Computer Aided Drafters (CAD) use specialized software to assist architects and engineers. The software provides technical drawings and schematics. If you have an interest in engineering, architecture, or even construction and if you enjoy working on a computer, then you may enjoy a career as a Computer Aided Drafter.
Why Become A Computer Aided Drafter
Computer Aided Drafters can specialize. There are drafters who specialize in the manufacturing of aeronautics, buildings, road design, flood-control, electrical equipment, electronics, machinery, and pipelines. That list is not meant to be all inclusive. The field is expanding at a rapid pace.
Computer Aided Drafters primarily work from an office. Sometimes they do work on job sites in order to assist engineers and architects. Computer Aided Drafters most often work full time. They can be employed by many different businesses in addition to architects and engineers. They can be state or city employees, work for construction companies, or they can even be self-employed.
Computer Aided Drafter Salary
Median salary for Computer Aided Drafters in 2012 was reported by the Occupational Outlook Handbook as $49,630.00. The lowest salary reported was $32,000.00. Salaries for Computer Aided Drafters all vary depending on work. Those who specialize in electrical or electronic schematics and plans earned around $55,700.00. Mechanical drafters earned around $50,000.00. Computer Aided Drafters that specialized in architectural and civil design earned around $47,000.00. Education, experience, and skill also give weight to salary.
Computer Aided Drafter Career Outlook
Over the next ten years, the growth rate of computer aided drafting is expected to stay about the same. This field can be highly specialized. As such, when considering the overall career outlook, it is important to consider the specializations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can expect an increase in construction over the next ten years. It is safe to presume that there will be an increase in the demand for Computer Aided Drafters that primarily work in the architecture or construction industries. If you are more interested in electronics, that specialization is expected to grow at an average rate. Mechanical drafting is expected to decrease by 5% over the next ten years. One way to stabilize your career potential in as a Computer Aided Drafter is to make sure that you are trained in the newest and best drafting systems.
Computer Aided Drafter Degree
Becoming a Computer Aided Drafter takes a particular level of specialized training. Most post-high school programs last around two years. Many provide an Associate’s degree upon successful completion. A degree in Computer Aided Drafting is offered at technical schools and many vocational schools. The program is usually offered at community colleges as well. A great program will include design fundamentals, sketching, and how to use design and drafting software.
Computer Aided Drafters can receive additional certification through the American Design and Drafting Association. Nationally recognized certification can help your chances at landing your drafting dream job.