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, lay out 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.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Draft architectural designs, primarily using computer-aided design (CAD)
- Collect and synthesize all data necessary for drafts
- Perform 3-D design
- Prepare documents
- Research related code, building, and zoning requirements
- Attend project and on-site meetings and reviews
- Review accuracy and ensure the quality of deliverables
- Meet deadlines
- Work closely with architects throughout the construction process
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field.
Skills and Proficiencies
- Proficiency in AutoCAD and related software applications
- Well-developed technical abilities
- Sense of urgency to meet deadlines
- Expertise in collaboration
- Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office Suite
- Keen attention to detail
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a CAD Drafter with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $45,000
- Tampa, Florida: $41,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $49,000
- Miami, Florida: $42,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $43,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $42,000
- Houston, Texas: $45,000
- Los Angeles, California: $45,000
- New York City, New York: $45,000
- Seattle, Washington: $50,000
- Overall: $46,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $50,000
- Tampa, Florida: $52,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $60,000
- Miami, Florida: $54,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $55,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $49,000
- Houston, Texas: $55,000
- Los Angeles, California: $57,000
- New York City, New York: $61,000
- Seattle, Washington: $63,000
- Overall: $57,000
Similar Job Titles
- Junior Architect/Designer
- Mid-Level Architect/Designer
- Senior Architect/Designer
- Landscape Architect
Becoming a CAD Drafter typically requires a bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field. Students should take courses in mathematics, science, drawing, and design. Earning a professional drafting certification can help forward a career as a CAD Drafter.
Increased construction activity should drive demand for CAD Drafters, but this might be somewhat tempered in some instances by engineers and architects starting to perform drafting tasks.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for CAD Drafters is projected to show little or no change through 2028.
The typical work hours for a CAD Drafter are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., generally in an office setting, with after-hours or weekend hours as needed.
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