2022 Guide: Online CAD Degree Programs

Traditional pencil and paper has given way to computer technology, causing CAD drafting and design to grow in popularity. In this major, students learn how to create 3-dimensional renderings of objects, animations, blueprints, models and more using technology. Computer-aided drafting and design skills are used in architecture, engineering and industrial design.

What Is an Online CAD Program?

Usually, CAD drafting and design majors choose a 1-year certificate program or a 2-year associate career-training degree program at a technical school, career college, online school, community college, 4-year college or university. Several technical schools and universities offer 4-year bachelor’s degrees as well, which may focus on a related area such as engineering or digital arts. If you want to learn how to do computer-aided design, you should also explore Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD or CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician colleges.

Students in the CAD drafting and design major tend to be both creative and techy. You’ll need to be comfortable with computers and also understand design and how things are built. Math and science skills are helpful, too.

How Much Does an Online CAD Program Cost?

If you want to learn CAD drafting and design on your own time, online school is the way to go. A handful of colleges and universities offer online degree programs in computer-aided drafting. Because you’ll need to complete online school courses on your home computer, be prepared to buy software or hardware for this online degree program.

What Is the Job and Salary Outlook for Graduates of Online CAD Programs

CAD drafting and design degree-holders can find work in several different industries. Architectural and civil drafters who work on construction and building projects will see the most job prospects, but sometimes also the lowest salaries, with average annual wages of $57,500 in 2020. Mechanical drafters average $58,270. Electrical and electronics drafters average $62,100.

Courses in an Online CAD Programs

CAD drafting and design certificate programs are widely offered and can prepare you for the workforce in a year or less. You’ll walk away from a technical school or college program with the latest computer skills. You’ll take courses in 3-D modeling, understanding size and shape and beginner to advanced CAD.

However, most employers prefer to hire associates degree-holders over certificate-holders. Typically, 2-year programs at technical schools, colleges and universities provide the same advanced CAD skills, but you’ll also take classes in mechanical drawing, technical math, prototyping, technical physics and architectural drafting, which can be valuable on the job.

Some CAD drafting and design college and university bachelors degree programs are available, too. These 4-year programs are usually designed to prepare students for specific CAD careers in engineering, architecture or digital media for example.

If you want to study CAD drafting and design in college, you can get ahead while you’re still in high school. Take as many computer classes as you can to familiarize yourself with a variety of software. If you can, sign up for computer design. Traditional art, drawing and drafting classes can help you, too. Math, particularly geometry, will prove useful so pay attention and make sure you understand the core concepts.

FAQs on Online CAD Programs

Summary Information

  • The benefit of an online degree in CAD, drafting, and design is that you can learn at home without a commute and set your own school schedule.
  • Accelerated CAD programs will help you reach your career goals quickly.
  • Online CAD programs allow you to pick your specialization, so you can leave school on a specific career path.

  • CAD skills are valuable and rare so the job outlook is good for people who have them.
  • Jobs in CAD, drafting, and design pay well.
  • Professionals in online networking create designs that enable other people to do work, which is a job that can feel fulfilling.

  • Tuition for the best online x-ray technician programs is highly variable
  • Programs can cost as little as $4,000
  • Many industry groups and schools offer scholarships to help pay for programs like this 
  • The tuition price for an online networking program differs based on what kind of program you choose and how long it is.
  • Accelerated CAD programs are an affordable option.
  • In addition to paying tuition, you’ll need to buy software, a computer, and an internet connection.
Scroll to Top