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Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology


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An accelerated path to the workforce

The employment rate for CADD technicians is expected to grow at a rate of 6 percent until 2020

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Recent developments in 3D printing are allowing many industries to embrace technology in ways that were never dreamed.

Tidewater Community College’s Certificate in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) Technology provides students with a solid foundation of largely technical classes for an entry-level position as a CADD operator or drafter in almost any field.

With our certificate, you’ll acquire several important industry-standard skills, including those in drafting, modern computer-aided design programs, 3-D modeling and problem solving.

Students in this program learn the skills and techniques needed to create designs and blueprints for anything manufactured in the world. In one year or less you will learn engineering drawing fundamentals, the basics of computer-aided drafting and design using the most up-to-date software and how to select materials for industry.

You will also learn how CADD integrates with computer numerical controlled manufacturing equipment for production.

This program is an excellent choice for students with a degree in another field who wish to update their skills in the latest AutoCAD and Autodesk software, learn current national standards and improve their knowledge of advanced design theory and practice.

With a certificate in CADD, you’ll be ready to upgrade your skills for job advancement or enter a new high-paying career as a computer assisted drafter, detailer or drafter assistant. 

Go further

Apply all the credits from this program to TCC's Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology.

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What does this program cost?

TCC's certificate in computer-aided drafting and design consists of 2 semesters of full-time study, with classes held mainly at the Portsmouth or Virginia Beach campuses.

If your schedule doesn't permit full-time attendance, you may also take classes part time.

Estimated Program Cost*:
33 credits x $185.35 per credit = $6,116.55 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Where can you go?

Credit earned through the certificate program is applicable toward associate degrees in computer-aided drafting and computer-aided drafting with a specialization in architectural drafting.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you: 

  • are interested in design
  • are detail-oriented
  • work well with teams
  • enjoy working with computers
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

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Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

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No previous design experience is required or expected of those starting the program

Graduates are proficient in AutoCAD and other industry standard software

You’ll have access to state-of-the-art labs, including the latest AutoCAD and Inventor solid modeling software


Frank Dixon returned to TCC for a CADD certificate after earning his Associate of Science in Engineering. He plans to complete a bachelor's degree at ODU.


Meet David Steinhauer, professor of Computer-Aided Drafting and Design

Program Spotlight

Imagine the possibilities and then create them