Autocad & Electrical Layout Course

Josh111

Senior Member
Location
USA
I have interest in using what I've learned in the field to possibly work with an engineering firm on electrical layout for some commercial, and also for things like substations and outdoor PV facilities. Is anyone aware of a good autocad course, possibly even one that is better specialized for electrical? I find there's a lot of useless overly prices "virtual" courses these days, so I'd like to hear from someone who may have prior experience.
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Master Electrician - 2017 NEC
Start with your community colleges. I teach and there are CAD courses. Not so much BIM, but you have to learn the basics. Your profile does not have a specific location.
 

Charged

Member
Location
Ohio
Occupation
Electrical Designer
As much as I second doing the basics with autocad. If your going to invest your personal time and money in training, I would try to get some BIM exposure. It can be used as a 2d drafting tool but also help you with some design aspects, as double checks and spark things to review, calculate loads, quantities, etc. You have to know what your doing though and concepts of electrical design and code , which makes it harder for people just to jump right in and start drafting. Plus if you have BIM experience you won’t miss out on any opportunities where it’s required. They say more and more construction managers and contractors will be using it for take offs and such but I don’t know how widespread that is, we do turn over the model to them to generate shop drawings and stuff. Honestly if you get an educational version of something autocad/revit and start messing around, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. A lot of colleges offer educational versions. YouTube will be your friend as well. Good luck!
 

Josh111

Senior Member
Location
USA
As much as I second doing the basics with autocad. If your going to invest your personal time and money in training, I would try to get some BIM exposure. It can be used as a 2d drafting tool but also help you with some design aspects, as double checks and spark things to review, calculate loads, quantities, etc. You have to know what your doing though and concepts of electrical design and code , which makes it harder for people just to jump right in and start drafting

This is in part why I want to do this. There’s a lot of people that have no field experience, very little electrical education but know how to use drafting tools and they get jobs working for engineering firms. I think with some autocad skills and my field experience I could excel. I find in my area only one community college offers a night class for this and they don’t have it until the fall. Most of them are instead teaching useless “art (of being unemployable)” classes.
 

WA_Sparky

Electrical Engineer
Location
Vancouver, WA, Clark
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
This is in part why I want to do this. There’s a lot of people that have no field experience, very little electrical education but know how to use drafting tools and they get jobs working for engineering firms. I think with some autocad skills and my field experience I could excel. I find in my area only one community college offers a night class for this and they don’t have it until the fall. Most of them are instead teaching useless “art (of being unemployable)” classes.
I wouldnt bother with autocad. From my experience Civil is the only one that should be using it anymore. Pretty much everyone is moving to Revit. Its intimidating at first but not too terrible once you figure out the basics. Personally I would just apply for an entry level electrical design position or internship. Pay will be lower during trial period but once you prove you have field experience, know some of NFPA 70, and minimal lighting design, you're pretty certain to get hired somewhere as a designer.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
I wouldnt bother with autocad. From my experience Civil is the only one that should be using it anymore. Pretty much everyone is moving to Revit. Its intimidating at first but not too terrible once you figure out the basics. Personally I would just apply for an entry level electrical design position or internship. Pay will be lower during trial period but once you prove you have field experience, know some of NFPA 70, and minimal lighting design, you're pretty certain to get hired somewhere as a designer.

That’s if you are a MEP. It’s not very good if your use case doesn’t fall within its libraries and macros.

Learning Autocad isn’t hard. When you do technical drawings though it’s a different approach. You don’t sketch things but rather model them to dimension at least for traditional mechanical drafting. Whether you are truly drafting (drawing lines) as in Autocad or 2D/3D modeling as in Solidworks or Solid Edge is similar but an entirely different skill. But with electrical drawings dimensioning is minor. It’s more about developing a BOM and illustrations which are not the same as drawings. With Autocad Electrical for instance you basically mess things up if you use the drawing tools and not the macros that update the BOM.
 
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