Online options in computer-aided design and drafting and in architectural drafting are available at a handful of state and private schools and community colleges. The majority of these lead to an associate degree.
Diploma programs in drafting can be found online through some community colleges, though they are more commonly offered as on-campus programs. The curriculum covers the basics of drafting technology, and the education gained can be applied to a variety of areas of drafting. Some for-profit online schools also offer online training in drafting that is not associated with an award (diploma, certificate or degree) of any kind.
Prospective students usually must be high school graduates or hold a GED certificate. High school courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, art, computer literacy and communications are useful for studying this field.
In general, diploma programs take about half the time to complete as an associate degree; most can be completed in about a year with full-time study. Most distance learning programs are designed for working students, allowing them to complete coursework and log in when it is convenient. A few general education courses, including math and psychology, are required.
- Microcomputer software applications
- Technical writing
- Drafting fundamentals
- Architectural print reading
- Mechanical print reading
- 3D architectural design
Associate Degrees and Certificates in Drafting
Online architectural drafting and design associate degree programs take approximately two years to complete, although scheduling is often somewhat flexible. They are designed to be adaptable to a variety of careers within the construction and engineering fields, thus preparing students for positions with contractors, architecture firms, home builders and material suppliers. In some cases, students can earn a certificate, which has all of the drafting curricula without the general education requirements.
Some schools require students to amass a portfolio, which can be helpful in seeking work. Associate degrees and certificates are often transferable to drafting-related programs at 4-year colleges and universities.
- Residential construction
- Commercial construction
- Computer aided design
- Digital walkthrough and visualization
- Green building technology
Though not prevalent, there are some online architectural drafting programs offered by schools and community colleges. Diploma, certificate and associate degree options are all available.