Below are listed the top online drafting school programs and links to the schools that offer them. Click on the “Click Here” button next to the schools that you are interested in to receive school specific enrollment and financial information from the schools directly:

AutoCAD Drafting

Penn Foster Career School – The Penn Foster AutoCAD training programs allows students to attain the skills needed to begin a drafting career quickly and efficiently. The program teaches students how to use basic CAD equipment and software as well as the AutoCAD commands.

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool – Today, in partnership with e-learning experts Laureate Online Education, the University is Europe’s leading provider of fully online postgraduate degree programmes allowing working professionals to combine work and study. More than 8,000 people from over 140 countries around the globe are currently studying for masters and doctoral degrees through the University’s interactive virtual classroom. Another 5,000 have already graduated.

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Guide to Online Drafting Schools and Programs

Thank you for visiting Drafting School. On this site we provide concise articles covering essential information that any prospective student needs to make a smart decision about his drafting education. Specifically, you will find articles below on:

  • Online Drafting School v. Campus Drafting School
  • Drafting Programs
  • Drafting Degrees Types
  • Requirements to Become a Drafter
  • Accredited Drafting School Programs

What Types of Drafting Programs Are Available Online?

With the universal acceptance of distance learning, drafting programs are now being offered online by numerous drafting schools. One of the most popular programs offered teaches students to be proficient in AutoCAD, which is a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software for 2D and 3D design and drafting. AutoCAD has long been the industry standard drafting software and skilled users are in great demand in almost any industry.

These online drafting programs not only ensure that their students will know the basics of drafting, but for them to be also skillful in CAD equipments and AutoCAD commands. There are no requirements to enroll in any of the programs, but students with excellent skills in mathematics, science, computer technology, design, and computer graphics will learn the curriculum quicker than others.

What Are the Requirements in Becoming a Certified Drafter?

You do not need a license to become a drafter, however, certification demonstrates to your employers or future employers that you have the knowledge and the understanding of nationally recognized practices. To elevate an individual’s comprehension of the professional standards related to design drafting and the graphics profession, the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) has established a certification program for drafters.

Individuals who wish to become certified must pass the Drafter Certification Test, administered periodically at ADDA authorized sites. Applicants are tested on basic drafting concepts, such as geometric construction, working drawings, and architectural terms and standards.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Online Drafting School

The kind and quality of drafting training programs vary considerably so prospective students should be careful in selecting a program. They should contact prospective employers to ask which schools they prefer and contact schools to ask for information about the kinds of jobs their graduates have, and teacher qualifications.

Another thing to consider is the type and condition of instructional facilities and equipment the school has. If the school is active in research and funding in this particular field, then the equipment and software available for your training will be of better quality and can give you an edge when looking for a job in the near future.

You also need to consider if the online school offers scholarships, grants, and loans to aid in paying your tuition and fees. To determine if you qualify, gather your financial information and the school’s information and apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Career as a Drafter, How much do Drafters Make?

As a drafter, you will prepare technical drawings and plans, which are used to build everything from manufactured products such as toys, toasters, industrial machinery, and spacecraft to structures such as houses, office buildings, and oil and gas pipelines. You prepare your drawing by using Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) systems which can be viewed, printed, or programmed directly into automated manufacturing systems.

Throughout your drafting career, you will work in comfortable offices sitting at an adjustable drawing board or drafting table when doing manual drawings. You will also spend long periods in front of computers doing detailed work, so you may be susceptible to eyestrain, back discomfort, and hand and wrist problems. You will work a standard forty hour week with very few overtime requirements.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, drafters can expect slower than average employment growth, however, those with two years of professional training will have the best opportunities. Drafters’ earnings vary by specialty, location, and level of responsibility. Median annual earnings of architectural and civil drafters are approximately $41,960, the annual earnings of mechanical drafters are roughly $43,700 and the median annual earnings of electrical and electronics drafters are $46,830.

Top Online Schools With Drafting Programs

  • Penn Foster Career School: AutoCADThe Penn Foster AutoCAD training will help you learn quickly and conveniently the skills you need to begin a drafting career using AutoCAD. You will also learn the use of basic CAD equipment, coordinate systems and software used with CAD programs, use of drafting equipment, media, and reproduction methods. You will also learn AutoCAD commands, and electrical and electronic schematic drafting with AutoCAD.
  • Stratford Career Institue: Drafting with AutoCADStratford Career Institute offers more than sixty distance learning courses and their drafting with AutoCAD program provides a broad and detailed course of study. They will take you from the basics of drafting right through to creating complex drawings on your own computer. Course comes complete with AutoCAD software and a drafting kit.
  • ITT Technical Institute: Computer Drafting and DesignITT Technical Institute’s computer and drafting design program program will help the student acquire the skills to enter the workplace as a versatile draftsperson able to make basic design decisions and capable of addressing the challenges of future technological advances in the drafting and design profession.
  • The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division: Residential PlanningThe Art Institute’s residential planning program covers the basics of interior space planning, making it the perfect choice to quickly apply your skills in the residential planning field. You’ll study textiles, historic and contemporary styles, space planning, kitchen and bath planning, drafting and computer-aided design.

Resources for Online Drafting Students

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics-Drafters: This is a very informative site on the general aspects of a career as a drafter. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the training, qualification and advancement in this field, including future job outlook.
  • American Design Drafting Association: The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) is the premiere professional organization for drafters they provide multiple resources for their members, including continuous education.
  • Wikipedia-Technical Drawing: This Wikipedia page gives general information about drafting and drafters, including history, types of drawing, and new technologies. Make sure you verify the information on this page with credible sources.
  • Autodesk-AutoCAD: This website provides the latest information on the software programming, AutoCAD, including recent changes or upgrades, as well as provide service support.