Updating your computer-assisted design skills keeps you a better drafter, architect, or mechanical engineer. One of the essential design programs to learn, AutoCAD, you might have learned in trade school or college but program updates require you to brush up your skills. Maybe you just developed your interest in design and want to get started learning practical essentials online. These courses in AutoCAD represent the best online.

What makes a course “the best”?

Offering a certification or college credit for the course tops the list of criteria that makes a course top tier. Ease of use, understandable presentation, downloadable content, presentation of materials in more than one method, for example, in textual format and video format. The instructor should have practical and theoretical knowledge and real-world experience using the CAD program. This list prioritizes trusted learning institutions and those that protect your privacy.

1. Autodesk University Online

Learn from the masters. AutoCAD’s makers, Autodesk offers numerous courses, so you can learn the essentials and the nitty-gritty of the program. These range from free, online trainings, to paid coursework. You do not need to travel to an authorized training center any longer to earn professional certification or badging in AutoCAD. All of its courses use Autodesk Certified Instructors. Its Autodesk Design Academy provides free educational opportunities in the form of self-paced online courses, tutorial, and webinars.


2.  Ashworth College

Unlike many tutorials or short courses online, the AutoCAD course at Ashworth College offers college credit hours you can potentially transfer to another college or university, or you can use to meet continuing education requirements. The comprehensive, four month course teaches the use of drawing aids, how to draw/create in 2D and 3d, concepts of drawing in linear dimensions, and lets you learn and work at your own pace, so you neither slow down others nor need to feel pressured to keep up with them. The college holds full accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Upon successfully completing the course, the college pays the fee for you to take the Autodesk AutoCAD Certified User Certification exam. The college offers payment plans, so you can pay for your course a little at a time. Call 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online.


3. New York Institute of Art and Design

This online course from the New York Institute of Art and Design offers a self-paced learning environment that focuses on the AutoCAD topics of drawing linear dimensions, using drawing aids, and creating 2D and 3D design images. NYIAD also offers an AutoCAD Certification and two payment plan options. The school has a license from NY state.


4. Penn Foster Career School’s Drafting

Forget having a fancy name behind it, the Penn Foster program goes beyond the essentials of AutoCAD to help the student develop portfolio examples they can show to prospective employers. These AutoCAD classes go the extra mile to help an introductory student develop real-world skills and work examples. You complete a self-paced program that results in learn AutoCAD in context of civil, structural, electrical, and electronic use. You will end the course with finished schematic drafting projects in each area. The school offers a mobile version of its student portal and phone and email contact options for its professors, so students can ask questions outside of class. Perhaps the most comprehensive of the options, the course teaches the concepts of linear dimensioning, plotting, printing, digitized 2D and 3D drawing, geometric construction, electronic schematic drafting, and tolerancing, It also covers how to optimize the program to your industry. The school offers payment plans for its tuition.


5. The University of Arizona

This online course offered by a major university lets you learn AutoCAD in-depth at your own pace within the confines that you have access to the course material for three months. This includes video lectures and demonstrations, course manuals, online discussion groups, email, and a copy of the latest version of AutoCAD from Autodesk. The course costs $917 per course. The university offers this course as a part of a collaboration with ProTrain, LLC and the University of Arizona Continuing & Professional Education. Choose form the following classes – AutoCAD 1 – Basic 2D, AutoCAD 2 – Advanced 2D, AutoCAD 3 – Basic 3D Modeling. You can register for the AutoCAD Fundamentals Certificate course which includes all three classes as a bundle and saves you $100 plus you get to have nine months of access to the materials.


6. AutoCAD Complete Guide from Skillshare

This beginner’s course provides an introduction to the theory and practical usage of AutoCAD. The course teaches the concepts of annotations, drawings, as well as 2D and 3D designs in video format.

It began as a YouTube course and Skillshare picked it up and improved it. Students finish the course with a simple house design that they can use as a portfolio example. The course comes in a six-lesson format and its total length is clocked at 1 Hour, 18 min. It gained popularity online for its easy-to-understand format and its free two months of classes. You can learn the concepts needed for advanced course for no cost.

7. CAD and Digital Manufacturing from Coursera

Coursera developed this class with the folks at AutoDesk Education. This AutoCAD course includes an intro to the concepts of computer-aided design. It focuses on the uses off the program within the manufacturing industry. Coursera provides this course completely free of charge. It offers coursework suitable for beginner and Intermediate CAD students.

8. 3D Modeling System Piped in AutoCAD at Udemy

Instructor Paul Lynn teaches this AutoCAD course that conveys the concepts and practices needed to design structures of the piping system in 3D using AutoCAD. This advanced topic from Udemy comes at a bargain price of less than $12. Its instructor works professionally in industrial automation and mechanical design. Students who successfully complete the course will know how to design pipe systems for chemical plants and filtration systems from scratch.

9. AutoCAD Advanced 2D and 3D Course form Udemy

Another course for less than $12, this AutoCAD 2D and 3D seeks to educate and train the student quickly and requires prior knowledge of the program. You should have first completed a course similar to the Udemy AutoCAD introductory course (another less than $12 course). Taught by an industry pro, Mike Freeman, you will learn CAD design from a pro with 23 years of real-world field experience. This course teaches both 2D and 3D modeling.

10. Learning AutoDesk AutoCAD Crash Course

When you really need to learn AutoCAD quickly or just need a brush-up, the course offered here by Andrew Schroeder, civil engineer and designer, can help. You benefit from instruction from a professional designer with 17 years’ experience in AutoCAD. The course teaches drawing techniques, object properties editing, paper space, managing layers, and control modeling.


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