CAD Drafter Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a CAD Drafter. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a CAD Drafter.
Who is a CAD Drafter?
A Computer-aided design Drafter (CAD) is a professional with training in using computer systems and software to create technical drawings, documentation, or plans. Since everything produced needs to be planned, CAD drafters may work in a wide range of sectors. Drawing, computer and engineering technology, science, and drafting standards and practices are just a few of the information and skills that a CAD drafter should have.
A CAD Drafter can use a personal computer or CADD system. Here, a professional uses specific software to develop the technical drawings in either two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) form.
There are several specialties since CAD drafters work in every field that involves the manufacture of goods. For architects to use the realization of their construction designs, architectural CAD drafters create architectural drawings. They primarily focus on drawings for civil engineering projects, such as roads, bridges, and sewage systems. Other CAD drafters include those who design and manufacturing plans for airplanes, such as aeronautical CAD drafters, and those who design and create plans for electronic equipment like microprocessors and digital multimedia players, such as electronic CAD drafters.
You must have strong attention to detail to work as a CAD drafter. You produce three-dimensional models and design plans and show your work to customers, contractors, engineers, and managers. Therefore, every little detail must be accurate.
As a CAD drafter, your daily job may include meeting with a designer to grasp their concepts and notes, making the graphs, models, or representations required to convey their ideas, and assessing your work to ensure its accuracy and clarity.
CAD Drafter Job Description
Below are the CAD Drafter job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of the CAD Drafter include the following:
- Support the production process as necessary and provide CAD and drafting help for new and current goods.
- Provide engineering drawings and specifications, such as design layouts, component, and assembly drawings, and final production requirements from prototype through full production.
- Keep engineering drawing databases up to date and assist the engineering change process by producing new documentation.
- Update and produce new CAD designs in Solidworks and AutoCAD.
- Participate in various projects as a product development team member and work with multidisciplinary teams to design and document new products, line expansions, or product feature improvements.
- Sketch layouts for components and assemblies.
- Ensure to complete documentation requirements before new or current items enter the market.
- Assist with the engineering change process.
- Track and respond to requests for engineering drawing and specification changes quickly.
- Update product designs with the SolidWorks PDM system.
- Configure and gauge the elements for documentation using a comparator (shadowgraph system, digital optical comparator, etc.)
- Start engineering change orders, and the amended documents should be implemented and released through a document control system.
- Give product management and other vendors access to your detailing and drawing knowledge.
- An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in engineering design and drafting technology or a related field
- Complete an apprenticeship program, or at least have some relevant experience from college or a former workplace
- Possess a thorough understanding of 3D engineering modeling software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Pro Engineer, Corel Draw, and Microsoft Word
Here are the skills you require to excel in your career as a CAD Drafter:
- Building Codes Knowledge
- Mathematics Skill
- Proficiency with Various CAD Software
- Basic Familiarity with BIM Services
- Sketching and Drawing
- Technical Expertise
Additionally, CAD professionals acquire analytical skills crucial for assessing specifics, setting goals, and identifying solutions to challenging issues. For completing diverse CAD projects, it is necessary to be able to assess information to approach problems and work with novel ways to produce effective designs. Making judgments that promote quality, productivity, and design viability, which are frequently requirements for CAD development, is another skill needed for this vocation.
Building Codes Knowledge
The essential construction codes and standards must be understood by drafters. By doing this, they can ensure that the building satisfies the minimal standards for everyone who will live there and work there in terms of health and safety. Obtaining building permits frequently requires these designs. Any mistakes or oversights might endanger the structure’s viability.
Your attention to detail is required to arrange files and categorize jobs according to project urgency while finishing projects in CAD applications. Paying attention to detail and keeping high productivity might help you better manage project deadlines. Being detail-oriented also entails having the capacity to investigate novel concepts and assess various design-related tactics.
A fast-paced profession in mechanical drawing and design may allow you routinely contribute to projects. CAD drafters may use alternative software tools and design features depending on the assignment requirements. Considering the range of applications these experts work with, flexibility can be a useful skill. Additionally, being adaptable and willing to learn and change might lead to more prospects for advancement in your technical profession.
The constraints and limitations of algebra serve as the foundation for all drafting talents. Numerous mathematical computations are required, in addition to the fundamentals of forms, lines, viewpoints, etc. A CAD drafter has to be knowledgeable in planimetry, and projective geometry to produce correct drawings. Additionally, each discipline has its norms and requirements that are to be followed.
Proficiency with Various CAD Software
This is possibly the most important and evident skill a CAD drafter has to have. They must be proficient with many CAD programs to handle various customer needs. Every business and design consultant has different standards for choosing software. This depends on the needs of the project and the locality. The drafter must also be aware of the interchangeability of one program to another and have a solid understanding and expertise in drawing software.
Effective communication is critical in determining a project’s construction and design success. Drawing is a language used in architecture and engineering that enables the intended design to be implemented in the actual world. If the CAD Drafter cannot communicate properly, it will show on the paper, which can cause problems for the designer and the contractor.
Basic Familiarity with BIM Services
Many businesses are currently searching for CAD drafters who at least have a fundamental understanding of BIM. Along with many other benefits including better visualization, correct coordination, and representation of the functional features of the materials, BIM also fosters creativity and innovation. Drawings taken directly from the 3D virtual model are exact and accurate. This is partly why CAD drafters are to at least have a basic understanding of BIM.
Rendering means using computer software to produce a photorealistic or non-photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model. It is used in product design, graphic design, interior design, and architecture.
To illustrate the design of a proposed structure or item, a drafter would need to provide a depiction. This enables the customer or decision-makers to make modifications before the product is created or manufactured by giving them a preview of the finished product’s appearance.
Sketching and Drawing
To conceptualize the surface pieces into an appealing solution, a drafter should have an eye for design. Architects, engineers, and designers frequently provide drafters with rough sketches and concepts to be turned into detailed blueprints. These orthographic representations may be blueprints, schematics, or diagrams that would be used to create a building. Even though most work is now completed using software, every CAD drafter has to be proficient in manual drafting.
Visualization is the capacity to see something in your head. This is a crucial ability for CAD drafters since it helps them to see the final output. They can produce precise drawings and detect faults because of this ability.
CAD Drafters are experts in using CAD systems to transform engineering concepts into blueprints. They are skilled in using numerous CAD programs and software applications. Your technical abilities are crucial for a career as a CAD technician because the position relies on the use of software and automated techniques for drafting. Another part of your technical talents to cultivate for this job is knowledge of programming languages like C++ and MATLAB.
To accomplish project objectives, engineering and design teams collaborate, and when working on various tasks, a CAD specialist may collaborate with a range of business experts. As a result, collaborative skills are required when combining project requirements, activities, and key performance indicators. You may advance in your profession by having the ability to share ideas with others, get comments, and offer assistance.
How to Become a CAD Drafter
Below are the steps to take to become a CAD Drafter:
Step One: Obtain a Certificate in Computer-aided Drafting (CAD) or a Similar Discipline
An associate’s degree in computer-aided drawing or a related subject is required for CAD drafters, although some employers might favor applicants with a bachelor’s degree.
Take as many math and science classes as you can while in school to increase your knowledge of these topics connected to drafting. You may also sign up for classes that instruct you on particular software applications.
Step Two: Become Familiar with CAD Software
Building, machine, and other structural drawings are made and modified using CAD software. Before entering the job, CAD drafters should have expertise in utilizing this software. To gain practical experience using CAD applications like AutoCAD or MicroStation, volunteer at a nearby architecture business, or sign up for an internship.
You can also learn about various drafting duties and software knowledge by working as an entry-level CAD technician. This work frequently includes on-the-job training from knowledgeable CAD specialists.
Step Three: Develop a Keen Eye for Detail
Precision and focus on detail are essential for CAD drawing. You must know how to spot minor details in the blueprints you are using and ensure they are all depicted in your drawings. Since seemingly insignificant errors can detract from the end product’s quality, CAD drafters must have acute attention to detail.
When creating items on the screen, measurements are another important consideration. Errors in the design can be caused by even minor calculations gone wrong.
Step Four: Learn to Read Blueprints
The ability to read blueprints and comprehend the symbols used within is a must for CAD drafters. Different sorts of lines, text boxes, and other symbols are used in CAD software to indicate measurements, dimensions, and other crucial details about a building or structure that is being designed. You can more simply and properly comprehend blueprints if you understand how to use these symbols.
Reading architectural drawings, which employ symbols differently from structural or mechanical drawings, may also be necessary. Understanding these variations can make it easier for you to work with clients with several projects going on at once.
Where to Work as a CAD Drafter
CAD Drafters work in different fields, including manufacturing, engineering, and architecture. They could operate in an office environment, utilizing specialist software and computers.
They need to get good tables and comfortable chairs as they sit a lot to perform their tasks; this is to avoid having back pain. They can also get glasses that would help reduce the rays from the computer screen, to avoid having eye issues.
CAD Drafter Salary Scale
The yearly salary of a CAD Drafter ranges from $50,528 to $65,590, while the average CAD Drafter income in the United States is $57,197.
In the UK, the salary for a CAD Drafter is £35,983, however, the range is frequently between £31,484 and £41,097.
The average CAD Drafter salary in Canada is CA$57,689, with a typical range of CA$51,116 to CA$69,294.
In Germany, a CAD drafter normally makes roughly €1,940 per month. The pay scale is €900 to €3,090.
In Australia, a CAD drafter can expect to make AU$87,750 annually, or AU$45 an hour. Most experienced professionals earn up to AU$100,000 yearly, while entry-level roles start at AU$75,000.
In Ireland, earnings for CAD drafters range from €9,480 to €32,800 annually.
In Nigeria, the average monthly salary for a CAD drafter is around ₦165,000. The salary ranges from ₦75,900 to ₦262,000.
Salary ranges can vary significantly based on various crucial aspects, including education, credentials, skills, and the length of time working in a given field.