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Top 10 Architectural Drafter Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications available for architectural drafters, including details on what is required to obtain them and how they can help advance a career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for architectural drafters in the job market because they demonstrate competency and knowledge in the field. Employers want to know that their drafters have the necessary skills and qualifications to do the job. They also want to be sure that their drafters understand the latest industry standards, technologies, and regulations. Certifications can give employers confidence in an applicant’s abilities and help them make informed hiring decisions. Additionally, certifications can help drafters stand out from other applicants by showing a commitment to professional development.

The purpose of the article is to provide an overview of certifications available to architectural drafters and explain how they can help advance their career.

What are Architectural Drafter Certifications?

Architectural drafter certification is a form of professional recognition that demonstrates an individual’s competency in the field of architectural drafting. It is typically awarded by a professional organization or educational institution, and requires the successful completion of a set of examinations that test an individual’s knowledge and skills related to the profession. By obtaining certification, an architectural drafter can demonstrate to potential employers their commitment to the profession and their ability to effectively perform the job duties associated with it.

In addition, having a certification can also help an architectural drafter obtain better job opportunities and higher salaries. Employers are often willing to pay more for certified professionals who have demonstrated their expertise in the field, as they are seen as reliable and knowledgeable individuals who are capable of producing quality work. Additionally, having certification may provide access to other career paths within the architecture industry, such as teaching or consulting positions at universities or design firms. Finally, many certifications require continuing education requirements which can ensure that an architectural drafter remains up-to-date on new technologies and practices in the field.

Pro Tip: Consider becoming an Architectural Drafter certified by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). This certification will provide you with a valuable credential that can help you stand out in the job market and demonstrate your commitment to excellence in drafting. Additionally, ADDA certification provides access to exclusive resources and professional development opportunities which can help advance your career.

Related: What does an Architectural Drafter do?

Top 10 Architectural Drafter Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Architectural Drafters today.

1. Autodesk Certified Professional: AutoCAD for Design and Drafting

Autodesk Certified Professional: AutoCAD for Design and Drafting is an official certification program offered by Autodesk. It is designed to recognize professionals who have the skills and knowledge necessary to create, modify, and manage high-quality 2D and 3D designs using AutoCAD software.

The certification process consists of two parts: a written exam and a hands-on performance-based assessment. The written exam tests your knowledge of AutoCAD fundamentals, commands, drawing techniques, object properties, plotting/publishing, and more. The performance-based assessment requires you to complete a series of tasks in AutoCAD that demonstrate your ability to use the software effectively.

The entire certification process typically takes 4–6 weeks to complete depending on your availability for the hands-on assessment.

To get certified as an Autodesk Certified Professional: AutoCAD for Design and Drafting you will need to register with Autodesk Certification Program (ACP) at www.autodesk.com/certification. Once registered you can purchase the certification exams from ACP or from an authorized training center near you. The cost of the exams varies depending on where they are purchased but typically range between $200-$300 USD per exam.

2. Autodesk Certified Professional: Revit Architecture

Autodesk Certified Professional: Revit Architecture is an industry-recognized certification program for professionals who demonstrate their mastery of Autodesk’s Revit Architecture software. The certification is valid for three years and demonstrates a professional’s ability to design, build, and manage projects in Revit Architecture.

To get the Autodesk Certified Professional: Revit Architecture certification, you must pass the Autodesk Certified Professional: Revit Architecture exam. This exam is designed to test your knowledge of the features and functions of the software as well as your ability to apply them to real-world scenarios. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

The cost of the Autodesk Certified Professional: Revit Architecture exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally, it costs around $200 USD or more. You can find out more information about pricing by contacting an Autodesk Authorized Training Center near you or visiting the Autodesk website.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official certificate from Autodesk that verifies your status as an Autodesk Certified Professional: Revit Architecture. Congratulations!

3. Bentley Institute Certified MicroStation Professional

Bentley Institute Certified MicroStation Professional is a certification program offered by Bentley Systems, Inc., the leading provider of software for infrastructure engineering. The certification is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in using MicroStation software.

To become certified, individuals must pass an online exam that covers topics such as basic design principles, model creation, file management, and presentation techniques. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions.

The cost of the certification exam varies depending on where you take it. In the United States, the cost is typically between $200 and $250 USD. You can also purchase an online practice test for around $50 USD to help prepare for the exam.

In order to maintain your certification status, you must retake the exam every three years or attend a Bentley Institute approved training course within that time frame.

4. Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certification

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certification is a professional certification program that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and experience in the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. BIM software is used to create 3D models of buildings, allowing for more efficient construction and management of projects. The certification program is designed to provide assurance that individuals have the necessary skills to work with BIM software effectively.

The BIM Certification program typically takes between 6-12 months to complete depending on the individual’s level of experience and commitment. To get certified, individuals must pass a series of exams that cover topics such as design principles, project management, and software applications. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate their proficiency in using BIM software by completing a portfolio of projects.

The cost of the BIM Certification program varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $1,000-$2,500 USD. This cost includes access to learning materials such as instructional videos, practice exams, and other resources. It also covers any fees associated with taking the exams or submitting a portfolio for review.

5. American Institute of Architects (AIA) Certificate in Architectural Technology

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Certificate in Architectural Technology is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of architecture. It is designed to help architects advance their careers by demonstrating their commitment to the profession and their knowledge of building design, construction, and technology.

The AIA Certificate in Architectural Technology requires completion of a minimum of 30 hours of coursework or other educational activities related to architectural technology. The courses must be approved by the AIA Board of Directors and must cover topics such as building codes and regulations, materials and methods, building systems, sustainability, and project management. The courses may be taken online or in-person at an accredited institution.

To obtain the AIA Certificate in Architectural Technology, applicants must submit an application along with proof of completion of all required coursework. Applicants must also pass an exam administered by the AIA Board of Directors. Once approved, applicants will receive their certificate within four weeks.

The cost for the AIA Certificate in Architectural Technology varies depending on the number of courses taken and whether they are taken online or in-person. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$1,000 for all required coursework and exam fees combined.

6. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certificate in Architectural Drafting

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certificate in Architectural Drafting is a professional certification program that provides recognition of an individual’s knowledge and skills in the field of architectural drafting. It is designed to help individuals demonstrate their competency and proficiency in the use of CAD software, as well as other related technical skills.

To obtain the NCARB Certificate in Architectural Drafting, individuals must complete a series of courses and exams. The program consists of 10 courses, including topics such as building codes, construction documents, mechanical systems, materials and methods, and more. Each course requires passing a final exam with a score of at least 70%. Once all 10 courses have been completed successfully, applicants must pass the NCARB Certified Professional Exam (CPE). After passing this exam, applicants will be awarded the NCARB Certificate in Architectural Drafting.

The entire process typically takes between two to four years to complete depending on an individual’s prior experience and education level. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must hold at least a high school diploma or equivalent degree. Additionally, they must have at least one year of experience working with CAD software or related technology.

The cost for obtaining the NCARB Certificate in Architectural Drafting varies depending on which courses are taken and how many exams are taken. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 to complete all 10 courses and take the CPE exam.

7. Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Certified Document Technologist (CDT)

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Certified Document Technologist (CDT) is a professional certification program that recognizes the expertise of individuals in the field of construction documents. The CDT certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in the preparation, interpretation, coordination, and management of construction documents. This certification is recognized by many organizations as a mark of excellence in the construction industry.

To become certified as a CDT, one must pass an exam administered by CSI. The exam covers topics such as document organization, document control systems, document production techniques, design and construction standards, and project management principles. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

In order to take the CDT exam, applicants must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having at least five years of experience in preparing or managing construction documents or having completed at least two years of post-secondary education in architecture or engineering. Applicants must also be members of CSI or have held membership for at least one year prior to taking the exam.

The cost for taking the CDT exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of CSI. For members, the cost is $295; for non-members, it is $395. Once you have passed the exam and received your certification, there is an annual renewal fee of $95 for members and $145 for non-members.

Overall, becoming certified as a Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Certified Document Technologist (CDT) demonstrates your expertise in the field of construction documents and can help you stand out from other professionals in this field.

8. American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) Certified Drafter

The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) Certified Drafter is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the field of drafting. It is designed to provide employers with assurance that the drafter they hire has the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to produce accurate drawings.

To become certified, an individual must pass a written exam and demonstrate their ability in both manual and computer-aided drafting. The exam covers topics such as drawing standards, geometric construction, dimensioning techniques, basic math skills and more. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions.

In order to be eligible for the certification exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in drafting or related fields. Applicants must also submit proof of their educational background or other relevant training programs they have completed.

The cost for taking the ADDA Certified Drafter Exam varies depending on where you take it and which type of test you are taking (manual or computer-aided). Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $100 to $200. After passing the exam, there is an additional fee for obtaining your certification card which is usually around $50.

Overall, becoming an ADDA Certified Drafter is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in drafting and gain recognition within the industry. It can also help you stand out when applying for jobs or promotions within your current company.

9. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Certified Drafter

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Certified Drafter is a professional certification for drafters who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in the field of civil engineering drafting. This certification is designed to recognize those who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the area of civil engineering drafting.

To become an ASCE Certified Drafter, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as drafting principles, design standards, and codes. The exam also includes questions about computer-aided design (CAD) software applications and techniques. To prepare for the exam, individuals should review course materials from accredited programs or take self-study courses offered by ASCE.

It typically takes between three to six months to complete the requirements for certification. During this time, applicants must demonstrate their knowledge through the successful completion of a comprehensive written examination. Once certified, drafters can use their credentials to gain access to higher levels of employment opportunities within the civil engineering field.

The cost of becoming an ASCE Certified Drafter varies depending on where you take the exam and what type of preparation materials you use. Generally speaking, it costs between $200-$400 USD to become certified.

10. International Code Council (ICC) Certified Building Inspector

The International Code Council (ICC) Certified Building Inspector is a certification program that provides building inspectors with the knowledge and skills needed to properly inspect buildings for compliance with applicable codes. The program is designed to ensure that building inspectors have the technical expertise necessary to identify code violations and enforce code requirements.

In order to become an ICC Certified Building Inspector, you must complete a series of courses, exams, and field experience. Generally speaking, it takes about two years of study and training in order to become certified.

The first step in becoming an ICC Certified Building Inspector is to obtain a copy of the ICC Certification Candidate Handbook from the International Code Council website. This handbook outlines all of the requirements for certification including coursework, exams, and field experience. Once you have reviewed the handbook, you can then register for the required courses through an accredited provider such as a college or university.

Once you have completed your coursework and passed all of your exams, you will need to gain some hands-on experience by working as an apprentice under an experienced building inspector. After completing at least 1 year of field work experience (or 2 years if you are taking classes while working), you can then apply for certification through the International Code Council website.

The cost of becoming an ICC Certified Building Inspector varies depending on where you take your courses and how many courses are required for certification in your area. Generally speaking, however, it usually costs between $1,000-$2,000 USD in total fees (including course fees).

Do You Really Need a Architectural Drafter Certificate?

An Architectural Drafter Certificate can be beneficial for those looking to enter the profession of architectural drafting. This type of certificate will provide an individual with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful drafter. It will also show potential employers that you have taken the time and effort to obtain a certificate in this field.

However, it is important to note that having a certificate is not necessarily required for becoming a drafter. In many cases, experience and knowledge are more important than having a certificate when it comes to landing a job in this field. For example, if you have several years of experience working as an architectural drafter or have completed some related coursework then employers may be willing to overlook the absence of a formal certification program.

Ultimately, whether or not an individual needs an Architectural Drafter Certificate depends on their career goals and what they hope to achieve by obtaining such a credential. If someone is looking for entry-level work as a drafter then it might be worth pursuing a certification program; however, if someone already has experience in this field then it could be more beneficial for them to focus on building up their skill set rather than obtaining additional credentials.

Related: Architectural Drafter Resume Examples

FAQs About Architectural Drafter Certifications

Q1: What is an Architectural Drafter Certification?

A1: An Architectural Drafter Certification is a professional credential that indicates proficiency in the field of architectural drafting. It is typically obtained after completing a program of study or training in the field, and it can be used to demonstrate expertise to employers and clients.

Q2: What are the benefits of becoming certified?

A2: Becoming certified as an architectural drafter can improve your job prospects by demonstrating your knowledge and skills to potential employers. It can also open up opportunities for advancement within your current organization. Additionally, certification can help you stand out from other drafters in the industry, making it easier to find better-paying jobs.

Q3: What qualifications do I need to become certified?

A3: Generally speaking, most certifications require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent, along with some experience in the field. Some certifications may also require additional education or experience requirements, such as coursework or apprenticeships.

Q4: How do I obtain an Architectural Drafter Certification?

A4: The process for obtaining certification varies depending on the specific program you choose. Generally speaking, however, most programs involve completing a course of study or training in the field and then taking an exam to demonstrate competency. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your certification.

Q5: How long does an Architectural Drafter Certification last?

A5: Most certifications are valid for three years from the date they were issued; after that time period has passed, you will need to renew your certification by taking another exam or completing additional coursework.