In Moraine Valley Community College's Mechanical Design and Drafting Program, you will gain in-depth knowledge and experience in mechanical design and drafting. You will work with state-of-the-art computer and graphics software. Upon completion, you will be prepared for a career as a professional drafter, mechanical designer or computer-aided design (CAD) technician.
Today's designers/drafters and CAD technicians work in various businesses and industries. They prepare engineering drawings including CAD drawings, parts lists, diagrams and related documents from layouts, sketches, notes, as well as executing detail drawings. Design professionals must perform algebraic and trigonometric calculations in graphic analysis and understand business and shop practices.
Moraine Valley's CAD laboratory has the most modern equipment available, with state-of-the-art computers and CAD software. Much of your class time will be spent working on the computers, so you gain valuable hands-on experience to be well-prepared for a career in mechanical engineering design.
Moraine Valley also is a Premier Authorized Training Center for Autodesk, a software leader in the CAD industry. Recent high school graduates may be eligible for college credit for selected vocational skills courses completed in high school. This program may be used for immediate employment or can be used toward a four year bachelor's degree in engineering. If you are considering transferring to a four-year college or university to obtain a bachelor's degree using the courses from this program, make an appointment with the program coordinator or academic advisor to review your options.
Nature of Work—The types of businesses that employ CAD drafters and designers are diverse and wide-ranging. They include architectural and mechanical design firms, engineering firms (civil, mechanical, etc.), graphic arts firms, construction companies, product design companies and manufacturing companies.
Daily activities can range from computer drafting to 3-D design, depending on the skill level of the worker and type of work being performed. There are different stages in the design process, and the associate's degree graduate will be prepared to assist the engineering team in each and every phase. These stages can include the initial design and graphical prototyping, computer simulation, computer drafting, revision and production/manufacturing preparation.
Related Job TitleDrafter, detailer, CAD operator, CAD technician, mechanical design technician
Related ProgramsMechanical Design and Drafting Certificate (30 credit hours), Mechanical Design CAD Certificate (23 credit hours), Architectural CAD Certificate (23 credit hours), 3-D CAD Certificate (17 credit hours), CAD Programming/Management Certificate (18 credit hours), and Computer Animation Certificate (23 credit hours)
Employment OutlookEmployment of drafters is expected to grow by 4 percent between 2008 to 2018, which is slower than the average for all occupations. However, growth will vary by specialty.
Drafters' earnings vary by specialty, location, and level of responsibility. Median annual wages of architectural and civil drafters were $44,490 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,290 and $55,740. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,220, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,110. Median annual wages for architectural and civil drafters in architectural, engineering, and related services were $44,390. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011
For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Student Services Center S202, at (708) 974-5737. www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.