The foundation of Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CAD) is drafting by hand. As technology has evolved, so has drafting. It evolved into CAD, which itself is evolving further into 3D modeling and printing.
What can I do with a CAD degree?
A diverse set of industries need people with CAD skills – architecture studios, design firms, engineering companies, construction companies, manufacturing, even game-design companies.
You could end up in one of these industries as a CAD technician, CAD operator, or even a CAD manager. You would be preparing engineering or construction documents, illustrations, graphics, or 3D models.
Learn current CAD software
You will be knowledgeable in the CAD software that fits your career plan, and there is plenty of software to know. At Front Range Community College, we update our software with every release, so your skills keep up with changes in CAD technologies. In fact, we know of times when our software is ahead of what you will find in industry. Here’s what we teach:
- AutoDesk AutoCAD
- AutoCAD Civil 3D
- AutoDesk Revit
- AutoDesk Inventor
- AutoDesk 3DS Max
You also will gain knowledge of the technical side of industry.
Is a degree in CAD right for me?
Successful CAD technicians can be of any age, male or female, coming right out of high school, changing careers, or coming from industry to learn the latest software. They are detail-oriented and are comfortable with math and technical areas. They can visualize in 2D and 3D. They are creative and artistic. They may be attracted to animation, visualization, graphics, and gaming.
CAD technicians don’t work in vacuums, so you need good communications skills and be able to work on a team.
The Associate of Applied Science in CAD can be earned in two years, and you can earn certificates in two semesters. Many students earn certificates as they progress to the A.A.S. degree. Certificates are offered in:
- Basic CAD
- Advanced Architectural CAD
- Advanced Civil CAD
- Advanced Mechanical CAD
- Animation and Visualization CAD
- Landscape CAD
An integrated approach
Because CAD is used across a wide spectrum of industries, Front Range students have an opportunity to be introduced to Architectural Engineering and Construction Science, Interior Design (Larimer Campus), Manufacturing and Energy Technology (Larimer Campus), Welding Technology, and even Horticulture and Landscape Technology.
Job & salary outlook for CAD technicians
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment forecasts 255 job openings per year through 2023 for architectural and civil drafters, 287 openings per year for electrical and electronics drafters, and 130 openings per year for mechanical drafters.
|Architectural and Civil Drafters||$37,465/year||$55,075/year||$63,880/year|
(Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, 2014)