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TCC Computer-Aided Drafting & Design


Computer-aided drafting and design - CADD - a dynamic career

cadd student


Where the ideas of business, industry, and manufacturing most often begin, and develop.

These ideas, along with architectural, engineering and production personnel, evolve into the

  • consumer products,
  • buildings,
  • bridges,
  • military and industrial equipment,
  • highways, etc. that surround us and make our lives easier.

Design your future with CADD!

What is CADD All About?


CADD personnel are involved in the planning, preparation, and presentation of

  • engineering,
  • construction, and
  • fabrication drawings.

The design can either be in the form of traditional drawings, or digital files that are exchanged between computers, which reduce and or eliminate the need for the traditional drawings. The drafting and design work in which ever form is typically called working drawings and define how the job is to be done.

Typically, graduates work individually or together with engineers, architects, designers, and/or production personnel to develop the production drawings used throughout business and industry and manufacturing.

Today's focus is to improve efficiencies through the integration of computer technologies to enhance collaboration and speed the delivery of the desired product to the customer. With a well developed background in CADD you are prepared to work directly in drafting and design, and related areas associated with drafting and design such as planning and estimating, construction management, CNC programming, computer aided manufacturing (CAM) and related areas.

You must be prepared to acquire and maintain the professional knowledge and skills necessary for success. To achieve the salary and career potential this field offers, you will be learning to incorporate design and engineering principles into your work, master related software, and work to generate appropriate solutions for design and production related problems on time and at the desired cost.




The CADD Program at TCC


The CADD Program at TCC is offered at the Portsmouth and Virginia Beach Campuses of TCC. It utilizes Autodesk software and focuses on two broad areas of drafting and design. The program is designed to prepare people to enter:

  • the field of architecture and construction drafting and design and, or
  • career paths related to engineering drafting and design, supporting business, industry, manufacturing, and CAD-CAM (Computer Aided Drafting/Design - Computer Aided Manufacturing), immediately upon graduation.

Additionally, the program allows our graduates, through articulated transfer agreements to successfully move into related programs for further study towards a Bachelor’s Degree at the university level, such as the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at Old Dominion University or the Architectural Program at Hampton University.

Premier Authorized Autodesk training Center (ATC):

The CADD program at TCC also offers a Premier Autodesk Training Center (ATC) which is located at the Portsmouth Campus. The award wining ATC is a training facility associated with, and meets the rigid standards, set by Autodesk, the parent company of AutoCAD. This facility operates in addition to the rest of the CADD Program at TCC; and is available for meeting short term training needs of business and industry for AutoCAD, Inventor Solid Modeling, and related Autodesk Software products. The ATC is currently the only one at the community college level in the state of Virginia, and as part of the national network of ATC's, provides professional training to meet the needs of professionals. For more information, or to contact us at the ATC, use your cursor to and select the word ATC at the top of this paragraph..

Programs of Study within the CADD Program at TCC

In addition specific short term and customized training for business and industry the students are often most interested in the following:

Career Studies: Designed to provide an introduction to CADD to meet personal or minimal employer training needs. The Career Studies program is designed to be the least demanding of your time and is designed to be completed in less than a year of full time study, or less.

Certificate: Introduction to basic design software and practices necessary for entry level CADD operators. The Certificate Program is designed to be completed in 1-1 1/2 years of full time study, or less.

Associate in Applied Science (AAS): CAD Drafter or entry level Designer in manufacturing, architectural, construction, civil and CAD/CAM operations. The CADD AAS Degree is designed to be completed in 2-2 1/2 years of full time study, or less.

Transfer to a college or university for a four-year degree


With Career Studies, Certificate and AAS Degree programs of study available, our students have a number of options to consider. One option, that may not be well known, is the transfer option. The success of our students, the quality of instruction, and the full potential of our AAS Degree students is recognized by local universities.

The CADD AAS Degree at TCC does prepare our students for entry directly into the field of CADD upon graduation. Additionally, our students can transfer to selected area 4-year universities to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in related fields. These transfer opportunities are made possible via articulated transfer agreements between TCC and the cooperating 4-year universities.

CADD students completing an AAS Degree in Mechanical Drafting and Design Technology at TCC can transfer into the Mechanical Engineering Technology Degree Program at Old Dominion University and complete their Bachelor of Science Degree. These opportunities for transfer, have not been well publicized, and may not be well known. Contact any of the CADD faculty below for more information.




CADD Careers


Those interested in a technical or professional career path in CADD, architecture, design, construction, or manufacturing, and related areas such as CAD/CAM.

Those beginning college studies with an AAS Degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design followed by local employment upon graduation.

Those desiring to update their skills to current standards and practices. Those who can see other advantages and savings that can be realized by living and working in the area while attending TCC.

Additionally, military personnel leaving the service may be able to apply their military experience to their design interests, and these individuals may find CADD a great opportunity to start a new career.

NOTE: No previous design experience is required or expected of those starting the program. You only need an appropriate educational background, a good attitude, and be willing to learn.

Qualifications for employment and salary are dependent on the degree option completed, academic performance, and employer requirements. Additionally, the CADD Program at TCC is designed to meet a wide array of personal interests, and employer needs, with programs of study that include, Career Studies, Certificate, and AAS Degree options, as well as specific customized short term targeted training for business and industry. The program can update existing knowledge and skills, start you on a career path, and make you and or your company more productive, further enhancing your existing salary and potential. The CADD Program will prepare you for advancement in your existing job, or preparing you for a new job.

Career related opportunities within the CADD program can be further enhanced by completing an AAS Degree in the CADD Program and then continuing your technical studies. Some of students continue their technical studies by starting in the CADD Program at TCC, complete their AAS Degree and than continue for a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at Old Dominion University, or the Architecture Program at Hampton University. Talk to the CADD faculty about the articulation agreements that make this possible and the other educational opportunities that interest you.