Right now, the American Drafting Design Association (ADDA) is offering a Professional Certification program to help qualify and prepare individuals for finding work in the Architectural & Civil Drafting field. While such Certification is not required for men and women seeking work as Drafters, it does show potential employers that one is serious about the work and understands the practices therein.
Students looking to enter the field can, of course, start with the ADDA Certification, or earn an Associates' Degree at local technical, career training or community colleges. Students looking to go this route will often gain a bit of exposure to Engineering and Mathematics as well as Architecture, and are more likely to be able to transfer credits to a four-year University down the road if they so choose.
Since Architectural & Civil Drafting does offer a couple of different paths for students to choose from en route to completing their education, choosing a school will become a multi-step process. First, a student must decide whether he or she is looking to pursue Professional Certification or an Associates' Degree. Will he or she want to earn a Bachelors' later on? Determining these aspirations should help students narrow down their choices. As we've said before, students looking to return to school later on may find an Associates' Degree more beneficial, but regardless of the route chosen, narrowing down the list of potential Colleges by learning which schools offer suitable programs is a great step. Next, students should examine the credibility and reputation of the remaining schools and their respective degree programs as well. This will allow students to begin focusing on program-specific qualities, such as field exposure, scheduling options and flexibility, potential internships and job placement services.
Because of the hands-on nature and practical application of the material covered in Architectural & Civil Drafting programs, many students do prefer to complete these course loads in the classroom rather than online. There are, however, e-based programs available that guide students through their curricula without stepping into a classroom, but it is also important to remember that students looking to earn the ADDA Certification will be tested in various areas that do require physical practice.
While many of these types of jobs do relate closely to the state of the economy, even in today's fickle market there are over 250,000 drafters working throughout the nation currently. Almost half of these are Architectural or Civil Drafters, and right now there is a high demand for skilled Drafters needed to fill both full-time positions as well as contract work. The most sought-after positions, of course, will always be the most competitive, often lending themselves to men and women who do have Degrees and years of experience. However, someone new to the field should have no trouble finding work, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a consistent expected 9% job growth in the industry for years to come.
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