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Top 11 CAD Designer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top cad designer certifications available to help professionals advance their careers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a cad designer in the job market because they demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field. In addition, certifications can help a cad designer stand out from other applicants, as many employers look for candidates with specialized qualifications. Having certifications also shows that a cad designer is dedicated to learning and growing in their profession, which is an attractive quality to employers. Lastly, certifications often provide access to special discounts on software and other tools related to CAD design, making it easier for designers to stay up-to-date on the latest technology.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain how some of the top certifications for CAD Designers can contribute to a cad designer's career.

What are CAD Designer Certifications?

CAD Designer Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the ability of an individual to design and create 3D models using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The certification helps demonstrate the individual’s proficiency in CAD software, which can be beneficial when seeking employment or promotion. It also provides employers with a reliable way to assess the skills and knowledge of potential employees.

The CAD Designer Certification Program is offered by several organizations, including Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, and PTC. Each organization has its own requirements and curriculum for becoming certified as a CAD designer. Generally, individuals must demonstrate their knowledge of CAD principles through a combination of written tests and practical exercises. Once certified, individuals receive an official certificate from the certifying organization that can be used to prove their expertise in CAD design.

Having a CAD Designer Certification can help individuals stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions within their field. Employers are often more likely to hire someone who has been certified as having proficient CAD design skills than someone who does not have such credentials. Furthermore, it provides employers with an objective measure of an applicant’s skill level so they can make better informed hiring decisions. Additionally, having a certification may provide individuals with access to additional professional development opportunities such as conferences and seminars where they can learn more about current trends in CAD technology and further hone their skills.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing a cad designer certification, make sure to research the requirements and qualifications necessary to become certified. Additionally, consider any courses or certifications that may be beneficial in order to gain additional knowledge and experience in the field.

Related: What does a CAD Designer do?

Top 11 CAD Designer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to CAD Designers today.

1. Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP)

Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) is a certification program offered by Autodesk, the leading provider of 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. The ACP certification recognizes professionals who have demonstrated proficiency in Autodesk software applications.

The ACP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that tests their knowledge of the software and its features. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and must be passed with a minimum score of 80%. The exam typically takes two hours to complete.

To become an Autodesk Certified Professional, applicants must first register for the exam online. After registering, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online testing platform. Applicants must then complete the practice exams before taking the actual exam.

The cost for taking the ACP exam varies depending on which Autodesk product is being tested for certification. Typically, it costs around $150 per exam taken.

Once an applicant has successfully passed the ACP exam, they will receive a digital certificate from Autodesk that can be used to demonstrate their expertise in Autodesk products to potential employers or clients.

2. Autodesk Certified User (ACU)

Autodesk Certified User (ACU) is a certification program that allows users to demonstrate their proficiency in Autodesk software. The program offers two levels of certification: Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional.

The ACU certification is designed for new users of Autodesk software. It focuses on the fundamentals of the software, such as understanding the user interface, navigating the workspace, and creating basic drawings and models. To become an ACU, you must pass an online assessment that tests your knowledge of the software.

The assessment takes approximately 45 minutes to complete, and it consists of multiple-choice questions about the basics of Autodesk software. The cost for taking the ACU assessment is $60 USD. Once you have passed the assessment, you will receive an official certificate from Autodesk confirming your status as an Autodesk Certified User.

3. Autodesk Certified Professional in Revit Architecture (ACP-RA)

Autodesk Certified Professional in Revit Architecture (ACP-RA) is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in Autodesk Revit Architecture software. This certification is intended for professionals who design and develop building models using Revit Architecture.

To become an ACP-RA, you must successfully pass the Autodesk Revit Architecture Certification Exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete. The cost of the exam is $150 USD.

In order to prepare for the exam, you should familiarize yourself with all aspects of the software, including its tools, commands, and features. You should also practice creating projects with realistic scenarios and review sample questions from previous exams. Additionally, Autodesk offers online training courses that can help you prepare for the exam.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive an official ACP-RA certificate from Autodesk recognizing your achievement as well as a digital badge that can be displayed on your website or social media profiles.

4. Autodesk Certified Professional in AutoCAD (ACP-AC)

Autodesk Certified Professional in AutoCAD (ACP-AC) is a certification program offered by Autodesk that provides an industry-recognized credential to demonstrate proficiency in the use of AutoCAD software. This certification is designed for professionals who have experience using AutoCAD and want to validate their knowledge and skills. It is ideal for those seeking to advance their career or gain a competitive edge in the job market.

To become an Autodesk Certified Professional in AutoCAD, individuals must pass a comprehensive exam that tests their knowledge of the software’s features and functionality. The exam covers topics such as drafting, design, 3D modeling, visualization, and customization. It also includes questions on topics related to AutoCAD’s user interface, commands, tools, and features.

The exam typically takes about two hours to complete and can be taken at an authorized testing center or online through Autodesk’s website. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but generally ranges from $150-$250 USD.

Once an individual has passed the exam, they will receive an official certificate from Autodesk confirming their status as an Autodesk Certified Professional in AutoCAD (ACP-AC). This certificate can be used to demonstrate expertise in the use of AutoCAD software and may help individuals qualify for higher salaries or promotions within their current organization.

5. Autodesk Inventor Certified Professional (ICP)

Autodesk Inventor Certified Professional (ICP) is a certification program offered by Autodesk for users of its 3D mechanical design software, Autodesk Inventor. The ICP certification verifies that an individual has the skills and knowledge to use the software effectively.

To become an ICP, individuals must pass two exams: one on general Autodesk Inventor concepts and one on advanced topics. The exams are administered online through Pearson VUE, and each exam takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Both exams must be passed in order to earn the ICP certification.

The cost of taking the two exams varies depending on location, but typically ranges from $200 - $250 USD per exam.

Overall, it typically takes between 4-6 weeks to complete both exams and earn the ICP certification.

6. SolidWorks Certified Professional (SWCP)

SolidWorks Certified Professional (SWCP) is a certification program offered by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation. It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in the use of SolidWorks software for design and engineering tasks. The certification is offered at three levels: Associate, Professional, and Expert.

To become a Certified Professional, applicants must pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of SolidWorks features and functions. The exam typically takes two hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions about topics such as 3D modeling, assembly design, drawing creation, sheet metal design, surfacing, simulation, and other related topics.

The cost of the exam varies depending on the level of certification desired. For the Associate level exam it costs $150 USD; for the Professional level it costs $200 USD; and for the Expert level it costs $300 USD.

It usually takes around 2 weeks to receive your results after taking the exam. If you pass the exam you will be awarded with a certificate that states you are now a Certified Professional in SolidWorks software. This certificate can be used to demonstrate your expertise in using SolidWorks software to potential employers or clients.

7. PTC Creo Parametric Certified Associate (CPPA)

PTC Creo Parametric Certified Associate (CPPA) is a certification program offered by PTC, the leading provider of 3D CAD software. This certification is designed for professionals who use PTC Creo Parametric to design and engineer products. It validates an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in using the software.

The CPPA exam covers topics such as:

  • Modeling techniques
  • Assembly modeling
  • Drawing creation
  • Surfacing
  • Model-based definition
  • Visualization and rendering
  • Data management and collaboration tools.

It takes approximately 8 hours to complete the exam, which consists of multiple choice questions and hands-on exercises. The exam can be taken online or at a Pearson VUE testing center. The cost of the exam varies depending on the country you are taking it in, but typically ranges from $100 - $250 USD.

8. Bentley Institute Accredited Certificate Program in CAD Design and Drafting

Bentley Institute Accredited Certificate Program in CAD Design and Drafting is a professional certification program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to design, draft, and manage projects using Bentley Systems’ software. The program is offered online through the Bentley Institute eLearning platform. It consists of five courses that cover topics such as 3D modeling, drafting standards, project management, and more.

The program takes approximately 6 months to complete. Students must complete all five courses within 12 months of enrolling in the program. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Bentley Institute Accredited Certificate in CAD Design and Drafting.

To get the certificate, students must first register for the program on the Bentley Institute website. After registering for the program, students will be given access to an online learning portal where they can access course materials and submit assignments. Students must pass each course with a score of 70% or higher in order to receive the certificate.

The cost of the Bentley Institute Accredited Certificate Program in CAD Design and Drafting is $1,995 USD (or equivalent currency). This fee includes access to all five courses as well as any additional resources required for completing them.

9. Siemens PLM Software NX Certification Program

Siemens PLM Software NX Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to help users of Siemens PLM Software NX become certified in the use of the software. The program is designed to provide users with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively use the software for their projects.

The certification program consists of three levels: Associate, Professional, and Expert. Each level requires different training and experience requirements, as well as passing an exam. The Associate level is intended for those who are new to Siemens PLM Software NX and want to develop a basic understanding of its features and capabilities. The Professional level is intended for experienced users who have mastered the basics and want to gain further expertise in the software. The Expert level is intended for advanced users who have achieved a high degree of proficiency in using Siemens PLM Software NX.

The duration of each level varies depending on the user’s experience and learning style. Generally, it takes about two weeks to complete each level of certification. However, some users may take longer or shorter depending on their individual needs.

To get started with the certification program, users must first register on the Siemens PLM website. After registering, they will be given access to a variety of resources such as tutorials, practice exams, webinars, and other materials that can help them prepare for the certification exams.

The cost of getting certified depends on which level you are seeking certification at. The cost for Associate-level certification starts at $200 USD; Professional-level certification costs $400 USD; and Expert-level certification costs $600 USD.

10. Dassault Systèmes CATIA V5 Certification Program

Dassault Systèmes CATIA V5 Certification Program is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the skills of professionals who use the CATIA V5 software. The program provides an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in using the software, as well as their ability to apply it in a practical setting.

The certification program consists of two levels: Associate (CATIA V5 Associate) and Professional (CATIA V5 Professional). The Associate level is intended for those who have basic knowledge of CATIA V5, while the Professional level is geared towards more experienced users.

The duration of the certification process depends on the level you are pursuing. For the Associate level, it typically takes about 40 hours of study and preparation time, plus an additional 40 hours for taking and passing the exam. For the Professional level, it typically takes about 80 hours of study and preparation time, plus an additional 80 hours for taking and passing the exam.

To get certified, you must first register with Dassault Systèmes' website or contact your local training center. Once registered, you will receive access to course materials that will help you prepare for the exams. After completing your coursework, you can then take either one or both exams at any authorized testing center worldwide.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on which level you are pursuing and where you take your exams. Generally speaking, it costs around $200 USD per exam at most testing centers in North America. However, prices may vary depending on location and other factors.

11. Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop for CAD Designers

Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop for CAD Designers is a certification program offered by Adobe that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in using the software to design and create high-quality digital artwork. This certification is designed for CAD designers who want to demonstrate their expertise in creating digital art with Photoshop.

The Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop for CAD Designers exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. To get certified, you must pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher.

To become an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop for CAD Designers, you must first purchase the exam voucher from Adobe's website. The cost of the voucher varies depending on your geographic location and can range from $100 - $150 USD. You will then need to register for the exam and schedule a time to take it at an authorized testing center near you.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive an email confirming your certification status along with instructions on how to access your certificate. You will also be able to add your certification badge to your resume, website, or other online profiles.

Do You Really Need a CAD Designer Certificate?

The short answer to this question is no. A CAD Designer Certificate is not a requirement for becoming a successful CAD designer. However, while it may not be necessary, it can still be beneficial in certain circumstances.

For starters, having a certificate in CAD design can give you an edge when applying for jobs or seeking promotions. Employers will often consider applicants with certificates more favorably than those without them because they believe that the certificate demonstrates that the applicant has a higher level of knowledge and skill in the field. Additionally, having a certificate can also help demonstrate your commitment to the profession, as well as give you access to specialised resources and tools that may not otherwise be available.

However, it’s important to note that having a certificate alone won’t guarantee success as a CAD designer. In order to become successful, you must have the necessary skills and experience needed for the job. Having a certificate will likely open doors for you, but ultimately it’s up to you to make sure that you are properly trained and qualified for whatever position you are applying for.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a CAD Designer Certificate depends on your specific situation and goals. If having one would benefit your career prospects then it may be worth considering investing in one; however if it isn’t necessary then there is no reason why you should feel obligated to get one.

Related: CAD Designer Resume Examples

FAQs About CAD Designer Certifications

1. What are CAD Designer Certifications?

Answer: CAD Designer Certifications are professional certifications that demonstrate a person's knowledge and proficiency in computer-aided design and engineering software. These certifications can be obtained from a variety of organizations and are often required for certain positions in the engineering field.

2. How do I become certified as a CAD Designer?

Answer: Becoming certified as a CAD Designer typically involves completing an accredited course or program, passing an exam administered by the certifying organization, and meeting any other requirements set by the organization.

3. Are there different levels of CAD Designer Certifications?

Answer: Yes, most organizations offering CAD Designer Certifications have different levels based on experience or skill level. Some organizations offer basic, intermediate, and advanced levels while others may offer more specialized certifications such as architectural, mechanical, or electrical design certification.

4. How long does it take to become certified as a CAD Designer?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as a CAD designer depends on the type of certification being pursued and the individual’s prior experience with computer-aided design software. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several months to over a year to complete the necessary coursework and pass all necessary exams.

5. Is there an expiration date for my CAD Designer Certification?

Answer: Yes, most organizations that offer these certifications require periodic renewal in order for them to remain valid. This usually involves taking additional courses or tests in order to prove that your skills are up-to-date with current industry standards.

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