Computer-based two- and three-dimensional drawing creation is a specialty of those who work in architectural and civil drafting technology. Buildings, bridges, canals, and homes are all visually depicted in these drawings. In the architectural sector, there are various technical and managerial drafting and design positions available, including design, drafting, building information modeling (BIM), 3D modeling, and many more.
To achieve the right skills to work in the industry, you must choose the appropriate program that will help you learn all the basics. Check out this list of the best architectural drafting schools to gain the essential skills to build a strong portfolio and jump-start your career in the drafting industry.
Best Architectural Drafting Schools
Below is a list of some of the top architectural drafting schools in the United States that will help you begin your career in the drafting industry.
1. Rochester Institute of Technology
Located in Rochester, New York, the Rochester Institute of Technology was established in 1829 as a community of active, socially conscious, and academically curious individuals. The school provides an internationally renowned education for deaf and hard-of-hearing kids as well.
The institute offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Architectural and Civil Drafting Technology. It includes 75 credit hours of courses such as Principles of Design and Color, Scenic and Lighting Technology, Materials of Construction, Raster and Vector Graphics, Surveying, Theatre Practicum, Surveying Laboratory, GIS Fundamentals, Set Construction, and others.
The schools offer financial aid to all first-year and transfer students. This includes grants, scholarships, loans, and campus employment programs. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has granted RIT accreditation.
2. University of Central Missouri
University of Central Missouri (UCM) offers a Bachelor of Science degree in design and drafting technology. With more than 80 student computers, modern workstations, cutting-edge software, and 3D printers, the facilities the school offers are among the most technologically equipped in the Midwest.
You can specialize in fields including mechanical product, machine design, structural design, mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) design, and civil, geodatabase (GIS) design, in addition to drafting and design technology, CADD design, and CADD drafting.
The schools provide financial help to eligible students in several ways, including program scholarships and paid internships with business leaders. Moreover, the school has a 100% placement rate for the program graduates. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has granted accreditation to Central Missouri University.
3. Dunwoody College of Technology
Dunwoody College of Technology offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Architectural Derating & Design that students can complete in two years. Students in the program are prepared for professions in construction, architecture, and related fields. You will gain knowledge of a wide range of design tools, such as physical modeling, digital manufacturing, and drawing.
In addition, you will get an extensive understanding of building systems, regulations, policies, documentation, and integrated design processes through practical projects and service-learning opportunities. Students get a chance to develop their careers, portfolio, and network by often interacting with business people, participating in regional and national contests, and working at off-campus events and employment.
After two years of education, students are awarded an associate’s degree in Architectural Drafting & Design. A bachelor’s degree in architecture can be obtained after three more years of study. Dunwoody College of Technology has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The average tuition cost for the programs is $24,029. Students can avail of financial aid such as scholarships.
4. IUPUI Purdue School of Engineering & Technology
IUPUI Purdue School of Engineering & Technology offers a certificate in Architectural and Interior Design Graphic. It includes a 15-credit-hour curriculum consisting of topics such as construction drafting with AutoCAD, Construction drafting with DIM (Revit), 3D Computer Modeling I (Sketchup), 3D Computer Modeling II (Advanced Revit), and Raster imaging for computer graphics (Photoshop).
Students learn technical illustration, color theory, surface rendering, and light management are discussed. They also learned to create an electronic model of architecture, interior design, and furniture for built space. To convey design concepts, you will produce photorealistic renderings. In addition, you will utilize a design portfolio to persuasively express your graphic design abilities.
The school has a team of experts in career services available to assist you in finding the internship, co-op, or full-time job you have been looking for. The career services also help with resume writing, mock interviews, job search strategies, career fairs, and more. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools has granted accreditation to the IUPUI campus.
5. Ferris State University
Ferris State University offers an Associate degree in Architectural Technology that focuses strongly on digital drawing and building technology. The program incorporates the aspects of technical skills and critical thinking to help students become proficient in the field. It is a two-year degree program that can help students for advanced degrees in related fields.
The program has a long and illustrious history of offering professional, practice-based architecture education. Among architects, the program is known for churning out graduates with valuable technical skills who are competent and marketable. Building materials, construction procedures, architectural digital graphics, building codes, presentation strategies, and architectural design and history are all topics covered in the studio programs.
Students gain a foundation in architectural principles, techniques, and ethics that they will need to pursue advanced degrees in built environment-related fields. It will also help them find employment in entry-level positions in architecture and related fields. The school offers financial aid, including scholarships and the Ferris Launch program. All the programs offered at Ferris State University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
6. The University of Toledo
The University of Toledo offers an Associate’s degree in Architectural Technology that trains students to work as technicians who can effectively apply the arts, sciences, and technology in the building construction sector. The program uses manual drafting and computer software to create communicative working drawings and renderings.
The program incorporates building techniques in addition to the necessary knowledge of physics, mathematics, and computer science. Some of the subjects covered in the two-year degree include architectural graphics, construction materials, construction estimating, architectural CADD, engineering mechanics, structural design, building systems, contracts and specifications, advanced CADD, and many more.
The tuition cost is $11,885 on average for the programs offered by the university. For the most part, merit scholarships are automatically evaluated for first-time students. In addition, other scholarships, loans, and grants are also available for eligible candidates as financial aid. The Higher Learning Commission has granted the University of Toledo accreditation to grant Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialist’s, and Doctoral degrees.
7. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University (SHSU) offers a minor in Architectural Design Technology which includes 21 hours of coursework. The topics covered in the program include Engineering graphics, architectural design, building information modeling, construction drafting, and interior codes & standards.
For SHSU students, the Academic Success Centre provides a range of academic help programs. Peer tutoring programs for writing, maths, basic science, business, foreign languages, and other subjects are among the services offered here. A Guaranteed Tuition Price Plan (GPP), in addition to the standard pricing structure, is offered.
The tuition fees for the program may range between $7,749 to $16,317, depending on whether you are a Texas resident or an out-of-state student. The school offers several financial aid options, including a range of grants such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Bearkat Grant, and Texas Public Educational Grant, among others. It also offers work-study programs and scholarships.
8. Colling College
Colling College, located in McKinney, Texas, offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design. It is a 60-credit hours program that teaches students a wide range of topics that will help them build a career in the drafting industry. Drawings for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems are included with a focus on any relevant building and energy codes, product references, and construction specifications.
The program includes topics such as technical animation and rendering, basic computer-aided drafting, architectural blueprint reading, SOLIDWORKS essentials, architectural drafting-commercial, intermediate computer-aided drafting, architectural drafting- residential, mechanical drafting, communications in management, advanced computer-aided drafting, and several others.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has granted the Collin County Community College District accreditation to grant bachelor degrees, associate degrees, and certificates. The school offers Federal Student Aid, veteran benefits, TASFA, scholarships, and exemptions to help students assist with their educational expenses.
9. The University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Alaska Anchorage offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Architectural & Engineering Technology (AET) that incorporates digital, 3D modeling with creative design thinking. This helps them build a career in Architecture, engineering, construction, graphic design, and marketing industries.
Lessons incorporate innovative design studios, art appreciation, hand drawing, architecture history, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), building information modeling (BIM), mechanical/electrical/plumbing/plumbing, and structural systems. In addition, mastery of digital design, design thinking and process, and graphic presentation skills are included.
Students of the program may be eligible to transfer into NAAB-accredited universities, paving the way for professional licensing. Various financial options, including FAFSA, scholarships, student employment, and grants, are available to eligible students. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has accredited the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).
Mechanical drafters modify concepts into workable solutions using specialized software. They help convert an engineer’s vision into a thorough, three-dimensional manufacturing plan. To achieve this, you must know all the technical aspects that you can learn from an accredited institution under the supervision of highly-trained instructors.