum covers AutoCAD, Inventor, SiemensNX, and CREO. The school provides scholarship opportunities and has state-of-the-art facilities to help students build their skills.

Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition and Fees: $160.20/credit (in state); $359.30/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 66-68 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 28%

Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Official high school transcript

Applying to Thomas Nelson Community College

  1. Complete your online application
  2. Submit the required documents
  3. Take the college readiness survey
  4. Apply for financial aid
10

Tidewater Community College

Norfolk, Virginia

Tidewater Community College is a public community college in Virginia with five campuses across the state. It was founded in 1968 and is the second-largest community college in Virginia with about 25,000 in enrollment, annually. It offers over 150 programs in various fields through online and in-person formats.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design

This 67-credit program teaches students drafting and design principles through a hands-on curriculum. Students will learn to design using AutoCAD and Inventor software and learn to do 3D printing. Students who complete this program will be ready to transfer to four-year colleges or join the workforce immediately after graduation.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design Overview

  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Tuition (and Fees): $185.35/credit (in state); $385.45/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 67 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 25%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Official high school transcript

Applying to Tidewater Community College

  1. Submit your application online, in person, or by mail
  2. Enroll in your program or schedule an appointment with an advisor
  3. Pay your tuition

What Is a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree?

A computer-aided drafting associate degree is a two-year program designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to get jobs or pursue a bachelor’s degree . Most programs teach students using hands-on experience to help them prepare for real-life careers.

The degree program will include courses in CAD software, mechanical systems, oral and written communication, parametric modeling, and programming. Students may also be required to choose electives in their preferred area of concentration. Students who complete this program can choose to join the labor force or transfer to universities for higher degrees.

How Important Is an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

An Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting is important, especially for those who want to join the workforce immediately after graduation. A bachelor’s degree is not required to start an entry-level career as a drafter, making an associate degree program the best choice for those interested in this field. However, those who want to transfer to higher education institutions have the option to do so.

What Types of Associate Degree Can You Get in Computer-Aided Drafting?

You can get an Associate of Science (AS) degree or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in computer-aided drafting. The type of degree you get depends on your career and academic goals, as they each differ in those terms. The AS degree is preferable for those who want to continue their education, while the AAS degree is ideal for those who want to get jobs immediately after graduation.

Is It Better to Get an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting?

It is better to get an Associate of Science degree in computer-aided drafting if you want to continue your education and go to a four-year university. If you will be starting a career as soon as the program is over, it is better to get an Associate of Applied Science degree.

The Associate of Applied Science degree is designed to equip students with career-specific skills that can lead to immediate employment after the program. The AS degree is like a minor program intended to prepare you for a bachelor’s degree program. The AS degree can be used to transfer to universities for a bachelor’s degree.

What Is the Difference Between a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree and a Computer-Aided Drafting Certificate?

A computer-aided drafting associate degree gives students in-depth knowledge and technical skills required for this field. It will cover general education courses, technical courses, and electives. Students will need a high school diploma or equivalent to get accepted and will complete the program in two years.

A computer-aided drafting certificate is a program used to give candidates additional knowledge and skills for career growth. It is intended for working professionals who want to upgrade their skills and seek career advancement. The program can typically be completed in a year or two and requires career and educational experience to earn. Students who complete an associate degree or an advanced degree can seek a certificate after graduation.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

The average cost of getting an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting is about $3,621 per year, including tuition and fees. This cost differs based on the type of school, private or public. The average price of a public two-year institution is about $3,377, while a private two-year college will cost about $15,828. It also varies based on location and specific institution.

There are two types of private institutions, including nonprofit and for-profit institutions. The average cost of attendance for a nonprofit private two-year college is $16,898, while the average price of a for-profit private two-year university is $15,333. These amounts are all based on constant dollars prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree?

It takes two years to get a computer-aided drafting associate degree. Regardless of the type of program, you will need to dedicate two years to earn this degree. However, if you opt for an accelerated program, you may be able to graduate within a shorter time frame.

Students typically need to fulfill specific degree requirements before graduating and getting their degree. These requirements include completing the required number of credits, completing and passing your capstone project, and maintaining a certain minimum GPA.

How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

It is not very hard to get an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting. The field requires students to be proficient in general math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and computer skills. This means that students who are skilled in math and have a talent for calculation or engineering will not find the program difficult.

Why Should You Get a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree?

You should get a computer-aided drafting associate degree because CAD is a skill that is needed in many industries. During the associate degree program, you will gain skills in engineering design, CAD software, and computer skills. These technical skills will help you land roles in architecture, industrial design, electrical and electronics engineering, and civil engineering. This degree can be used to start an enriching career or to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s , or PhD .

What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Computer-Aided Drafting?

The courses you need to take in an associate degree program in computer-aided drafting should include technical courses like drafting fundamentals, general education courses like oral and written communication, and software courses like AutoCAD and SolidWorks . Find more details on some of these courses below.

Drafting Fundamentals or Basics

This course will take students through the fundamentals of drafting and engineering, allowing them to learn how it is used in equipment through the measurement of lines, angles, circles, arcs, and irregular curves. It will also address the neatness, correctness, and skills using scales and drawing instruments of CAD.

Computer-Aided Design or CAD

This course will apply the fundamental principles and capabilities of CAD, basic drafting conventions, and operations. It will cover the in-depth study of CAD, its techniques, terminologies, command utilization, and skill development. Students will learn to use AutoCAD software, Windows, and system networking.

Parametric Modeling or Parametric Solid Modeling or Parametric Design

This course will teach students to use parametric software to design CAD workstations. They will cover sketch profiles, 3D features, revolution and sweep, details and auxiliary, geometric and dimensional constraints, and the creation of 2D drawing views that include sections.

Mechanics: Engineering Technology or Engineering Graphics

This course is an elective course that focuses on the development of mechanical working drawings. It will explore the inner workings of machines and other manufacturing processes. Students will learn gear drawing and design, mechanical assemblies, machine design, power transmission, bearings, and seals in assemblies.

Writing and Oral Communications

This course is a general education course that focuses on academic writing to help students master the art of communication, particularly in their field of interest. Through this course, they will also learn to conduct their research in standard English, think logically, read critically, and communicate verbally with ease. Ths general education course is required for all students, regardless of their majors.

Continuing Education Paths for Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Graduates

For CAD associate degree graduates who would like to continue their education, there is the option of pursuing a bachelor’s degree. You can transfer the credits earned during your program for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, architecture, electrical and electronic engineering, civil engineering, or industrial design. For those who would prefer to get a certificate, you can also pursue professional certification after a few years of working in the field.

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What to Look For in the Best Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best computer-aided drafting associate degree programs are accreditation, flexibility, cost, curriculum quality, and opportunity for continuing education. These are essential factors that make a good CAD associate degree program.

Accreditation

A good computer-aided drafting associate degree program must be regionally or nationally accredited. This helps to ensure that the program meets the required standard and will equip you with the knowledge and essential skills needed to pursue a career or transfer to a four-year university.

Learning Format

A good CAD associate degree program will have learning formats that are convenient and flexible enough for students. Associate degrees are not only pursued by recent high school graduates but also by working professionals who want to upgrade their skills or transition to another career. This makes it highly important to have a learning format that will suit them.

Curriculum

The program’s curriculum should be high-quality, in-depth, and cover important topics relevant to the field. Students should be able to gain the required knowledge and skills to adequately prepare them for a bachelor’s degree program or the workforce.

Cost

Associate degree programs are naturally more affordable than traditional university programs. However, some are still more affordable than others. To make the list of being among the best CAD associate degrees, the program should be cost-effective so that low-income students can afford it. Providing financial assistance to students is also important.

Continuing Education

A good associate program allows students to transfer their earned credits toward a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution. Many students who seek CAD and other associate degree programs have a desire to pursue higher degrees before joining the field.

What Is the Most Affordable Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree?

The most affordable computer-aided drafting associate degree is Eastern Florida State College’s Associate of Science in Drafting and Design Technology, at $104 per credit for in-state students. But it should be noted that Seminole State College of Florida’s Associate of Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design is just .38 cents per credit more, or $104.38 per credit for in-state students. For out-of-state students, Baton Rouge’s program is the cheapest at $134.89 per credit.

Salary and Job Outlook for Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Graduates

Two professionals working on a design process
An associate degree in CAD will give you the quality education needed to start a career as a computer-aided design drafter.

There are many career opportunities for computer-aided drafting associate degree graduates in various industries. You can find employment in the engineering industry, architecture industry, manufacturing industry, and design industry. You can apply for entry-level positions as drafters or CAD technicians in these fields. Continue reading this section for more on job opportunities.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree?

It isn’t hard to get a job with a computer-aided drafting associate degree. The skills gained during the program are in demand by employers in many industries, which increases the number of job opportunities available for CAD professionals. The schools also offer certain career services that prepare students for the job market. With an associate degree, you can start working as a professional drafter or CAD technician and climb up the ladder from there.

What’s the Average Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Salary?

According to PayScale, the average computer-aided drafting associate degree salary is $54,000. Mechanical designers earn an average salary of $62,764, CAD drafters earn an average of $43,799, architectural drafters earn an average of $42,873, and CAD designers earn an average of $53,083.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree?

The types of jobs you can get with a computer-aided drafting associate degree are architectural and engineering-related, administrative, and electrical services-related. You can work in manufacturing, engineering, construction, and architectural industries.

Computer-Aided Drafting Degree Jobs

  • Architectural drafter
  • Civil drafter
  • Mechanical designer
  • CAD technician
  • CAD designer

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting?

You can make between $50,000 and $80,000 annually with an associate degree in computer-aided drafting. The exact amount you can earn depends on factors like the industry you work in, the company you work for, and the job role you perform. Industrial designers tend to make more than CAD technicians, so if you want to earn as much as $70,000 or more, you may want to focus on higher-paying job roles.

The section below covers the highest-paying computer-aided drafting associate degree jobs. This section also includes helpful information on each of them to help you choose your area of focus. You will find information like the top-paying cities, job outlook, and the number of jobs available.

Highest-Paying Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Industrial Designer $77,030
Electrical & Electronics Drafter $67,090
Mechanical Drafter $62,650
Architectural and Civil Drafter $60,620
Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Technician $57,960

Best Jobs for Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree Grads

Here are some of the best computer-aided drafting associate degree jobs for graduates. These jobs are similar in nature as they each play the same role in their various industries. They each work to design layouts and concepts for products. Continue reading for more details.

1

Industrial Designer I Average Salary: $77,030

Industrial designers plan, design, develop, and document the concepts for industrial, commercial, or consumer manufactured products. They have to consider each product's marketability, manufacturing, and specifications to ensure that they meet consumer expectations.

2

Electrical & Electronics Drafter I Average Salary: $67,090

Electrical and electronics drafters are responsible for preparing wiring diagrams, circuit board diagrams, schematics, and layout drawings and specifications used for the construction, production, installation, and repair of electrical equipment or electronic devices.

3

Mechanical Drafter I Average Salary: $62,650

Mechanical drafters are professionals who design detailed drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment using computer-aided drafting software. They draft routine working sketches and layouts and construct models of mechanical devices and parts.

4

Architectural and Civil Drafter I Average Salary: $60,620

These professionals are responsible for creating and preparing detailed drawings used in construction using industry CAD software and equipment. They also work on topographical relief maps used for civil engineering projects like highways, bridges, and pipelines. They apply their knowledge of mathematics and construction to ensure that the drawings and costs are accurate.

5

Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Technician I Average Salary: $57,960

More commonly known as CAD technicians, these professionals use industry CAD software to create technical and electronic drawings and plans for buildings, machinery, and other products used in engineering, manufacturing, and construction.

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Is an Associate Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting Worth It?

Yes, an associate degree in computer-aided drafting is worth it, especially if you are skilled in math and enjoy problem-solving. The skills gained during this program will help secure good jobs in the labor market as they are in demand. You also can choose your area of focus and the specific industry you want to work in, as the skills are useful in various industries.

Many occupations in the field have relatively high job outlooks, which means there is a high demand for these professionals. The programs are more affordable than traditional universities, making them a good option for low-income students. The degree is also great for those who would like to pursue a higher degree as the credits earned during the program can be transferred to four-year universities for a bachelor’s degree.

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Computer-Aided Drafting Associate Degree FAQ

What is computer-aided drafting?

Computer-aided drafting is a subfield of engineering that uses a computer or computer software to help with the creation of a design. It is a skill used in many fields, including engineering, architecture, manufacturing, and construction. CAD can be used to create 2D and 3D models or architectural designs for the purpose of representation.

Is CAD drafting a good career?

Yes, CAD is a good career for those who enjoy design, calculations, and problem-solving. The skills needed for this career are required across a wide variety of industries, increasing the demand for CAD professionals. As a skilled CAD drafter or technician, there will likely be no shortage of jobs for you.

How do I get into CAD?

You can get into CAD by earning an associate degree in CAD. This CAD degree will equip you with the skills required to start a career in design. Afterward, you can choose to earn a bachelor’s degree or get relevant professional certifications. These choices will help you move ahead in the field.

Are CAD designers in demand?

Yes, CAD designers are in demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, CAD designers are expected to see an eight percent increase in job growth over the next several years. This makes getting a job in this field less tasking, as employers in many industries need the design skills of these professionals.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Medinah Aina

About the author: Medinah, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is an expert copywriter and web designer, helping people learn more about education and careers in technology. She values in-depth research and providing accurate, helpful information. Medinah holds a BSc in Social Work from the University of Lagos and an Eduonix Certification in copywriting.

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