Moraine Park instructor showing students 3D image

The Mechanical Design Technology and Process Engineering Technology Associate degree programs utilize Computer Aided Design (CAD) to complete required course projects.

Most of the CAD work at Moraine Park is done using SolidWorks, while the Mold and Die Design Certificates programs also use SolidWorks.

SolidWorks is owned by Dassault Systemes, which has developed a comprehensive certification program that allows users to demonstrate their level of SolidWorks CAD competency to potential employers. This can be a way to differentiate themselves from other SolidWorks users. Upon successful completion of certification exams, users may feature SolidWorks certification logos and QR codes on their resumes, email signature, and business cards.

Ryan Steckert, CAD Team Leader for Wells Vehicle Electronics and Mechanical Design Advisory Committee member says “If I had two candidates with similar skill levels, the SolidWorks Certification Program would definitely tip the scale towards the candidate that had it. Having the certification gives me confidence that the holder can get up to speed quicker than those without.”

The first Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) certification exam was offered at Moraine Park in June, 2007. Since then, more than 250 individuals have attempted the exam, with over 150 successfully meeting the certification requirements. Unsuccessful exams can be retaken after a 30 day waiting period. Current students can take the CSWA and CSWP exams for free while enrolled at MPTC. Commercial customers pay $99 for each exam attempt.

Fourteen Mechanical Design students have successfully passed the CSWA in 2016, and two have passed the higher level CSWP exam. Our program goal is to have all Mechanical Design students graduate with the CSWA certification. Students who have earned the CSWA level are encouraged to take the CSWP exam prior to graduation to improve their employment potential. Many former students have earned advanced certifications after graduation, including CSWP, CSWP Advanced, and CSWE certifications.

The following SolidWorks certifications and descriptions are taken from SolidWorks.com.

SOLIDWORKS Certification Program

Standing out amongst SOLIDWORKS users from around the world can be challenging. Earning a SOLIDWORKS Certification can help you get a job, keep a job, or possibly move up in your current job. Be a part of our growing community of certified users

CSWA

As a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate – Academic (CSWA – Academic), students will demonstrate their expertise with SOLIDWORKS 3D solid modeling software, design concepts, and sustainable design, giving them a competitive edge in today’s job market.

CSWP

Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional – Academic (CSWP – Academic) certification is intended for a student with a minimum of 1 to 2 years of SOLIDWORKS experience and advanced knowledge of engineering practices.

CSWP Advanced Certification Exams

CSWPA-Sheet Metal

The completion of the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Sheet Metal (CSWPA-SM) exam shows that you have successfully demonstrated your ability to use SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal tools.

CSWPA-Weldments

The completion of the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Weldments (CSWPA-WD) exam proves that you have successfully demonstrated your ability to use the SOLIDWORKS tools for Weldments.

CSWPA-Surfacing

The completion of the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Surfacing (CSWPA-SU) exam shows that you have successfully demonstrated your ability to use SOLIDWORKS Advanced Surfacing tools.

CSWPA-Mold Tools

The completion of the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Mold Tools (CSWPA-MT) exam shows that you have successfully demonstrated your ability to use SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools functionality.

CSWPA-Drawing Tools

The completion of the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Drawing Tools (CSWPA-DT) exam proves that you have successfully demonstrated your ability to use the tools found in the SOLIDWORKS Drawing environment.

CSWE

A Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert is someone who easily demonstrates the ability to utilize advanced functions and features to solve complex modeling challenges. The CSWP plus any four Advanced CSWP exams are prerequisite to taking the CSWE exam.

Written by Kim Olson

Mechanical Design Instructor
CSWA, CSWP, CSWPA-Drawing Tools, CSWPA Mold Tools, CSWPA-Sheet Metal