Computer-aided design (CAD) technicians use computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. We have discussed here the CAD Technician Job Description and Salary Details.
The CAD drawings are produced on the computer screen using the mouse and keyboard to draw lines, shapes, and components. Copying, pasting, and amending drawings is clearly much quicker and easier than changing paper copies. Drawings can also be sent by email to anybody with the requisite software to open the file.
CAD Technician Job Description
A CAD technician, generally known as a draughtsman, uses CAD software to create technical drawings and plans for products and parts used in the engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries.
If you’re interested in CAD, you may also be interested in more specialized areas where it’s used in other industries such as computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided styling (CAS), and computer-aided manufacturing design (CAM).
Computer-aided design or CAD technician uses CAD systems to create design plans for buildings and machinery. Essentially, a CAD technician job involves the production of electronic versions of the technical drawings which a draughtsman would previously have created with pen and paper at a drawing board.
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CAD technicians work with both 3D and 2D design – known respectively as solid and surface modeling. Solid modeling is the creation of a 3D display of a component or structure which engineers could use to take a ‘virtual tour’ around a proposed building or to look inside a piece of manufacturing machinery. With surface modeling, you would draw a flat representation of a design.
As a CAD technician, you could find yourself discussing a particular design with the engineering team, following your team leader’s instructions for developing a design, working from a computer model of the item, or changing detailed diagrams so they can be more easily followed.
Most CAD technicians work as part of a small team with other technicians and engineers, with each member assigned a separate area of a project under the supervision of a design engineer. You’ll be working at a day-to-day level of individual projects rather than being involved in major policy decisions.
CAD Technician Responsibilities and Duties
CAD technicians usually work in engineering, manufacturing, and construction industries and specialize in a certain technical field, such as mechanical, electrical, structural, control and instrumentation, or piping design.
You’ll also be able to use CAD skills in a range of creative industry jobs, such as set and interior design.
As a CAD Technician/Draughtsman, you’ll need to:
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technicians create electronic design plans for buildings and machinery using computer software. CAD Technicians work together with building architects and professional draftsmen to turn blueprints and technical drawings into 2D and 3D computer models.
- Prepare drawings of complex integrated security systems.
- Design and implement electrical systems, infrastructure, and security systems.
- Ensure compliance with quality standards in CAD drawings.
- Redesign drawings according to markups and specifications.
- Translate and convert hand drawings and sketches into CAD systems.
- Read, evaluate, and interpret designs and drawings.
- Create and implement work methodologies and strategies.
- Meeting with Engineers, Draftsmen, and Designers to review blueprints and design drawings.
- Inputting design specifications into the CAD software.
- Creating surface and solid CAD models according to client specifications.
- Working with a design team and individually on CAD projects.
- Reviewing CAD models with the client and making minor adjustments.
- Conducing final model rendering and delivering the final product.
- Completing job reports.
- Document and update all drawings.
- Design and architect building drawings and documents.
- Support compliance procedures of drafting and engineering standards.
- create high-quality detailed technical drawings and plans based on designs supplied by architects and designers and make modifications to existing drawings
- use a variety of CAD software programs to create designs in 2D and 3D models
- liaise with architects, engineers, and designers to understand their design requirements and provide technical advice to manufacturing and construction technicians
- provide accurate, detailed and to scale drawings
- ensure drawings are compliant with industry and health and safety standards and protocols
- calculate costs and apply knowledge of materials and engineering principles to check the feasibility of manufacture and construction of the product
- conduct site visits and surveys when required
- present working drawings for use in all stages of the project, tender, manufacture/construction, and installation
- produce installation and manufacturing documentation
- maintain accurate records.
Expectations From CAD Technician
- CAD technicians are mainly office-based and can spend long hours at a computer or drawing desk requiring periods of concentration.
- Not all the work is individual and you could be working with a team of other technicians or architects, contractors, or design engineers.
- You’ll typically have to meet with clients and designers to understand their requirements for a design. You could also be providing technical advice to designers, manufacturers on shop floors, and engineers on construction sites.
- Depending on the industry and the role, you may be required to visit building sites or manufacturing facilities. You could be based in a construction site office for the duration of a project.
- Work is project-based and can involve working to tight deadlines and providing updates or changes to plans last minute. You may also be required to work on multiple projects at once.
CAD Technician Qualifications
You can become a CAD technician through a relevant degree, college course, or apprenticeship.
A degree is not a prerequisite for entry to a CAD technician/Draughtsperson role but it can provide relevant engineering and technical knowledge. Relevant degrees include all engineering disciplines, architecture, manufacturing, IT, and design.
Graduates can find entry-level roles as a CAD technician/draughtsperson to gain industry experience before progressing to other engineering roles such as design engineer, civil engineer, and architectural professions.
The main route to becoming a CAD technician is to do an apprenticeship or advanced apprenticeship with an employer in engineering design and draughting or computer-aided design.
- Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Design.
- CAD Certification.
- Previous experience as a CAD Technician.
- Advanced knowledge of CAD and AutoCAD software.
- Ability to read and translate blueprints and technical drawings.
- Basic understanding of building design and mechanical processes.
- Ability to work as part of a team and individually on projects.
- A keen eye for detail.
- Excellent time management skills.
- Strong communication skills.
Skills Required For CAD Technician Job Profile
As a part of CAD Technician Job Description You’ll need to have the following skills;
- knowledge of engineering principles and ability to create and read technical drawings
- IT skills and experience using computer-aided design software such as Autocad and Solidworks
- the ability to transfer, display and manipulate your work using Microsoft Office and other programs
- attention to detail to create accurate and detailed drawings and check other colleagues’ work for accuracy and quality
- communication skills and relationship building to work with clients and other engineers and architects to understand and interpret their designs
- teamwork – essential to be able to work in a team as you’ll be liaising with other CAD technicians and draughtspersons on projects
- organization and time management to complete work to project deadlines
- a flexible approach to decision making, to make changes to drawings at short notice
- mathematical skills to complete calculations and estimates
- spatial and design skills to be able to visualize projects in 2D and 3D
- problem solving, creativity and innovation in order to come up with solutions to design problems
- knowledge of health and safety requirements in order to design in line with industry standards.
To ensure success as a CAD Technician, you should have extensive working experience with CAD software, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to work as part of a team. A top-class CAD Technician is a technical wizard, creating exact computer models of building and machine designs according to the client’s specifications.
Employers usually require relevant engineering knowledge and experience of using CAD software.
Large engineering and construction companies offer summer placements and year-in-industry placements to students on relevant degree programs. These can provide industry experience and give you opportunities to use computer-aided design software on real-life projects.
Apprenticeships offer on-the-job training with employers and a chance to gain industry experience alongside working towards a qualification.
Any opportunities to work shadow and gain industry experience and using computer-aided design software will help towards getting a role.
You can learn the basics of using this software through free online tutorials and courses.
CAD technicians usually work in the manufacturing, engineering and construction industries, but are also found in a range of other industries where parts or products are designed or manufactured.
CAD technicians are employed in a broad range of industries including construction, manufacturing, and engineering. You could be working in local government, for the Civil Service, electricity and water supply or the shipbuilding, telecommunications, and broadcasting industries.
Large civil engineering, construction, or manufacturing companies usually have in-house design or drawing office, or you could work for a specialist drafting or design company that provides CAD drawing services to other industries.
Typical employers are:
- Civil engineering and construction companies
- Architectural practices
- Aerospace companies
- Automotive manufacturers
- Broadcasting and telecommunications
- Utility companies
- Electrical and electronic engineering companies
- The Government
- Consumer goods manufacturers
- Oil and gas providers.
Specialist engineering, construction, and manufacturing recruitment agencies will also advertise CAD technicians and draughtsman jobs.
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CAD Technician Salary
The Average Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technician Salary in India is ₹512,043
The Average Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technician Salary in the USA is $47,604
Newly qualified and junior CAD technicians may initially work on small projects, making revisions to existing drawings or converting archive drawings from paper to computer. After gaining experience, your role may develop and allow you to be more involved in the design process and work on larger projects.
Junior CAD technicians can progress to senior CAD technician roles, which can involve managing a team of technicians, overseeing work in the design office, and overall project management.
Graduates who gain experience as a CAD technician can progress to other roles, such as design engineers and civil engineers.
You could start by doing a higher national diploma or degree that includes computer-aided design work. For example:
- Architectural technology
- Product design
- Design engineering
CAD design is a rapidly growing area, with opportunities in many different industries. Increasingly complex product design and manufacturing processes should mean CAD technicians will continue to enjoy good employment prospects.