Computer Aided Design FAQ

Need a quick snapshot of what our CAD programs offer? Check out our FAQs below.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a growing field, and our programs utilize the latest software and cutting-edge technology to prepare students for success. Getting started at NCC is a cost-effective way to maximize your potential in the field. If you're unsure if this is the path for you, check out some of our frequently asked questions below to get more information about the degree, career outlook, articulation agreements and program requirments. If you have more questions, or would like to visit our site, please call 610-332-6262; M-F. 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. or email our Program Manager, Reggie Akpom at We look forward to working together!

Is the program offered full-time and part-time, and can I start in either the Fall or Spring?

The program can be completed both full and part-time and includes both in-class and online courses. The program has a Fall start only; however, students can start in the Spring and complete some of their Gen Ed courses to lighten their course load in the following semesters. Availability to attend some day classes is required as not all classes are offered at night.

Are there industry certifications students can obtain as part of the program?

Although not a requirement to complete the program, software certifications can be obtained outside of the program.

What is the difference between a Specialized Diploma, Certificate, and Associate's in Applied Science?

A Specialized Diploma is a two-semester program; the Certificate is a three-semester program, and the Associates in Applied Science is a four-semester program. Each program is stackable, which means you can complete one program and transfer the credits into the next program in sequence. Wages would increase based on the program completed.

What is the average starting salary?

Specialized Diploma $12-14 hr
Certificate $15-16 hr
Associates in Applied Science $17-20 hr

What are the physical requirements with this career choice?

Ability to lift 40LB weight. Even though a majority of work will be on the computer, the CAD specialist has to work with employees in other disciplines like CAM, CNC, and robotics.

How much hands-on exposure is there?

Over 90% of CAD training is hands-on.

What are the career opportunities for this major?

Specialized Diploma - CAD Draftsperson
Certificate - CAD Operator, CAD Detailer
Associates in Applied Science - CAD Designer, CAD Specialist, CAD Technician, Technical Illustrator, Mechanical Designer

What is the career placement percentage?

If a student does well academically and pursues a CAD-specific career after graduating, there is a 90% to 95% placement.

What local companies have hired past graduates?

ABEC, Inc., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., C.F. Martin Guitar & Co. Inc., DME, FC Architects, Inc., Flowserve, Harsco Industrial Patterson-Kelley, Lutron, Turner Construction Company, Unicast Company, Victaulic

Are there online course options within this program?

More than 90% of the CAD courses are offered online.

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