AutoCAD Designers use computer software to create technical drawings based on the work of architects and engineers. Some designers specialize in particular types of drawing, such as architectural or mechanical. AutoCAD Designers, also known as drafters, need to have outstanding technical and computer skills and an artistic eye.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create drawings and plans
- Collaborate with architects and engineers on projects
- Determine the proper size and materials for products
- Add details to architectural plans
Education and Background
AutoCAD Designers need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent, with classes in math, science, design, and computer graphics. Graduates typically continue their education by earning an associate degree from a community college or a certificate from a technical school. Professional certifications also are available.
Skills and Competencies
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Strong collaborative and interpersonal ability
- Expertise in time management and the ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to understand technical drawings and plans
- Advanced math and computer skills
- Creativity and artistic ability
- Keen attention to detail
According to Payscale the median annual salary of an AutoCAD Designer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $52,000
- Tampa, Florida: $47,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $44,000
- Miami, Florida: $52,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $50,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $58,000
- Houston, Texas: $56,000
- Los Angeles, California: $60,000
- New York City, New York: $61,000
- Seattle, Washington: $58,000
- Overall: $55,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $57,000
- Tampa, Florida: $62,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $50,000
- Miami, Florida: $57,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $57,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $68,000
- Houston, Texas: $65,000
- Los Angeles, California: $75,000
- New York City, New York: $76,000
- Seattle, Washington: $71,000
- Overall: $66,000
Similar Job Titles
- AutoCAD Drafter
- Civil Engineer
- VDC Engineer
- BIM Modeler
- REVIT Technician
- Mapping Technician
- Industrial Designer
The first step to becoming an AutoCAD Designer is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Students should then receive a drafting certificate from a technical school or an associate degree from a community college. Some graduates decide to specialize in a particular type of drafting, such as architectural or mechanical. The American Design Drafting Association offers certifications, which will expand your career opportunities.
Population growth means that construction-related jobs, and superintendents, in particular, will continue to be in demand. Maintenance, improvements, and construction of roads and bridges also will create more job opportunities. The emphasis on environmentally friendly development and energy efficiency should give the industry a boost as well.
Job prospects in the construction industry tend to ebb and flow with the economy. However, architects and engineers are taking on more tasks that previously were handled by drafters, which means fewer job opportunities. The Construction Management Association of America offers career coaching, a learning center, and job listings for candidates.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for AutoCAD Designers and Drafters should see little or no change for the next several years. Jobs might be tough to find. High school graduates who earn an associate degree and certification will improve their career prospects.
AutoCAD Designers typically work regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., though they sometimes might need to log more than 40 hours a week. Sometimes they will need to visit a construction site to collaborate with architects or engineers.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- American Design Drafting Association
- Construction Management Association of America
Are You Interested in Becoming a Construction AutoCAD Designer?
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