Online Certificate Programs in Drafting

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Many online certificate programs in drafting are open to any student who has a high school diploma or a GED who can complete the course work successfully. Generally speaking, students of online certification programs must have basic computer skills and the ability to navigate the Internet. To be successful, they also need to know how to use Adobe Photoshop, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Word. Although it isn’t a prerequisite, some institutions encourage students to take a basic architectural drafting, AutoCAD, or design class. However, keep in mind that the requirements for each program may differ by institution.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None.
  • Average Program Length: 150 hours

Computer aided drafting (CAD) is the use of computer programs to create, analyze, modify, or optimize the design of tools, mechanical parts, and buildings. It’s used in a variety of industries, including architecture, engineering, manufacturing, or any other industry in which technical drawings are a part of daily operations. Therefore, a drafting online certification program is a good option for individuals who want to obtain employment in these fields or who want to brush up on their AutoCAD skills.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Drafting

Online drafting certificate programs offer students comprehensive instruction in how to use AutoCAD to create accurately dimensioned drawings and define dynamic blocks and attributes. The objective of such a program is to help graduates become more competitive for jobs requiring AutoCAD expertise. Drafting curricula typically focus on providing students the practical skills they’ll need to succeed in their professional work. As such, students will typically spend a lot of time creating designs and applying the concepts they learn in their course work.

Students enrolled in a drafting program will take several AutoCAD courses that are organized by levels. Level one features instruction on how to create simple drawings and complex objects, make drawings more precise, add annotation to drawings, and use productivity tools. Students in the level two course learn about advanced object types, blocks, and attributes; layouts and plotting; and introduction to 3D design. Finally, the level three course may require students to work on a simulated real-world project so they may learn the procedures professional offices follow. Students who enroll in this course are typically expected to have advanced AutoCAD skills.

What Your Online Certificate in Drafting Can Do for You

A graduate of an accredited online drafting certificate program may be qualified for entry-level employment as a drafter. These professionals use computer software to convert engineering or architectural designs into technical drawings and plans. Drafters are employed in a wide range of industries, including in architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many employers require drafters to have some postsecondary education, such as an associate degree. In that case, a certificate in drafting can supplement an individual’s education, which can help them be more competitive in the job market.

Professional drafters earned a median annual salary of $47,880 in May 2010, according to BLS. Employment of drafters is expected to increase 6% from 2010 to 2020, which is slower than average for all occupations. Demand for drafters is expected to be low because of the outsourcing of this type of work to employees in other countries who work for lower wages. The development of more powerful and efficient design systems also curbs growth because it enables other technical professionals to perform tasks done by drafters, according to the BLS. However, these projections are no guarantee of actual salary or job opportunity, which is determined by employer, location, and condition of the economy.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.