CAD DrafterJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

CAD drafters ensure that construction plans for a building or structure are technically sound and correct. They make sure every detail of a plan or drawing is accurate before construction progresses to the next step at an architectural firm or organization.

CAD drafters use software to convert designs into technical drawings. Their role is highly collaborative, as they work with architects, designers, engineers, surveyors, and other professionals. CAD drafters collect all drawings, data, and notes involved in a project, draft building plans, layout interiors, and even designate landscaping. Their responsibility is to flesh out a final version of the construction project — specifying dimensions, codes, production methods, and materials.

Sample job description #1

Who you are

  • You know drafting. You’re a CAD enthusiast with at least three years of experience or technical training using Microstation
  • A high school diploma is a must; even better if your studies took you further
  • You’re a people person with the ability to interface and collaborate effectively with other team members. Your strong organization and communication skills will contribute to your success
  • You’re a detail-loving drafter. You’re meticulous and have a knack for quality. We need someone who can draft with the best of them
  • You’re proficient with business and engineering applications. Microsoft Office and Microstation proficiency is a must

What you’ll do

  • You’ll flex your drafting muscle. You’ll prepare drawings from engineering and/or field markups for designers and engineers. You’ll coordinate CAD for projects and be responsible for initial drawing setup. You’ll assist in file management, scanning, plotting, creating, and updating project drawing lists and general drawing management
  • You’ll prepare drawings for permits. You’ll comply with requirements by local villages, road, and rail authorities, etc.
  • You’ll ensure adherence to company and industry standards. The details make the difference. You’ll apply our standards, guidelines, specifications, practices, and procedures in preparing design drawings. You’ll archive CAD files in accordance with company standards
  • You’ll connect with people. You’ll regularly communicate and coordinate project activities with internal team members
  • You’ll enjoy what you do. You’ll work with great people, learn, grow, and have a good time doing it

Sample job description #2


  • Provides CAD and drafting support for new and existing products as well as support manufacturing process when needed
  • Provide prototype to full production for engineering drawings and specifications including design layouts, component and assembly drawings, and final production specifications
  • Maintain engineering drawing databases and support the engineering change process through updating existing and creating new documentation
  • Creating new and updating existing CAD drawings in AutoCAD and Solidworks
  • Participate as a member of the product development team, interact with interdisciplinary teams in various projects to help develop and document new products, line extensions or product feature enhancements
  • Perform component and assembly drawing layouts
  • Ensure documentation standards are met for all new and existing products prior to market introduction
  • Support the engineering change process support function. Track and act on engineering drawing and specification change requests in a timely manner
  • Maintain product drawings through use of SolidWorks PDM system
  • Setup and measure components for documentation on a comparator (shadow graph system, digital optical comparator, etc.)
  • Initiate engineering change orders and manage implementation of revised documents through to release in document control system
  • Provide detailing and drawing expertise to product management and external vendors


  • Associate degree in technical drafting or drafting certifications a minimum; Will consider work experience in lieu of degree
  • 5+ years experience in a drafting background, preferably in a medical device background
  • Experience working with both AutoCAD and Solidworks
  • Good Communication skills both verbal and written
  • Ability to work well in a design team and handle multiple designs
  • Mechanical Skills: Proper use of measurement instruments including caliper, micrometer, and comparator

Sample job description #3

The CAD Drafter position, under general supervision, is responsible for carrying out drafting assignments of a routine to moderately complex nature. Additional responsibilities include converting product design sketches into working documents by digitizing with Computer Aided Design (CAD) to enable a CAD operator to complete related computer entry. In addition, produce complete drawings, review engineering drawings, and support documentation.

Performance expectations

  • Ensure all engineering documents are kept updated and record correct revision
  • Completion of ECR’s
  • Design any data sheets that need to be implemented for documentation
  • Prepare and log engineering drawings (process spec and tooling drawings)
  • Keep all Master files up to date
  • Support program Managers and Program Engineers with the process documentation when necessary
  • Create fully detailed engineering drawings that contain all necessary information required specifications
  • Control/Update Plant Layout


  • Post-Secondary Education in Engineering Design and Drafting Technology or in a related field
  • Completion of a minimum three year apprenticeship program or minimum four years of related experience in addition to completion of college or industry courses in drafting
  • Minimum two years of experience
  • Ability to read schematics, assembly drawings, blueprints, product specifications, and geometric dimensioning tolerance (GD&T)
  • Ability to decide presentation of additional design details to determine how construction or manufacturing employees will use them
  • Possess expert knowledge of AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Pro Engineer, or related 3D engineering modeling software, Corel Draw, Microsoft Excel, and Word

Desired characteristics

  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment to share opinions with appropriate personnel
  • Ability to seek and obtain information clarification and feedback about drawings and to discuss project challenges with appropriate departments
  • Demonstrate problem solving and analytical skills to ensure drawing specifications
  • Ability to learn about technological advances from daily work activities, training offered by software companies, and other educational/visual aids

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a CAD drafter is $51,500 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$51,200$69,300
Los Angeles, California$57,800$78,200
Denver, Colorado$48,150$65,150
Washington, DC$58,650$79,350
Miami, Florida$47,950$64,850
Orlando, Florida$44,200$59,800
Tampa, Florida$44,650$60,400
Atlanta, Georgia$46,850$63,350
Chicago, Illinois$53,850$72,850
Boston, Massachusetts$58,200$78,750
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$46,400$62,800
New York City, New York$61,300$82,900 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$49,900 $67,500
Dallas, Texas$48,600$65,750
Houston, Texas$48,150$65,150
Seattle, Washington$56,050$75,800
National Average$43,800$59,250

Sample interview questions

  • Why are you passionate about design?
  • What qualities do you possess that make you a good CAD drafter?
  • Why do you want to work in this specialty compared to other areas as a CAD drafter?
  • Tell me about a recent project you completed that you were proud of.
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • How long have you been a CAD drafter?
  • How do you ensure accurate results with differing projects?
  • What software are you most familiar with?
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • What is the most difficult design you had to create as a CAD drafter?
  • Do you plan to pursue education or complete additional certifications as a drafter?
  • How well do you work with others?
  • How do you stay focused and motivated throughout the workday?
  • Share a time you had a disagreement with an engineer. What was the problem and how did you two resolve the issue?
  • What makes you stand out from other drafters?
  • Can you make layouts on your own?
  • Do you think of yourself as more creative or technical-minded? Explain.

CAD Drafter Jobs in Ashburn

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