Discover the Best AutoCAD Classes in San Diego
Professionals in many industries employ AutoCAD, a computer-assisted design program for creating 2D and 3D models. While there are other CAD programs—ActCAD, Microstation, and SketchUp, among others—the industry-standard remains AutoCAD. Since 1982, professionals in design, planning, and construction have relied on AutoCAD.
If you’ve heard of AutoCAD, you may think of it in association with drafters or architects who are creating building plans. Yet the program is useful to workers in many other industries. Design professionals such as graphic designers, animators, and game designers are using AutoCAD more and more. Urban planners draw their topographic maps and planned city layouts in the software, while engineers interpret and troubleshoot their designs through 3D modeling in it.
AutoCAD is the preferred software not only because of its history of providing reliable 2D and 3D modeling service to design professionals, but also because of the powerful suite of tools it provides for building, developing, animating, and testing designs. The interface is highly user-friendly. It’s also easy to integrate AutoCAD with other softwares, making it possible to export to any program, including software for 3D printing to produce tangible versions of models constructed in the program. The developers for AutoCAD have also stayed on top of evolving possible use cases. Recently, they’ve moved to incorporate new technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Best AutoCAD Classes & Schools in San Diego
#1: NYC Career Centers—AutoCAD in a Day
Students in the AutoCAD in a Day course at NYC Career Centers discover the basic features and functions of AutoCAD. In this class, they learn the use of this software for technical drawing and drafting purposes. The one-day course covers AutoCAD’s fundamental drawing and editing techniques. These allow students to create models of architectural and mechanical objects.
One can also take this course as the first day of a three-day class at NYC Career Centers. The second and third days of the course provide instruction in working with measurements, properties, layers, text, and plotting for printing. Students also discover other central principles of working with AutoCAD.
At seven hours, this one-day course is full-time. It has no prerequisites. The price of tuition is $325.
According to students, the “amazing” instructors for this course are “kind” and “super knowledgeable.” They make it “highly interactive” and “to the point.”
#2: D3 Technologies—AutoCAD Mechanical Basics
D3 Technologies’ AutoCAD Mechanical Basics course is designed for mechanical engineers and students who would like to use AutoCAD for mechanical engineering purposes. The course introduces the main features that professionals will need for the mechanical engineering applications of AutoCAD.
The course starts with students creating and managing layers for their mechanical designs. They move on to using the suite of mechanical tools that AutoCAD provides to build geometric models. Next, they learn how they can use those tools for manipulating the geometrical models they just built. They also explore AutoCAD’s built-in standard parts for mechanical design, similar to included components in a program for software design. The course wraps up with how to use the program’s annotation features to clarify their designs for future builders, including how to apply dimensions and labels to their models.
This is a full-time, one-day course. Though there are no prerequisites, it will help to have knowledge of mechanical engineering principles. The tuition cost is $595.
Students say that D3 Technologies provides “cutting edge” instruction and its teachers have “vast technical knowledge” to share with their students,
According to students, the teachers at D3 Technologies are notable for their “vast technical knowledge” and the “cutting edge” instruction they provide.
#3: Noble Desktop—Introduction to AutoCAD
Noble Desktop’s Introduction to AutoCAD course starts off by taking students through the basic AutoCAD interface, including the simple drawing and editing commands. Students first create a file in AutoCAD, then make a modest drawing using the basic functions, which they can then edit. Starting with a simple image and then making modifications gives the student an opportunity to learn how to make the best use of AutoCAD’s highly precise drawing functions. During this unit, they also study AutoCAD’s display functions, which make it possible for them to examine their drawing in great detail—for example, zooming in on the model or panning across it. The course also covers some keyboard shortcuts that will be important for maximizing efficiency as the students work in AutoCAD.
Next, students move to the full range of AutoCAD’s drawing commands, which include lines, rectangles, and circles. After using these functions to build a drawing, they use the program’s modify tools to convert that drawing into a layout. And they explore how object snap tracking can allow them to look at their model in a projection as if viewed from above.
Then students discover AutoCAD’s more sophisticated drawing tools, including polar tracking, object tracking, and snap tracking. They can use these for precision modeling. The course wraps up with the use of some basic AutoCAD editing tools—like move, copy, scale, rotate, and mirror—to make modifications to the model they’ve created.
This three-day program is part-time at three hours a day. There are no prerequisites for this beginner-level class. The cost of tuition is $325.
Noble Desktop has expert instructors, as well as small class sizes. This makes it possible for each student’s work to get individual attention. As part of their instruction, students receive a proprietary workbook from Noble. Any student who completes a Noble course may retake it for free within one year.
Students say that Noble’s “top notch” instructors have a “very effective” approach to learning, which made the course “extremely valuable.” They “highly recommend” it.
#4: New York City College of Technology—Construction Drawing with AutoCAD
The New York City College of Technology offers a Construction Drawing with AutoCAD course to provide students with instruction in basic 2D drawing and modeling in the software. The course is designed for professionals, particularly those who intend to use AutoCAD as part of their careers in architecture, interior design, mechanical engineering, or structural engineering.
Students begin with an introduction to the basic interface of AutoCAD and the display commands that it offers. Then, they learn the program’s fundamental computer-assisted design tools. The course explores the drawing setup within the software. Students discover the precision tools offered by AutoCAD, including scale coordinate systems, grips, and snaps. Later, the course turns into a hands-on program as students begin to experiment with simple drawing and editing commands within the program. Then they learn to enhance their drawings using the block, text, and layer functions. And they discover the various modify tools in AutoCAD. Finally, they prepare their drawings for printing by plotting them, and they learn how to export and print them from other programs.
This is a one-day course taking a total of 4.5 hours. It has no prerequisites. A $20 registration fee is included in the $715 cost of tuition.
Students appreciate the “interactive and hands-on nature” of the course. The school’s “knowledgeable and skilled” instructors provide graduates with “strong practical skills.”
#5: Technical Institute of America—AutoCAD Level 1
At the Technical Institute of America, the AutoCAD Level 1 course begins with an exploration of the program’s interface. Students discover how panels, tabs, and ribbons work in the program. They learn about its browser applications and the help features it offers. Next, they learn AutoCAD’s basic drawing tools, including how to make lines, rectangles, polylines, circles, and arcs. The course then covers using object snaps to make a draft drawing more precise.
Next, students learn the various copying commands available in the program. They learn to move and copy basic objects, then explore more sophisticated copying functions such as array, mirror, and offset. Next, they modify objects in their drawings with functions including extend, stretch, scale, trim, fillet, and chamfer. They learn how to apply hatch commands to their drawings in this unit as well.
The course then covers how to annotate drawings to assist a future builder and clarify what the models require. Students learn to add dimensions to their plans. They discover how to create descriptive and explanatory text for the builders’ benefit. At this point, they also discover layers. Once they’ve learned to create and manage a layer, students use the off, freeze, lock, and isolate commands to adjust layers and their respective states. And they explore how to create multiple layouts of their drawings. This allows students to plot the drawings for printing, set their scales, and use the program’s viewport ability to examine the drawings at different scales. The course concludes by introducing students to concepts of paperspace and modelspace.
This one-day workshop is full-time. It is a beginner course with no prerequisites. Tuition costs $749.
According to students, the “fantastic” instructors at Technical Institute of America are “thorough,” “clear,” and “straightforward.” They make the course “enjoyable” and “entertaining.”
#6: ONLC Training Centers—AutoCAD for Novice Users
In the AutoCAD for Novice Users course at ONLC Training Centers, students explore the AutoCAD user interface at its full scope. They begin by creating a simple image in two dimensions. As they pursue their studies, they develop this drawing further, making use of increasingly advanced tools in AutoCAD. The course involves hands-on projects that allow students to practice the architectural, schematic, and mechanical applications of AutoCAD.
The course begins by exploring the interface. It introduces students to the program’s cartesian workspace and the commands that make it possible to manipulate models within it. Once they’ve created a new file in AutoCAD, students can discover the program’s basic tools for drawing and editing.
Students discover drawing in AutoCAD by beginning with the basic tools, which include the ability to create lines, rectangles, and circles using vertical and horizontal axes. They create a drawing using these basic shapes, which gives them a base product that they can modify and manipulate as they progress through learning AutoCAD’s different functions. It is also at this point when they learn how to erase an object they’ve added to their drawing, as well as how to undo and redo actions in the software. Next, they discover more drawing functions. These include object snaps, object snap tracking, running object snaps, object snap overrides, and polar tracking at angles.
The course moves on to editing functions. Students learn how to scale, move, rotate, and mirror objects. Then they explore some of AutoCAD’s more advanced tools. Vitally, they discover how to use layers as an organizing principle for a model or drawing. They also learn how to work with more complex varieties of objects in AutoCAD. For example, they work with measurement functions and object properties to make their models more precise. This unit also covers many of the program’s modify tools, including trim, stretch, extend, and offset.
Once they’ve created a more sophisticated model, students learn how to create a layout in the program in order to prepare their model for printing. They also discover that they can make it easier for others to understand their model by inserting dimensions, annotations, and tables. Now that the students have learned advanced 2D image manipulation, the course wraps up with a quick overview of the 3D functions in AutoCAD.
This four-day course is full-time. There are no prerequisites for this beginner-level program. Tuition is $2745, but it may be possible to get a discounted rate of $2495 by registering early.
According to students, the instructors at ONLC are “very knowledgeable” and provided them with “a wealth of information.” One said that ONLC’s training was “the best I’ve experienced.”
San Diego Industries That Use AutoCAD
According to its city government, the major industries in San Diego are international trade, manufacturing, the military, and tourism. Design engineers in manufacturing can use AutoCAD to replicate parts, manipulate designs, and work with dimensions at a highly precise level of detail. The military employs many civil engineers, as well as electrical and mechanical engineers, all of whom can use AutoCAD for design purposes. The tourism industry employs many graphic designers, who are increasingly using AutoCAD for 2D rendering.
AutoCAD Jobs & Salaries in San Diego
A San Diego-based manufacturing engineer would make an average of $90,000 yearly. Civil engineers there average $98,000, electrical engineers $108,000, and mechanical engineers $94,000 annually. Graphic designers in San Diego average $65,000 a year.