Many friends and family ask me, “How fast can I learn AutoCAD?”
The question arises after I tell them of my architecture successes, and especially when the topic arrives at money.
Architecture is a complicated industry, and it’s impressive how complicated the software is that architects use to design their buildings.
AutoCAD is the #1 CAD software for architects.
AutoCAD is also fairly hard to use at first.
The key is consistency combined with a lot of learning from tutorials.
When I learned AutoCAD, I had the help of a tutor that was a friend of mine.
This was during my college days.
The tutor and I would sit together, and he would explain all the complicated nuances that exist within the AutoCAD software.
Within 6 months, I got fairly fluent at AutoCAD, though I was light years better two years later.
What you should factor in is that with AutoCAD there is a learning curve.
How much information can I bring into my mind about AutoCAD?
I asked this question before, and I became like a sponge to knowledge.
I kept working on AutoCAD as much as I was learning AutoCAD.
And that learning combined with real-world experience made learning AutoCAD doable.
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It takes instruction to learn AutoCAD.
The important thing to remember is that there are dozens of great courses online or in college that teach AutoCAD.
Be sure to check the source to make sure you have an American teaching the course.
Your best bet is with a university course, though this isn’t always available.
Of course, as I said before, the best instruction happens with a tutor.
With a tutor, you greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to learn AutoCAD.
With a tutor, you learn AutoCAD techniques that not everyone knows, and some of these can be large advantages to you.
With a tutor, you get your instruction from a real person, rather than a course, and that is much more interactive.
With the help of my tutor, I learned AutoCAD within 6 months.
After two years, I was fluent in AutoCAD at a professional level.
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Get Certified As An AutoCAD Professional
The maker of AutoCAD, Autodesk, offers a certificate program to architects to become certified in AutoCAD.
There are a few great options for learning about AutoCAD from the maker.
With the first option to become an Autodesk Certified Professional with knowledge of AutoCAD, you get to test your skills with an Autodesk-made exam about design and drafting.
With the second option (my recommendation to you), there is a prep course for the Autodesk Certified Professional exam.
The prep course teaches you quite a lot about AutoCAD and is a great way to improve your skill set.
When you are certified as an AutoCAD professional, you will demonstrate your fluency in AutoCAD to the market.
Your fluency in AutoCAD will be validated by Autodesk itself,
Ready to start your AutoCAD journey?
Why AutoCAD Takes 6 Months To Gain Fluency
Some people are really talented at adapting to new software and building their skill set.
The key is consistency.
When you start with AutoCAD, work on your designs for at least 1 hour per day.
At the same time, the pros use AutoCAD for eight hours per day, so you will likely want to use AutoCAD for hours everyday.
Perfecting your craft is years away.
In the early phases it’s all learning.
There are so many features to learn, and those toolsets are interesting to new and old architects alike.
My recommendation is to understand all the functionality.
Also, you will want to look at example architecture and look at the 2D drawings and 3D models.
The other lesson is to have a master project that you are always working on.
When I was doing architecture, my master project was a pro sports stadium.
When you have a master project, you have something onto which you can apply all your learnings, and then even if the work takes years you always have another thing to learn and apply.
Learning and then applying what you learn is a critical step to gaining fluency in AutoCAD.
There are thousands of elements of functionality with AutoCAD.
Because of this, it takes time to learn.
If you work on AutoCAD every day, for hours at a time, then you will be very proficient after 6 months.
At the same time, after 1 year you will be much better.
I recommend using AutoCAD as soon as you begin your architecture studies.
In this way, you get 2-3 years of experience so that when you graduate, you are a real AutoCAD expert.
How fast can I learn AutoCAD?
AutoCAD is a fast and challenging software that is the industry standard for architects and engineers.
Those of us who design buildings (architects) for a living will agree that AutoCAD is a staple of the workplace and is a must-use architecture software.
While I do note that there are free and less expensive options available, AutoCAD is the industry standard and you do not want to settle.
I learned to get the most out of my AutoCAD by hiring a tutor.
My in-person tutoring put me light years ahead of my peers, and I gained fluency in AutoCAD more quickly than others.
I combined the in-person tutoring (on a college campus) with online courses.
The AutoCAD course from Autodesk that is available on Coursera is a must-take course.
Most architectural professionals take this course, and they become fluent in AutoCAD because of their studies related to this course.
Learning AutoCAD takes instruction.
Getting certified as an Autodesk AutoCAD professional is an impressive way to demonstrate your abilities to future employers.
With the AutoCAD professional certification, you gain credentials that stay with you for the duration of your career.
Credentials are very important to an architect’s career.
Becoming certified in AutoCAD shows the job market that you are a serious architect and that you have the ability to succeed at any position.
I highly recommend the AutoCAD certification as you will demonstrate proficiency and competence.
AutoCAD takes around 6 months to learn and if you continue, then 2 years later you will be doing architecture on Autodesk AutoCAD at a professional grade.
Now that you know how quickly to learn AutoCAD, give the software a try!
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