AutoCAD Certification: Is it for you?

To achieve success as a professional in any field, one has to continuously reinvent oneself by taking his or her professional development seriously and the field of engineering, graphic design and architecture is no different—note that these three professional fields are singled out because of the part they play in this article.

Now, professional development can be pursued or attained in various ways which include; taking part in official seminars/symposiums concerning your field, going back to study for a higher degree, simply working your socks off to enhance your skills and lastly, seating and acing certification exams related to your course of study.

For a designer—engineering, architectural or graphic design—achieving a measure of success depends not only on your abilities but more importantly, on how you sell yourself to prospective clients or employers. Having the right certifications will definitely go a long way in convincing prospective clients for everyone respects an individual who constantly challenges himself or herself, to be the best they can be and as a computer aided design (CAD) user, one certification you should consider obtaining is an AutoCAD certification.

Before going into the details of the certification options available to you and their advantages, here are some reasons to consider pursuing a certification in AutoCAD.

Stand out with an AutoCAD Certification

  • There are various AutoCAD certification options and obtaining the one that suits your professional needs, validates your skill and abilities as a competent or expert CAD user.
  • AutoCAD certifications is one way to earn some credibility as a capable CAD user and the fact that you also become a verified member of the Autodesk/AutoCAD design community gives you added visibility.
  • It also increases an individual’s opportunities and gives an added edge to your competitive advantage in today’s cut-throat job market.

AutoCAD Certification Options

As with most professional certification exams, AutoCAD has a plethora of certification programs that can be participated in which depends on the level you are at in your career. Most of the options available can be divided into three basic categories which are:

  • AutoCAD Certified User: this certification caters to the needs of basic AutoCAD users, beginners and students kick starting their CAD design career. The certification basically proves or shows that you have some working and practical knowledge of using CAD tools to accomplish certain tasks.
  • AutoCAD Certified professional: this certification is way more advanced than the preceding the certification and it caters to those who use AutoCAD professionally at work or freelancing from your workstation. The certification exam aims at judging your ability to solve complex workflow and design challenges using AutoCAD.
  • AutoCAD Certified Specialist: as a certified specialist, the AutoCAD user must have specialized in a solving particular workflow issues and have the needed experience and expertise to design or develop innovative solutions across multiple platforms. Another specialist certification exam offered by AutoCAD’s parent company—Autodesk—is the Autodesk Simulation Moldflow Certification.
  • Autodesk Simulation Moldflow Certification: this certification exam generally panders to civil engineering and its subsets as well as architecture.  Autodesk Simulation Moldflow Software Certification validates a CAD user’s ability with simulation moldflow software, and the best practices for injection molding, plastic parts design as well as general mold design. Having any of these specialist certifications in AutoCAD definitely gives you credibility as a leader in your field.

Now, I guess the question on your mind will be about how one goes about pursuing any of these certifications, what the exam entails, how to prepare as well as the cost associated with being a participant. To simplify your task, the below paragraphs will contain in-depth details on each certification exam and its participation options.

All You Need to Know about becoming an AutoCAD Certified User

To earn a certified user certification, the user has to simply seat for the corresponding examination and pass it. But before that, it is quite important to note the scope of work involved, the reading materials and syllabus to cover before finally taking the certification exam. A visit to certiport.com—AutoCAD’s certified partners—would also provide you with a sneak peek into the materials you need to learn before participating in the exams. For those pursuing the Certified User Certification here are some of the materials you will need:

  • AutoCAD Instructional Manual—this is a free textbook provided with every AutoCAD software application you purchase. The tutorial covers the basics of starting out as a CAD user, understanding the user interface and design tools to more advanced design methods such as manipulating objects, texturing and Boolean principles to create advanced animations.
  • AutoCAD’s YouTube Channel: for those who love visual learning, there are multiple YouTube channels devoted to the art of learning computer aided design. So to be a part of these programs, simply search YouTube and subscribe to the appropriate channels.
  • Autodesk Design Academy: can be likened to a Massive open online course (MOOC) platform for both educators and students to participate both as either an educator as a student. At Autodesk academy, you can take advantage of tutorials of every level from beginner, intermediary to advanced level.

What Areas Does the Test Cover?

The certification user exam is basically for students and beginners in the use of AutoCAD as a design tool. Therefore, it covers the basics such as; your understanding of AutoCAD’s interface, basic designs and the uses of certain tools and features when designing characters or models.

How long is the Test?

The certified user examination consists of 12 sections cut across the subject matters of; user interfaces, manipulating objects, altering objects, working with layouts, dimensioning, plotting your drawing, working with reusable objects, creating additional objects etc. note that these 12 sections consist of 30 questions and candidates will not be allowed access to the AutoCAD software and its interface.

How much does it Cost?

The location chosen and examiner handling the certified user examination generally set the prices for the certification exam. AutoCAD partners with examiners which gives them the right to give aspiring participants their individual quotes. You can locate a test centre and contact the examiner to know more here: http://www.certiport.com/locator.

All you need to know about AutoCAD Certified Professional Exams

The next step on the ‘AutoCAD certification ladder’ is participating in its Certified Professional exams which stamps anyone who obtains this certificate as a seasoned educator who has the necessary abilities and knowledge to become a teacher in the field of computer aided design. There are quite a lot of materials online tailored to help you ace this certification exam and here are some places in which they can be found:

  • Online at Wiley: the consultants at Wiley’s are Autodesk official partners saddled with the responsibility of providing prospective candidates with learning materials for the more advanced certification exams which includes the Certified Professional Exams. You can also find authorized test centres on its website.
  • Online at Ascent: the Ascent platform is also an online resource centre for individuals looking to participate as candidates to learn from. Here, yu can take advantage of the learning syllabus and the practice materials mad available to increase your proficiency with AutoCAD.
  • Autodesk Design Academy: cannot be overlooked for what it is; a great platform dedicated to all thing AutoCAD when studying to take the Certified Professional exam as well as a platform where you can put your expertise to work once you have obtained the certification.

What Areas does the Test Cover?

As a more advanced certification exam, the test covers the use of AutoCAD in detail and your understanding of Boolean operations; rendering/animation and programing with AutoCAD will be tested. It is recommended that prospective participants practice using the latest AutoCAD software so as to be prepared for any situations that may arise.

How long is the Test?

The AutoCAD Certified Professional exam consists of 13 sections which in turn contains 35 questions across all sections. The exam sections include; altering objects, annotations, creating template content, dimensioning, drawing organization and inquiry commands, hatching objects, inserting and managing eternal references, isolating or hiding displayed content, manipulating objects, layouts and visibility, printing and plotting and managing reusable contents. Note that exam candidates will make use of the AutoCAD application.

How much does it Cost?

As stated earlier, the cost of participating in the certified professional examination usually differs according to the test centre you chose to seat for the examination. But on average, candidates pay approximately:

  • For professional practice test: test centres charge approximately $30 per seating while the
  • Professional examination: costs approximately $125 per seating

All you need to know about AutoCAD Certified Specialist Examination

The certified specialist exam takes certification a step further as it tests CAD users’ abilities on certain subject matters or workflow or mastery of an Autodesk suite. Exam candidates are tested on their abilities solve complex problems across diverse Autodesk technologies or applications. The resources to take on the specialist certification exam include:

  • CAD institute: is an online platform dedicated to leaning advanced techniques when specializing in fields under computer aided design. At CAD institute, specialists in using Autodesk’s numerous products can learn, practice and take sample tests before going for the certification exam.
  • Autodesk’s Knowledge Network: this is Autodesk’s official platform stocked with resources for advanced studies using its CAD applications. Here, you can find tutorials on mastering advanced drawing and organization techniques.

What Areas does the Test Cover?

The test covers advanced subject matters related to the types of workflows you specialized in. so expect to see questions covering certain concepts such as: working with raster images, using blocks and attributes etc. the test also places emphasis on the exact Autodesk application you use.

How much does it Cost?

The cost of AutoCAD certified specialist exam also varies according to the test centre your registration was done which makes it difficult to give either an exact or approximated cost. But simply registering and contacting certiport—an official Autodesk partner—will get you all the info you need concerning the exam’s cost.

All you need to know about Obtaining the Autodesk Simulation Moldflow Certification

The pinnacle of AutoCAD certification comes with all the pomp and pageantry of obtaining a PhD. Successful candidates are inducted into Autodesk’s list of official professionals, you can include it in your curriculum vitae as well as add some weight to your personal website with the certification badge. Also note that there are three stages for this certification which include:

  • Associate Certification Exam: this covers the fundamentals of Autodesk Simulation Moldflow and the exam is basically based on the theories and concepts of Moldflow simulation and injecting mold which can be found in tutorials and online learning materials. The test consists of questions from the following subject matters; analysis workflow, feed systems, injection molding techniques, moldflow design principles, molding window etc.
  • Professional Certification Exam: this is an intermediary certification which is one step above an associate certification in moldflow simulation. Which means prospective participants must have already passed the associate certification examination. This exam is basically based on advanced flow and advanced cool and warp principles. The subject matter for professional certification exam includes: anchor plane set-up, cooling analysis and results, filling analysis, modelling, molding window, packing analyses, cooling, flow and warpage.

Note that the professional exam covers both the theoretical aspects of moldflow as well as solving design and moldflow problems using the AutoCAD application.

  • Expert certification Exam: this is the final step in the simulation moldflow hurdle and prospective participants must have achieved a pass in the previous two—associate and professional—certification exams. Now, the expert certification exam comes in three stages which are:
  1. Report: this is based on previously done practical work and it involves showing the correlation between your analysis work and its molded parts.
  2. Theoretical: this section covers the review of meshed parts to check the suitability for analysis, determining the workflow required to solve a series of problems for a given part and interpreting flow, cool, and warp results to determine if they meet the analysis objectives.

Registering and Choosing a Test Centre

The first step to registration is finding a test centre close to your location or an online centre that have the authorization to carry out AutoCAD certification exams. Simply browse through the available locations and go through the registration procedures. Lastly, achieving success in any of the listed category comes from working hard and practicing design techniques on a daily basis.

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