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Computer Aided Design (CAD) Specialist

Campus Location:


Program Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer

Award: Certificate


The CAD Specialist certificate offers students an opportunity to acquire proficiency in computer-aided design. It can serve as an introduction to general CAD skills as a springboard to further study, as a short program for the development of specific skills to obtain immediate employment or as a bridge to upgrade existing skills with the latest in CAD technology.

This certificate presents students with hands-on activities in two- and three-dimensional computer generation, presentation quality drawings, blueprint fundamentals, solid modeling and computer animation and simulation techniques. Students will work with computer programs that will allow you to construct commercial-grade graphics, animation and special effects.

CAD specialists are in demand by the construction industry, factories, industrial manufacturers, architectural and engineering firms, special-effects production companies and software firms.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Specialist

Admissions Requirements:

  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Complete ACT Compass® admission testing. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACCUPLACER® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.
  3. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Specialist

Academic Requirements:

Minimum Credits: 10.5

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
CAD:104 Computer Aided Drafting OR 3.0
CAD:172 Intro to CAD: AutoCAD 2.0
SDV:200 Intro to Computers or equivalent 1.5


Term 2
CAD:165 Rendering and Animation 3.0
CAD:175 Advanced CAD: AutoCAD 2.0
CON:113 Construction Print Reading OR 2.0
WEL:110 Welding Blueprint Reading 2.0

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Specialist

Employment Information:

Iowa Workforce Development Estimated Salary (Statewide)

$32,995 - $46,355 - Architectural & Civil Drafters

$34,524 - $49,503 - Mechanical Drafters

Iowa Workforce Development Estimated Annual Openings (Statewide)


Employers of past NICC Alumni

All American Homes, Dyersville, IA
All Systems, Dubuque, IA
AY McDonald, Dubuque, IA
Bodine Electric, Peosta, IA
Cascade Lumber, Cascade, IA
Conlon Construction, Dubuque, IA
Eagle Window & Door, Dubuque, IA
EIP Manufacturing, Earlville, IA
Featherlight, Cresco, IA
Halliburton Energy Services, Burns Flat, OK
Unison Solutions, Dubuque, IA

Sample Job Titles

Assistant Project Manager
CAD Designer
CAD Technician

For additional job titles, visit O-Net.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Specialist

Additional Information:


Lenny Graves
Dean of Career and Technical Education
800.728.2256, ext. 240