AutoCAD Training - Online Courses | Penn Foster Career School

AutoCAD® Training

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Develop your technical abilities and talent for drafting with Penn Foster Career School’s online Drafting with AutoCAD® Program. In our online training courses, you can train at home and at a pace that’s right for you. Discover basic sketching techniques, and learn the mathematical skills necessary to the task of drafting. Create drawings for structural, civil, electrical, and electronic schematic drafting with AutoCAD software.

You can complete this program in as little as five months. People who complete AutoCAD training can be found working in a variety of areas, such as an engineering firm, government agency, automotive company or dealership, construction, landscaping, or patenting company.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The program provides students with the necessary skills for entry into the field of drafting. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to create mechanical and architectural drawings, both by hand and using AutoCAD software.

Program Outcomes

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

  • Be familiar with the basic techniques used in sketching and with occupations that use drafting language
  • Complete drawings using orthographic projection, points of view, and shape descriptions
  • Know the techniques of lettering, and recognize the lines used in mechanical and architectural drawings as well as the representation of math operations in drafting
  • Understand the use of drafting vocabulary, geometry, and instruments in the layout of drafting problems and geometric designs
  • Describe size and shape using the regular views of drafting and the principal views of orthographic projection
  • Work with various views, projections, tolerancing techniques, dimensions, and control frames
  • Complete working drawings and become familiar with the capabilities, applications, and development of computer software drawing programs
  • Understand the capabilities, applications, and development of AutoCAD and use it to draw basic objects using lines, circles, and arcs
  • Become proficient with the advanced applications of the software including plotting/printing, drawing file storage and sharing, software personalization, and basic 3D modeling.
  • Prepare an AutoCAD drawing representing a plat map of a subdivision, using blocks, layers, linetypes, and annotations
  • Prepare complete sets of architectural and civil drawings for a site plan, transit lines, and plans and profiles from survey information
  • Prepare complete HVAC drawings, electrical diagrams and cable assemblies, industrial electrical schematics, and electronic block and schematic diagrams

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
The Drafter's World Language


  • Study basic techniques used in sketching.
  • Become familiar with occupations that use the drafter’s world language.

Unit 2

Size and Shape Description


  • Study orthographic projection.
  • Learn about points of view.
  • Understand shape descriptions.
Introduction to CAD Technology


  • Use basic CAD equipment.
  • Study coordinate systems.
  • Learn various software features used with CAD programs.
Additional Unit Materials

Project Booklet: Spatial Relationship

Learning Aids: 

  • Appendices and Glossary
  • How to Use Your Architect Scale
  • How to Use Your Mechanical Scale
  • How to Use Your Civil Engineer Scale
  • How to Use Your Metric Scale
  • Drafting Kit 1. This kit includes a drafting pencil, leads, templates, scales, and other common drafting items

Unit 3

Sketching, Lettering, and Lines


  • Sketch lines, circles, arcs, and multiviews properly.
  • Learn important sketching techniques.
Basic Drafting Math


  • Understand basic math ground rules.
  • Learn signs of operation and how they are represented in drafting.
Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aid: Drafting Kit 2 -This kit contains a compass, a divider, and a triangle.

Unit 4

Drafting Equipment, Media, and Reproduction Methods


  • Study various equipment and supplies used in the industry.
  • Learn about scales, drafting machine verniers, and drafting media.
Orthographic Projection (Sketching)


  • Learn size and shape description.
  • Study the three regular views of drafting.
  • Understand the six principal views of orthographic projection.
Geometric Construction


  • Draw parallel and perpendicular lines.
  • Construct bisectors.
  • Create polygons, tangencies, and ellipses.
Additional Unit Materials

Project Booklet: Applied Geometry

Learning Aids:  

  • Orthographic Sketching Workbook
  • Drafting Kit 3 -This kit includes a triangle, a lettering guide, and drafting pencil and leads.

Unit 5

Multiviews and Auxiliary Views


  • Create single-view and multiview drawings.
  • Learn first- and third-angle projection.


  • Study dimensioning systems.
  • Learn correct tolerancing techniques.
Sections, Revolutions, and Conventional Breaks


  • Make sectional views.
  • Modify standard sectioning techniques.

Unit 6

Geometric Tolerancing


  • Establish basic dimensions.
  • Identify proper feature control frames.
  • Determine the virtual condition of features.
Working Drawings


  • Complete sets of working drawings.
  • Prepare engineering changes.
Pictorial Drawings


  • Draw three-dimensional objects using 3-D coordinates.
  • Create isometric, dimetric, and trimetric drawings.
  • Learn about one-, two-, and three-point perspective.

Unit 7

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

Unit 8

Working with AutoCAD®, Part 3


  • Continue to use AutoCAD® to 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


  • Build on skills you developed in your previous course.
  • 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 Unit Material

Project Booklet: AutoCAD® Commands: Blocks and Layers

Unit 9

Structural Drafting with Basic Architectural Applications


  • Prepare a complete set of structural drawings.
  • Draw a site plan.
Civil Drafting


  • Draw transit lines for roadway layouts.
  • Draw plans and profiles from survey information.
Additional Unit Materials

Project Booklets:

  • Structural Drafting with AutoCAD®
  • Civil Drafting with AutoCAD®.

Unit 10

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning


  • Understand the function of HVAC systems.
  • Prepare complete HVAC drawings.
Electrical and Electronic Schematic Drafting


  • Draw electrical diagrams and cable assemblies.
  • Make a set of electrical power system substation plans.
  • Draw an industrial electrical schematic.
  • Diagram electronic blocks and schematics.
Additional Unit Materials

Project Booklets:

  • HVAC/Sheet Metal Drafting with AutoCAD®
  • Electrical and Electronic Schematic Drafting with AutoCAD®
  • Drafting with AutoCAD® Elective Project

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.
AutoCAD is a trademark of Autodesk, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Drafting with AutoCAD® sample lesson, click here.

Drafting with AutoCAD Program Details

In Penn Foster Career School’s AutoCAD software training program, you'll cover topics such as:

If you’re ready to take the first steps towards a new career and get started in a comprehensive AutoCAD training program, contact Penn Foster Career School today to learn more.

State Licensing Information

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 by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

AutoCAD training Classes Online

AutoCAD helps drafters to coordinate systems and software to create technical plans. Drafting using AutoCAD gives drafters more job options in fields such as architectural, mechanical, and civil engineering. Here are a few qualities that effective engineering drafters have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Cooperative: You are pleasant, receptive, and work well with others.
  • Honest: Engineering requires integrity and a good sense of ethics.
  • Persistent: Your job requires focus and determination in the face of obstacles.

Penn Foster is a great way to get ahead in a career and the way the program was set up, even the busiest person can get through it. I'm so glad I found Penn Foster.

- Guiseppe S., Penn Foster graduate

I just recently graduated. I would definitely recommend Penn Foster to others. Their support was tremendous. Thank you all for the encouragement.... Penn Foster rocks!!!

- Dahlia R., Penn Foster Graduate

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids, including AutoCAD software and basic drafting kits
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Drafting with AutoCAD academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Is the AutoCAD software provided by Penn Foster Career School?

A 3-year student version of AutoCAD from AutoDesk® is available for download with your program. Or, you can purchase AutoCAD software independently of Penn Foster Career School.

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