Welcome to Part I of our CAD Career Blog Series. Be sure to check out Part II to start planning your CAD education. Also, Part III lists the top 5 cities in the U.S. for finding a job in CAD Design.
The shift to smart, connected products is impacting the structure of many industries, particularly manufacturing. In our recent white paper, “Building new teams for product innovation,” we discuss the evolution of design engineering and CAD, and its influence on product design.
Companies are using the most advanced computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to develop innovative products to keep up with consumer demand. CADD systems are more user-friendly and more powerful than AutoCAD and CAD software, and allow other technical professionals, such as engineering technicians and engineers, to perform many tasks previously done by drafters.
The next phase of computer-aided design is materializing in university computer science departments. It will enable designers and engineers to create even more complex and creative shapes.
This development has the potential to curb demand for specialty drafters; however, according to the BLS, CAD design and drafting jobs are still on the rise. Top industries for drafting positions include professional, scientific and technical services manufacturing.
Drafting jobs, in general, are projected to grow 13 percent by 2022. Specifically, electrical and electronics drafting positions are anticipated to increase 10 percent by 2022, much greater than the predicted growth for mechanical drafters and architectural/civil drafters.
Entry-level CAD design professionals earn salaries ranging from $26k to $46k annually. These positions include:
- AutoCAD Designer
- CAD Designer
- CAD Drafter
- Mechanical drafter
- Mechanical Designer
Mid- to senior level CAD design professionals earn salaries ranging from $30k to $72k annually. These positions include:
- Senior Mechanical Designer
- Architect (not landscape)
- Project manager, construction
- Senior CAD Designer
- Project manager, architecture
- CAD manager
- Senior drafter
- Drafting supervisor
Skill sets for CAD designers
A good mix of soft and hard skills are required to support these high-powered applications.
- Critical thinking – Assist engineers by identifying problems with plans and designs.
- Detail oriented – Pay close attention to details so that the plans they are helping to build are technically accurate to the outlined specifications.
- Interpersonal skills – Work closely with architects, engineers, and other designers to make sure that final plans are accurate. This requires the ability to take advice and constructive criticism, as well as to offer it.
- Time-management – Work efficiently under strict deadlines in order to produce the required output according to set schedules.
- Math skills – Work with technical drawings that may require solving mathematical calculations involving angles, weights, and costs.
- Engineering design & technical skills – Use computer software, such as CADD, and work with database tools, such as BIM (building information modeling).
- 3D rendering – Analyzing production costs and feasibility, conducting product-based research, creating virtual and physical models, developing blueprints, evaluating materials, sketching designs, user awareness and safety testing, working as part of a team
- CADD, CAD, AutoCAD – Use specialized computer software to generate drawings, blueprints, plans, and other design documents for use across a wide variety of fields (electronics design, architecture, construction, engineering, etc.).
Where can CAD designers and drafters find jobs in their industry?
At Adecco Engineering & Technology, we connect more people with more opportunities at great companies than anyone else in the world. Right now, we have hundreds of contract, temp-to-perm and direct hire design engineering and CAD design positions available nationwide.
The best part – it doesn’t cost you anything to apply to join our team of talented and innovative engineering and IT associates! And, we provide access to benefits, skills training and practical career advice.