How to Become an Architectural CAD Technician

As an architectural computer-aided design (CAD) technician, you're the intermediate between architects who envision the designs and construction professionals who make the designs a reality. You are responsible for turning architects' sketches into computerized blueprints and plans. In addition, you make needed changes to the plans and perform administrative tasks like storing blueprints. Before you can start working as an architect, you must know how to become an architectural CAD technician.


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    Understand what architectural CAD technician post-secondary options are available.
    • An associate's degree in architectural technology takes 2 years to complete and provides a technical foundation. You take courses like building materials, architectural mechanical drawings, introduction to drawing and design and residential architectural CAD.
    • A certificate in architectural technology is not a degree and takes approximately a year to complete. The certificate provides you with specialized training. You take classes in the fundamentals of CAD and 3-dimensional design, manual blueprint drawing and building construction.
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    Complete an architectural technology program.
    • Choose which colleges have the best architectural technology courses that fit your goals and educational needs.
    • Apply to the programs and become accepted.
    • Finish the course requirements.
    • Join college and professional organizations in architectural CAD technology to network with professionals and other technology students.
    • Make sure to intern at an architectural firm or construction site. You can complete an internship as a part of your college curriculum or seek one on your own.
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    Obtain a 2- to 4-year architectural technician apprenticeship.
    • You can apply for an apprenticeship at an architectural firm or construction site during the last year of school.
    • Start the apprenticeship after graduation. You will work under the supervision of an architectural technician or architect completing architectural plans and blueprints.
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    Secure a job as an architecture CAD technician. You can seek a job at the place where you're an apprentice or seek employment at another construction site or architectural firm.


  • Find out which option employers prefer before completing a degree or certification.
  • The American Design Drafting Association offers you a chance to become certified with its Drafter Certification Examination. The examination tests your architectural knowledge.
  • Employers typically prefer an architecture CAD technician with work experience more than education. The more internships, apprenticeships and freelance work you do the more experience you gain.
  • AutoDesk, the creator of AutoCAD-the software that you use as an architectural CAD technician-offers 2 ways to become certified. Once you complete the computer-based test, you can become either a certified associate or a certified professional in AutoCAD.


  • Colleges and universities typically don't offer a bachelor's degree in architecture technology. However, you can enter a 4-year degree program in architecture or engineering after completing an associate's degree. You receive a mix of liberal arts and theory courses. You complete courses like structural design, architectural theory and architectural design.

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