Online Architectural Drafting School: List of Schools with Online Architectural Drafting Degree Programs

Published Nov 10, 2009

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Architectural drafting degree programs teach students to create mechanical drawings, blueprints and 3D models of potential construction projects. Although there are no accredited online degree programs available for this field, many cambus-based programs include online courses. Miami Dade College, Houston Community College System and the College of Southern Nevada offer associate's degree programs for architectural drafting.

Architectural Drafting Degree Program Details

Architectural drafting degree programs are also known as computer-assisted drafting (CAD) degree programs. CAD operators create mechanical and technical drawings using drafting technology software, such as AutoCAD. Architectural drafters typically hold an associate's degree in CAD or architectural drafting. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in this field of study focus primarily on architectural engineering rather than architectural drafting; however, a drafter with a higher degree level in the field may secure employment over a less-educated candidate.

Architectural drafters learn how to draft, design and model residential and commercial building sites. They convert 2D drawings into electronic blueprints that include specifications for directing mechanical and industrial building construction. Most graduates find entry-level employment as draftsman and advance into positions such as CAD operators, architectural design technicians, materials technicians and inspectors. These professionals work for public, private and governmental sectors.

Architectural Drafting Associate's Degree Program

An associate's degree program for architectural drafters teaches interior and exterior design, mathematics and architectural principles. Students learn how to read and create blueprints as well as model 3D designs for clients. They also study measurements and computations, residential and commercial design, electronic drafting, and architectural fundamentals.

Course subjects include AutoCAD, industrial design, 2D drafting, 3D modeling and blueprint design. Although most architectural drafting courses are held on-campus in drafting studios, many relevant general education courses, such as statistics, are available online. Graduates are qualified to pursue entry-level employment with construction companies, engineering firms and architectural design businesses. They may also go on to pursue a bachelor's degree in architectural drafting or architectural engineering.

Architectural Drafting Bachelor's Degree Program

Bachelor's degree programs for architectural drafters may function as part of a broader architectural engineering degree program. This level of degree prepares drafters to understand the technical building code specifications for residential and commercial design. It also emphasizes the development of meticulous drafting and mechanical drawing skills and stresses the history and fundamentals of architecture and design.

Coursework covers comprehensive drafting skills, advanced mathematic computations and architectural engineering principles such as structural engineering and technical design. Students also become proficient in numerous AutoCAD software applications, such as AutoDesk, AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD Civil 3D. This degree level may be preferable for drafters who have an interest in becoming architects or engineers; it also qualifies graduates to continue their studies through a graduate degree program.

Architectural Drafting Professional Certification Details

Architectural drafters are not required by law to be licensed or certified in order to practice. However, many drafters choose voluntary professional certification through the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). The ADDA requires candidates to pass the Drafter Certification Test. Successfully completing this exam illustrates one's architectural drafting knowledge and technical skills. No degree level is mandatory.

Public and Private Nonprofit Schools with Architectural Drafting Degree Programs

School NameInstitution TypeEnrollmentMailing AddressPhone Number
Miami Dade College4-year, Public57,222300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, Florida 33132-2297(305) 237-8888
Houston Community College System2-year, Public48,1693100 Main St., Houston, Texas 77266-7517(713) 718-2000
College of Southern Nevada4-year, Public40,3106375 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89146-1164(702) 651-5000
Tarrant County College District2-year, Public39,5961500 Houston St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6599(817) 515-5100
Riverside Community College2-year, Public36,1464800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, California 92506(951) 222-8000 x8979
Austin Community College District2-year, Public35,7985930 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, Texas 78752(512) 223-7000
Valencia Community College2-year, Public35,460190 South Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801(407) 299-2187
American River College2-year, Public34,6104700 College Oak Dr, Sacramento, California 95841-4286(916) 484-8011
Pima Community College2-year, Public34,136401 North Bonita Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85709-5000(520) 206-4500
East Los Angeles College2-year, Public34,0651301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, California 91754-6099(323) 265-8650

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