According to the latest reports, the average yearly salary of a CAD technician in the United States is $51,844.The salary isn't only tempting, but it's also constantly increasing over the last several years. If that sounds like a good reason to become a CAD technician, let's take a look at the qualifications required for this position.
In this article, we focus on details related to education, qualifications, and other characteristics that an excellent CAD technician should have. Here is how to get yourself ready for this industry!
CAD Technicians - a Brief Overview
CAD technician at Mazda working with BricsCAD.
Before we proceed with the required qualifications, here is a basic overview of the role of CAD technician:
- A CAD technician is a person who models things in CAD (computer-aided design) software.
- These people use 2D and 3D technology for modeling. That means they can draw anything from lines to 3D surfaces, solids, and meshes.
- CAD technicians can work from an office, but also home and any other location. They only need a computer, with the right software, in order to work.
- The design requirements might vary from one client to another. The deadlines can often be tight.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a CAD Technician?
There are three main ways of becoming a CAD technician:
- Acquiring a relevant degree
- Applying for a course
What Degree Is Suitable for a CAD Technician?
If you have the right training and skills, any degree can help you to land a job in this industry. A degree isn't a primary requirement, but it's an asset that can help you find a job quickly.
Here is an overview of the main job families and how a certain degree can help you become a CAD drafter:
- Architecture - this is often the first thing that comes to mind when someone says "CAD modeling." Architectural drafters often create designs for various structures with BIM. That's why a degree in Architecture can help significantly.
- Engineering and Electronics - some CAD modelers work on preparing designs for machines and other devices. Others design diagrams for circuit boards and electronic devices. Depending on your job, knowledge of Engineering and Electronics can be of great assistance.
- Construction - if you are preparing a wiring diagram for contractors to handle at the job site, it helps if you have a Construction degree. Your knowledge of structural engineering and various material properties can help you land a tempting job in the CAD industry. Additionally, a Construction degree is of assistance for Civil CAD projects. That could include highways, bridges, piping systems, etc.
- Design - Everything from the desk chair you're sat on to the computer game you play needs to be designed in CAD. Many people find a design degree gives them a steppingstone into the CAD world.
As a CAD drafter, you'll work in specialized software. BricsCAD is one such solution. That's why a crucial part of becoming a CAD technician is getting comfortable with CAD software.
Many institutions offer a variety of courses to help you become a CAD drafter. The courses can be of different lengths, but their goal is to prepare you for this job. It's vital to invest personal time and effort, too. The best way to learn how to work in these programs is to actually use them. That way, you'll quickly understand how everything works and become a master of this software.
You also have the apprenticeship option. In this situation, you get yourself a personal tutor and you'll work with an employer who already has the skills you need to learn. They will explain how to handle different tasks and get you ready for a full-time job.
What Skills and Traits Can Help You to Become a CAD Technician?
CAD Technician at work in VR.
What skills should you develop to become a successful CAD drafter? The truth is the requirements aren't that different from many other jobs.
Here are the traits that could help you in the CAD world:
- Meticulous and oriented to detail - from New Zealand to the USA, all CAD technicians need to pay attention to detail. That often distinguishes a perfect model from a bad one.
- Patience and adaptability - each client and project will have different requirements. It's vital you show patience, listen to every client, and understand their requests.
- Performing under pressure - CAD technicians often face tight deadlines. That's why it helps if you can handle pressure and still give your best, despite the circumstances.
- Multi-tasking - it's common for drafters to have two, or more, projects running simultaneously, especially in large companies.
- Thinking outside of the box - many people call this a problem-solving characteristic. If you have flexible and creative thinking, you'll find it useful in this industry.
The good news for all future CAD technicians is that the current job demand is high.
You don't explicitly need a college degree to become a CAD drafter. The basics include learning how to work in specialized software. Apprenticeship, courses, and even self-learning are the starting point of becoming a CAD technician. You can specialize in drafting models in various industries, such as architecture, engineering, or IT. That's where a college degree could help to understand the requirements that clients have. CAD drafters come from different backgrounds, and it can be a promising option for a successful career.