In response to the tremendous popularity of the Certified Onshape Professional program, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the Certified Onshape Associate exam, which is aimed at educators, students and entry-level engineers interested in demonstrating their CAD proficiency to prospective employers.

This certification exam is designed for candidates who have a minimum of 35 to 50 hours of Onshape experience. In addition to being used to validate CAD knowledge in a work or academic setting, this test can also be used as a final exam for a semester or year-long CAD course.

The three-hour Associate exam verifies a user’s understanding of Onshape’s part modeling, multi-part modeling, basic assembly design, drawing knowledge, and sharing and collaboration tools. It does not address Onshape’s unique data management techniques, advanced modeling capabilities, or advanced assembly motion – topics all covered by the Certified Onshape Professional exam.

The cost to take the Certified Onshape Associate exam is $50 per exam attempt (bulk purchasing with a discount is available). Successful completion of the exam will be recognized with a Certified Onshape Associate certificate with a digital badge suitable for LinkedIn, website or social media use.

The Career Value of Onshape Certification

Students from FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Team 2901 in North Carolina are proud to be Onshape Certified Associates.

Amongst the first students to embrace the challenge of the Certified Onshape Associate exam are the “Purple Gears” (FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Team 2901) from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Led by mentor John Toebes, the team already holds five U.S. patents for its robot creations with “more on the way.”

Eight students, freshmen through seniors, as well as three mentors have already taken the exam. Out of the eight students, three passed the exam on the first try.

“I was impressed with the challenging nature of the exam,” says Toebes, a software engineer who has been a Purple Gears coach for 15 years. “I was a little concerned that it was going to be too easy or too hard. I was sweating personally near the end of the test. There is a really strong focus on your attention to detail. Another coach and I both missed the same question.”

“Absolutely every student who didn’t pass the first time is excited to be taking it again. We’re going to do a study session in a group. It’s been a very positive experience for all of us,” he adds.

Cardinal Gibbons High School prides itself on its strong STEM curriculum and has recently sent graduates to study engineering at colleges such as Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, and North Carolina State University. 

“What happens when our alumni come back to visit?” Toebes asks. “They look at what we’re doing with the robotics team and say, ‘Why didn’t we have this when I was in high school?’”

“The biggest value in earning an Onshape certification is that it is something you can show the world that says, ‘I have taken the effort to learn something in such a way that it’s recognized by the owner of the product that I’m good at.’ Juniors and seniors get the most value out of certification because they can put it on their college applications and demonstrate they put in the effort to develop new skills.”

As for college students, proving proficiency in Onshape can be an advantage when searching for engineering internships.

“We bring on new interns once or twice every quarter,” says Evan Reese, co-founder of Fractal, a product development firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. “Because Onshape is our primary CAD tool, it’s important that the people we hire are good at it.”

“Getting candidates up to speed from another CAD system is doable, but it’s even more helpful if we know they could hit the ground running. If someone is joining us for an internship and it’s only going to be three months, we don’t have time for them to learn a whole new CAD tool. So being certified in Onshape would be a huge asset,” he adds.

How to Get Started

The Certified Onshape Associate exam was developed through a partnership between PTC/Onshape and SolidProfessor, a leading online resource for professional engineering training and education.

SolidProfessor has developed three valuable resources for educators and students to prepare for this new exam:


To be eligible for a free exam voucher ($50 value), a student can complete SolidProfessor’s online prep course that includes expert-guided lessons, practice exercises, and practice exam questions 

You can easily enroll all of your students in this prep course by becoming a “SolidProfessor for Schools” member. Request a demo to learn how you can integrate SolidProfessor’s online prep course into your Onshape curriculum!