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AutoCAD® Essentials Certificate Program Details

Penn Foster’s Online AutoCAD® Essentials Certificate Program consists of courses that will cover the basic operations of AutoCAD®. Students enrolling in the program should possess a solid background in a Windows®-based PC environment and should also have an educational or work-related background in basic drafting. Students who don’t have the necessary prerequisite skills should consider Penn Foster Career School's Drafting with AutoCAD® Career Diploma Program.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The AutoCAD® Essentials Career Certificate program provides students with a background to understand the capabilities and uses of the basic AutoCAD® software platform. Upon completion of the course student will be proficient with the applications of the software including plotting/printing, file sharing and storage, software personalization, and basic 3D modeling concepts.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Upon completion of the course, students will be able to create mechanical and architectural drawings using AutoCAD software.
  • Change GRID, SNAP, Plot, and Unit settings
  • Draw circles and arcs
  • Create and modify drawing layers, tables, and fields Edit objects using the FILLET and CHAMFER commands
  • Create a drawing template in AutoCAD
  • Create and modify plot layouts
  • Enter and edit text, change text fonts and styles, and use dimensions and leaders
  • Use polylines to draw complex objects and shapes
  • Create groups and blocks; use external references
  • Explain how the 3D Basics workspace and coordinate systems are used; describe how constructive geometry commands are used to create composite solid objects

Working with AutoCAD,® Part 1


  • Learn and use the basic functions of AutoCAD® 2017 software.
  • Open or begin a drawing, save your work, and safely exit the software.
  • Use help menus, dialog boxes, and software features associated with basic drafting options.
  • Construct basic geometric objects.
Working with AutoCAD,® Part 2


  • Study basic operations of AutoCAD.®
  • Build on what you’ve already learned to create new drawings with AutoCAD.®
  • Insert various lines and text.
  • Construct complex geometric figures while using the advanced object selection method.
  • Properly dimension a drawing and properly configure your work for plotting.
Additional Unit Materials

Project Booklet: AutoCAD® Basic Commands

Software: Students will have access to a free, 3-year student version of AutoCAD® from Autodesk.®

Textbook: Discovering AutoCAD® 2017

Working with AutoCAD,® Part 3


  • Build on what you learned in your previous course.
  • Study dimensioning, plotting, and printing.
  • Learn about hatching commands.
  • Create and insert block references.
Working with AutoCAD,® Part 4


  • Continue to build on skills you developed in your previous lessons.
  • Attach and detach reference files.
  • Use the AutoCAD® Design Center.
  • Learn utility commands.
Working with AutoCAD,® Part 5


  • Understand and apply the basics of 3-D drawings.
  • Create 3-D drawings with AutoCAD.®
  • Render and digitize tablets.
  • Digitize and customize drawings.
  • Use the Internet within the AutoCAD® process.
  • Learn about digitizing tablets and customizing AutoCAD® for your specific drafting needs.
Additional Course Material

Project Booklet: AutoCAD® Commands: Blocks and Layers

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Short Lessons
Easy-to-Access Lessons
Each lesson is broken into short chapters that allow you to fit learning into whatever time you have available. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem - pick up where you left off next time!
Digital Flashcards
Digital Flashcards
A fun and interactive way to test your knowledge before your exams. Find out what information you've mastered, and what material needs additional review.
Discussion Boards
Discussion Boards
With Penn Foster Career School, you are never alone! Our learning platform includes discussion boards so you can connect with instructors and other students in this program.

Sample AutoCAD® Essentials Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a AutoCAD® Essentials course would look like.
Sample AutoCAD® Essentials Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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