Complete Guide to Online CAD Certificate Programs

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/18/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Average Tuition: $25,280
Alumni Salary: $34,340

Computer aided drafting (CAD) professionals are responsible for using special software to turn technical plans, drawings, and designs into digital images. Online CAD certificates are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are a number of high school courses that students can take to prepare them for online CAD programs, such as computer technology, drafting, graphic art, and math.

Many CAD programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), including several online options at technical schools. Accreditation ensures a quality education and assures employers that graduates have specific skills. Those with accredited degrees may also want to consider getting a professional certification for career advancement.

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Comprehensive List of Online Schools for CAD/Computer Aided Drafting Certification

Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (29)
Penn Foster Career School DEAC Not Provided 46% (155 reviews)
121 Programs, 2 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
121 Programs, 2 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Drafting with AutoCAD Diploma
  • Drafting with AutoCAD®
Maysville Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 100% (1 reviews)
41 Programs, 3 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
41 Programs, 3 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting & Design
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College SACS COC $5,552 Add Review
35 Programs, 2 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
35 Programs, 2 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Technical Certificate of Credit in Engineering Drafter's ...
  • Technical Certificate of Credit in Engineering Technology...
Boston Architectural College NECHE $21,924 100% (2 reviews)
15 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
15 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Digital Design and Visualization Certificate - Built Envi...
Brigham Young University - Idaho NWCCU $4,208 100% (7 reviews)
46 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
46 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Design and Drafting
Century College HLC $5,578 Add Review
24 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
24 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Kitchen and Bath Design
Columbus State Community College HLC $9,540 100% (3 reviews)
59 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
59 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in 3D Visualization
Faris Technical Institute COE $11,205 Add Review
4 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
4 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)
Hodges University SACS COC $14,300 67% (3 reviews)
57 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
57 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in AutoCAD Drafting
Missouri University of Science and Technology HLC $27,484 Add Review
124 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
124 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Graduate Certificate in CAD/CAM & Rapid Product Realization
Nash Community College SACS COC $8,776 Add Review
47 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
47 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Architectural Technology
New Mexico State University HLC $23,076 Add Review
100 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
100 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Drafting and Graphics Technology
Randolph Community College SACS COC $8,133 Add Review
62 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
62 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Diploma in Computer-Integrated Machining
Ridgewater College HLC $5,939 Add Review
25 Programs, 2 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
25 Programs, 2 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technician
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design
Santa Monica College WASC ACCJC $8,840 Add Review
50 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
50 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Digital Production and Design (Department)
Somerset Community College SACS COC $14,808 100% (1 reviews)
59 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
59 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Detailer
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design
Stark State College HLC $7,286 0% (1 reviews)
49 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
49 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Career Enhancement Certificate in Civil/Surveying Drafting
Terra State Community College HLC $9,452 Add Review
4 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
4 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in CAD
Ashland Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
31 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
31 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Detailer
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting & Design
Big Sandy Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
128 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
128 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Compu...
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Detailer
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Draft...
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting & Design
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
51 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
51 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Detailer
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design
Hazard Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
34 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
34 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Detailer
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design
Jefferson Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,888 Add Review
101 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
101 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Compu...
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Detailer
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Draft...
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design
Minnesota State College Southeast HLC $5,686 Add Review
29 Programs, 3 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
29 Programs, 3 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Basic Drafting Technologies
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafting Techn...
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafting Technologies
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
159 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
159 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Computer Aided Drafting & Design Certificate - Computer A...
  • Computer Aided Drafting & Design Certificate - Detailer
  • Computer Aided Drafting & Design Certificate - Drafter As...
  • Computer Aided Drafting & Design Diploma
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
28 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
28 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Detailer
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting & Design
Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro COE $3,477 Add Review
9 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
9 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Detail Drafter
  • Certificate in Drafting and CAD Technology
  • Diploma in Architectural Drafter
  • Diploma in Mechanical Drafter
Thomas Nelson Community College SACS COC $10,809 Add Review
22 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
22 Programs, 1 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Career Studies Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and...
West Kentucky Community and Technical College SACS COC $14,808 Add Review
41 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting (view all)
41 Programs, 4 Certificate in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
  • Certificate in Computer Assisted Drafter
  • Certificate in Detailer
  • Certificate in Drafter Assistant
  • Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design

Online Certificates in CAD/Computer Aided Drafting

Online CAD certificate programs provide training using a particular CAD software suite. Although not all online certificate programs have admission requirements, it's helpful to have knowledge of computers and design before entering a certification program. Many online certificate students already have a degree in a related field and are obtaining a certificate to specialize their skills. The courses required to complete an online certificate program vary and can take anywhere from a few weeks to a several months to complete. Depending on the online program, students will take between 10 and 30 credits.

Mastery of CAD is helpful in many industries, and some specialized versions of CAD offer their own certificates. Architectural CAD and AutoCAD are popular certificate programs and contain courses including programming; menu commands; and beginner, intermediate, and expert use of the tool. The goal of these certificate programs is to teach students to create actual drawings with CAD so that when they enter the job market, they will be able to use it effectively. Students will gain experience using CAD software to create documents and simulate real-world projects.

Graduates of online CAD certificate programs enter various careers that use online modeling and design software. Popular jobs include engineering, interior design, architecture, product design, and landscaping. These jobs will typically require additional formal education in a specific field in addition to the certificate.

The Importance of An Accredited Online CAD Certificate Program

Before enrolling in an online CAD program, it is recommended that students verify that the school offering the certificate program has been accredited. Accreditation means that the school has been evaluated and approved by a recognized agency with high standards of academic excellence. While attending an accredited school isn't always required to land a job after receiving your degree, it does help ensure that your degree will be honored within professional or educational realms. Without accreditation, you may encounter difficulty when attempting to transfer your earned credits to another educational institution or applying for financial aid.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) accredits many schools offering CAD certificate programs and is recognized by the US Department of Education as an authoritative accrediting agency in the United States. Please visit OnlineU's accreditation hub for more information.

CAD Certification Requirements

Once you have completed an online certificate program and have a significant amount of experience using CAD, becoming certified is a great way to show potential employers or graduate schools that you're competent. Certification is obtained from a collaboration between Autodesk, the creator of AutoCAD, and Certiport testing centers. Depending on your experience level and career path, you may choose from two main levels of certification: Autodesk Certified User or Autodesk Certified Professional. Additional certifications are also available for Autodesk instructors or Autodesk professionals with specialized experience in road and highway design or mold design.

Certification at the "User" level is designed for those who wish to demonstrate a basic understanding of CAD, such as students or recent graduates. User-level testing examines creating drawings, altering objects, working with layouts, and plotting. Professional-level certification is designed for applicants with at least 400 hours of CAD experience who may be seeking career advancement. The "Professional" exam builds upon the concepts introduced at the Certified User level and also tests applicants on dimensioning, manipulating objects, and working with reusable content. Exam training guides are available through Autodesk.

Autodesk certification exams are offered at satellite testing centers across the United States. In order to remain current, Autodesk certification must be renewed each year that an updated version is released.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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