Are cad operator job opportunities growing or declining?

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Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cad operator opportunities?

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the_lost_art in Brewster, New York

63 months ago

Operative word being CAD "operator". If you are a CAD Operator than your job prospects will be limited. Train/retrain yourself in drafting (Mechanical, Electrical, Architectural or Civil) than your job prospects will increase. Civil and Architectural jobs are tight right now, but electrical remains pretty good in Silicon Valley types of areas.

Knowing CAD programs does not make you a drafter/designer any more than knowing Photoshop makes you an artist. You have have to learn the lost art of drafting.

Good luck in your search.

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shannon3095 in Jacksonville, Florida

43 months ago

I dont waste my time on craigslist anymore, Almost every listing is some long drawn out phishing scam to sell your personal info or get u to pay for some background check or school BULLSH*T. I have just about given up on using the internet to find a job opening. I think everyone should strike ! STOP USING THESES WEBSITES

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bootknifecity in Garner, North Carolina

43 months ago

Agreed.... and I'm the 35 year old "cad monkey" at the beck and call of engineering interns 10 years younger than me. You want to talk about "marginalized"??? Every day my sanity and my wrist suffer at that CAD station (a POS computer at a countertop) while my intern coworkers that have been out of college for fifteen minutes run the gauntlet on me like i am a short order cook.

I draw the same things for them over and over and over. I catch all sorts of design and "fit up" errors in their work and kick it back to them. Do you think they thank me or respect me? HA! Forget it. They dismiss me, fix their design issue, slap it on my desk at 5:00pm and go home while i continue to draw at breakneck speed until 7:00pm because they take the entire life cycle of the project to do their "design". The drawing portion is just an afterthought to them but the drawings still have to "urgently go out that day!!!".

I finally go home, soak my aching wrist, and then do it all over the next day. Oh, and I have a four year pre-professional architecture degree.

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Industrial design GUY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

43 months ago

Your in the wrong job my friend, a true architect should NEVER be working for engineers. As an architect you have more talent and creative capabillity than any engineer --- that's why your an Architect! I'm an Industrial designer, I've designed everything from toasters to aircraft interiors...we work with engineers all they time. They have thier uses but do not run the show so to speak. I a fellow creative professional I would tell you to move on and get out of there. Good Luck.

bootknifecity in Garner, North Carolina said: Agreed.... and I'm the 35 year old "cad monkey" at the beck and call of engineering interns 10 years younger than me. You want to talk about "marginalized"??? Every day my sanity and my wrist suffer at that CAD station (a POS computer at a countertop) while my intern coworkers that have been out of college for fifteen minutes run the gauntlet on me like i am a short order cook.

I draw the same things for them over and over and over. I catch all sorts of design and "fit up" errors in their work and kick it back to them. Do you think they thank me or respect me? HA! Forget it. They dismiss me, fix their design issue, slap it on my desk at 5:00pm and go home while i continue to draw at breakneck speed until 7:00pm because they take the entire life cycle of the project to do their "design". The drawing portion is just an afterthought to them but the drawings still have to "urgently go out that day!!!".

I finally go home, soak my aching wrist, and then do it all over the next day. Oh, and I have a four year pre-professional architecture degree.

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Industrial design GUY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

43 months ago

Your in the wrong job my friend, a true architect should NEVER be working for engineers. As an architect you have more talent and creative capabillity than any engineer --- that's why your an Architect! I'm an Industrial designer, I've designed everything from toasters to aircraft interiors...we work with engineers all they time. They have thier uses but do not run the show so to speak. I a fellow creative professional I would tell you to move on and get out of there. Good Luck.

bootknifecity in Garner, North Carolina said: Agreed.... and I'm the 35 year old "cad monkey" at the beck and call of engineering interns 10 years younger than me. You want to talk about "marginalized"??? Every day my sanity and my wrist suffer at that CAD station (a POS computer at a countertop) while my intern coworkers that have been out of college for fifteen minutes run the gauntlet on me like i am a short order cook.

I draw the same things for them over and over and over. I catch all sorts of design and "fit up" errors in their work and kick it back to them. Do you think they thank me or respect me? HA! Forget it. They dismiss me, fix their design issue, slap it on my desk at 5:00pm and go home while i continue to draw at breakneck speed until 7:00pm because they take the entire life cycle of the project to do their "design". The drawing portion is just an afterthought to them but the drawings still have to "urgently go out that day!!!".

I finally go home, soak my aching wrist, and then do it all over the next day. Oh, and I have a four year pre-professional architecture degree.

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Industrial design GUY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

43 months ago

Your in the wrong job my friend, a true architect should NEVER be working for engineers. As an architect you have more talent and creative capabillity than any engineer --- that's why your an Architect! I'm an Industrial designer, I've designed everything from toasters to aircraft interiors...we work with engineers all they time. They have thier uses but do not run the show so to speak. I a fellow creative professional I would tell you to move on and get out of there. Good Luck.

bootknifecity in Garner, North Carolina said: Agreed.... and I'm the 35 year old "cad monkey" at the beck and call of engineering interns 10 years younger than me. You want to talk about "marginalized"??? Every day my sanity and my wrist suffer at that CAD station (a POS computer at a countertop) while my intern coworkers that have been out of college for fifteen minutes run the gauntlet on me like i am a short order cook.

I draw the same things for them over and over and over. I catch all sorts of design and "fit up" errors in their work and kick it back to them. Do you think they thank me or respect me? HA! Forget it. They dismiss me, fix their design issue, slap it on my desk at 5:00pm and go home while i continue to draw at breakneck speed until 7:00pm because they take the entire life cycle of the project to do their "design". The drawing portion is just an afterthought to them but the drawings still have to "urgently go out that day!!!".

I finally go home, soak my aching wrist, and then do it all over the next day. Oh, and I have a four year pre-professional architecture degree.

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jjr5834 in Houston, Texas

40 months ago

I have been in the piping design/drafting field for over 40 years. I started
out in manual drafting and now it is called 3D cad modeling. The payrate in
this area is very good, average pay for 10 years is about 445/hour. Some
more experienced 3D PDS, PDMS, SmartPlant, Cadworx or AutoPlant designers
earn in excess of $70/hour. It is not dead in Houston, Tx.

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jjr5834 in Houston, Texas

40 months ago

jjr5834 in Houston, Texas said: I have been in the piping design/drafting field for over 40 years. I started
out in manual drafting and now it is called 3D cad modeling. The payrate in
this area is very good, average pay for 10 years is about 445/hour. Some
more experienced 3D PDS, PDMS, SmartPlant, Cadworx or AutoPlant designers
earn in excess of $70/hour. It is not dead in Houston, Tx.

Correction, a typo in this: 445/hour to read $45/hour.

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johnz in Wellington, New Zealand

39 months ago

I totally disagree what people are writing in this post. Demand for knowledgable drafters are still high. There are two types of Drafters for example you have a drafter who knows how to use CAD (AutoCad, Microstation) but has no idea what he is drawing or editing according to the Engineer's markups. Then you have a Drafter who knows CAD and also knows what the Engineer is trying to achieve in the process of the drawing these are the drafters which are in demand and therefore a title of "Electrical Drafter or Civil Drafter" are what they can be called or whatever field they are in.

Drafters are still widely used these days for the Engineering field and are still in demand and Engineering Drafters are MORE in demand than Architectural drafters. Arch drafters then to decline if no buidlings are built. But Engineering drafters are always in demand.

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n.galdo in Davao, Philippines

39 months ago

Architect needs engineer and engineers need architect...i think both of them are interconnected to one another...lets make an example,Architect may wish to design 50 storey bldg,,yes architect can desind but doent mean that he include the structural design,,architect are not allowed to design the structural of high rise bldg ,it is very complicated and needs lots of computation and testing before they reniunch it as approved design,,on architecture they always base on standard require for structural design taht allows only for 3 -5 stry bldg...architect design the appearance design exterior and interior including,color,decoration,king of materials,lighting,...but if an architect wish to design a 50 story bldg it cannot stand without structural engineer,,,structural engineer is like a bone of the body of human without bone haman cannot stand..its simple,..architect limited only on Vertical structure like houses where as Engineer are usefull in designing,bridge,roads,bldg,raiway,apron and simple houses...on the other hand if engineer design A 50 STOry bldg,he need an architect to give a good perpective on his design.

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yourall nar nar in Flint, Michigan

36 months ago

cadd is rising like your manmeats did before you started to fart dust. just because you all live in crappy areas.. starting my internship this week for 40,000 a year and still have 2 classes before i have my degree. some of you may still be good, but the rest are out dated, sorry guys. the chance of my hiring direct is about 90% started at 72,000. Nearly guaranteed 6 figures in 8 years. so is cadd on the decline?? for you it is. time to retire boys.

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Kevin in Longmont, Colorado

36 months ago

I think we should forward this to your 'employer', dimwit. Your grammar is awful, not to mention completely nonsensical. I don't know what the recruiters at DeVry are telling you, but there are relatively few, if any, CAD drafters that make 6 figures, let alone in the high 5 figures. Why would you pay a drafter that much when you can hire a qualified engineer to do the same thing, and get better results? As long as engineers know how to effectively use CAD, you don't need drafters. Sorry to burst your bubble, buddy, but the real world is about to teach you a big lesson, in contrast to what you're being falsely told in your classrooms.

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Jim in La Habra, California

35 months ago

I realize this comment was made almost 2 years ago but its just not true. Solidworks is no more competitive than AutoCad or ProEngineer or Catia. It all depends on what a company chooses as its platform. Solidworks is kind of the almost as good as ProEngineer software. But the big companies will stick with PRO/E for all the things it can do that Solidworks just can't do as well as PROE. But there is n magic software to know anymore. Engineers are loosing ground as we become a service economy. Some said the 80s - 90s where the CAD heyday and boy that was true. But its all changed now.

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M in Charlotte, North Carolina

34 months ago

Yes, the jobs are declining. I've been looking for stable work the last 5 years and it just isnt there at least in my location. I moved on to a different occupation and have found more success. Find work, wherever you can cause its NOT in drafting.

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Pepote in Port Washington, New York

31 months ago

Most of you guys have no idea what are talking about. I have been in Engineering managment in 2 companies that manufacture electronics, and I have hired engineers CAD, EEs, CS, etc.. for years. While it is true that there is less demand in the mechanical CAD side, the reason is because tools and interface with builders/manufacturing is much more eficcient now and requiere less people and steps. In my last company we had 4 Autocad guys drawing assemblies, mechanical enclorues etc.. After we got Solidworks we keep the 2 best, and they could do more than the 4 together with Autocad. EEs (aka hardware engineers) while they may mess a litle bit with modeling in solidworks to see how things may look, we don't want they spend more than extrictly necesary doing that since is much cheaper (like half) when made by a drafter. However, these days (2012) machined designs are more affordable what is requiring more mechanical skills and people. But if you want to make more money as a CAD guy move to PCB Design where salaries are half way between drafters and EEs. It requieres some basic skills in electronics, some that can be learn by experience or in some AS degree in electronics. Drafters, unless they only know Autocad, are far from dead!

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Scott Jackson in Overland Park, Kansas

31 months ago

deadend job in Rochester, New York said: if you are talking about " cad " or " autocad " that is a dying software.
the field has turned to solidworks. if you plan on learning a drafting software make sure it is solidworks and nothing else because 95% of companies are running this software and if you are limited to only knowing autocad your job options are very limited

Solidworks is a CAD program

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Mike Radwanski in Erlanger, Kentucky

30 months ago

A CAD operator per say isn't because most engineers have the knowhow today to navigate CAD programs such as CATIA, AutoCAD, and Unigrahpics. I've worked in this profession myself for almost 9 years and I can say that you need more than a 4 year degree in just a general study. You need at least a Mechanical Engineering Technology degree if not a engineering degree. Your options will be better down the road should you want to advance up the chain of command of design. Avoid ITT or other small technical "schools" that are not part of a larger state or private university system.

Now lets talk about pay. You will by no means be upper middle class with this profession. At best you might make 80k with overtime by the end of your career in todays money. As appealing as that sounds, an engineer can make twice that. If you got the smarts, push yourself to get that engineering degree - you will thank yourself years from now.

Last but not least, let's talk about respect. No matter how many years in the field, you will not be respected very much at all. Engineering may throw a bone at you now and then in the way of letting you be on a discloser for a patent when you contributed ideas for 4 or 5. Your also going to have to train every new engineer that comes in the door on whatever product your working on. The young engineer may also make just as much you.

Take it from a guy who has a 4 year degree that isn't related to engineering - get the engineering degree.

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Sjack84 in Overland Park, Kansas

30 months ago

Is there a demand for engineering majors who are skilled CAD drawers? I've been using and learning about Solidworks since my first semester of starting my civil engineering degree. CAD proficiency is not required, but we learned the basics because we should at least know how to draw, dimension, and label a 2D Autocad print for class projects. When we took a brief look at Solidworks I got hooked and chose to learn it on my own on the side. I feel that being able to use programs like Solidworks is probably my most beneficial skill to incorperate into engineering and to differentiate myself from those going into similar engineering fields, but I also think nobody is looking for that addition to having an engineering degree.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

30 months ago

The civil engineering firms that I am aware of use either Microstation or AutoCad (or both). Job postings for CAD drafters over the past few years that I have seen are requiring more knowledge of 3D drafting.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

30 months ago

And yes, more companies are having the engineers do their own drafting from what I've seen.

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SkiWrex in Draper, Utah

27 months ago

-I would say it all depends on the industry. AutoCAD is not a cutting edge program like it once was. It's still widely used, but today Parametric softwares are the industry norm, (Solidworks, CATIA, Pro-E, Revit etc). Drafting is evolving into more of a designer role, In college, my professors were adamant about teaching us the why and how of the design concepts behind what we were drawing so that we could grow into designers. I'm a mechanical Designer for a Medical Device company that has 4 roles for the CAD field (Drafter, SR. Drafter, Designer, SR. Designer) I started out as a Drafting Intern, with time and experience, I can get to SR. Designer with a salary of between $60,000-$90,000.
-Engineers CAN take on drafting/Design roles by designing their own stuff (If they have time), but usually their technical drawings are GARBAGE! I've seen machinists laugh engineers out of the shop because of their terrible drawings and lack of understanding basic machining principles. There is not an engineer in my company who can churn out a practical design and technical drawing as fast as I can, they usually come up with a prelim design, and then give it to me to make it work:)
-Personally, I would not want to be an engineer in my company, their job is way too stressful and busy for my liking. I enjoy sitting at my desk, listening to my iPod whilst designing in 3D CAD programs all day and getting paid nearly as much as they do. It is wise to get a technology based Bachelors degree of some sort to supplement your 2 year drafting degree. My B.S. is in Technology Management because I hope to become a design manager some day.
-To sum up, Drafting won't go away, it can be what you choose to make it and open up doors you never though possible. The trick to being successful is:
1-Get into an industry you enjoy
2-Make yourself valuable: learn multiple programs and grow your skills anyway you can (don't be content to just be a 15/hr drafter)
3-Be efficient/quick

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Fogg in York, Pennsylvania

16 months ago

Well, now. Quite a plethora of nay-sayers abound here - and my hope is that your math and/or CAD (or even engineering) skills are better than your grammar skills. Otherwise, you'd be have the onus of an Associate-degreed "CAD slave" grading your posts - and "fixin' it for ya" (to use the parlance of the times). My last group of (alas, now former) associates (read "licensed PE, PLS or RLA") were by and large CAD illiterate, especially when it came down to the necessary task of performing specialized calculation or query operations; thus earning me the mantle of "an anomaly." And while we're on the topic, don't even get me started on adherence to the National CAD Standard!

Markets may indicate decline, but brain power is always at a premium. Thank you and Goodnight.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

16 months ago

Strictly CAD or drafting jobs are in decline. Companies want CAD designers with architecture, engineering, or land surveying degrees. CAD software is becoming more automated making it easier for these people to do their own design drafting quickly. -- Since the recession, companies have cut a lot of their technical support staff. Many of them were drafters. These jobs have been eliminated for good. -- Although, there are contract/temp drafting jobs with some companies. A lot of this has to do with the oil and gas industry. Good luck with that, though. I’m under the impression you have to know AutoCAD Civil 3D, CADWorx, etc. rather well. You have to hit the ground running, manipulate the software, and spit the plans out quickly. Good luck getting hired. These companies don’t want to spend the length of the contract training you. -- And to top it all off, these jobs don’t pay that well. Relocate? Okay, maybe. Then what? The job ends. In this economy, what are the chances there’s going to be another job lined up after the first one ends? You might end up stuck and further in debt.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: And yes, more companies are having the engineers do their own drafting from what I've seen.

I've worked with PE's that told me they'd rather hire people with an actual civil engineering degree to do the drafting. They want people with "full design knowledge" to do the drafting. You know. Cost cutting.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: And yes, more companies are having the engineers do their own drafting from what I've seen.

I've (also) worked with PEs that did their own drafting. Some are reasonably good at it and some aren't. Most engineers churn out crummy drawings. The "plan" might be right, but the drawing looks terrible.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: And yes, more companies are having the engineers do their own drafting from what I've seen.

I'm (also) under the impression that most engineers don't have time to do the drafting. Maybe that's why their drawings are so sloppy. Will software ever become automated enough for engineers to completely rid of drafters?

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Upenn02 in Swedesboro, New Jersey said: Please do not misunderstand; in no way am I questioning the quality of architectural (or other) drafters. I'm only noting these positions have been marginalized in the last decade or so, and many companies on the whole have discovered the need no longer exists to employ a cad " drafter " (insert discipline) because the engineer / architect are fully capable of taking on those responsibilities. It's all about the bottom line, and firms want to squeeze every last possible drop of profit out of contracts . Most engineers / architects are conversant in not only cad but drafting practices as well, as the exposure comes early in the collegial experience, in fact those are usually some of the first classes - this specialized knowledge is no longer "outside" the typical engineering curriculum. Thus, as an engineering manager , why would I employ extra positions to create and/or execute changes to engineering documentation when my engineers are fully capable of those efforts AND signing off on the drawings to boot. The engineer is no longer forced to trust the experience or professionalism of the cad (insert discipline) drafter. Yep, it means folks loose their jobs, but that's how it works. The CDI's, Lincoln Techs, Starr, and Omega Institutes of the world are jokes. They are cad diploma mills where students "barely" scratch the surface of their chosen cad specialization. This is a well known fact as many of these "schools" have pending lawsuits against them. I would suggest anyone considering a cad (enter the specialization here) drafting career take a long hard look at it first to determine if your goals will be attained by traveling down that road.

I have always wondered after 45 years in this biz, what is a cad drafter? I have worked with mechanical, piping, electrical, instrument, civil, structural, p & ID
drafters/designers and they do drafting in those fields. So a cad drafter drafts cad?
e

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

jjr5834 in Houston, Texas said: I have been in the piping design / drafting field for over 40 years. I started
out in manual drafting and now it is called 3D cad modeling. The payrate in
this area is very good, average pay for 10 years is about 445/hour. Some
more experienced 3D PDS, PDMS, SmartPlant, Cadworx or AutoPlant designers
earn in excess of $70/hour. It is not dead in Houston, Tx.

There are companies here in Wichita, KS that are asking for piping design knowledge and experience in software like CADWorx. Unfortunately, in Wichita, there's no place to get "the right training." Unless you have the money to fork out for software and workshops or move to Houston. But when people get laid off, their budgets tighten. You can't get a Pell Grant or loan for all training. And besides that, being tied down to school full time (for possibly a career change) may not even be an option. You have to secure a roof over your head, first. Somehow, some way, it'll work out. But it probably won't be in drafting. Not for me, anyway.

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Cadworx has online training and its reasonable. It does depend in what town you
are in for sure but the engineering firms that deal in oil/gas plants are the ones to look into.
You do have to have an income in order to survive and going to classes are mostly
during the day but like I said there are many on-line courses now.
I am in the field of piping design and in Houston, TX its a boom for sure and should last for 3-5 years more.
JB

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: I've (also) worked with PEs that did their own drafting. Some are reasonably good at it and some aren't. Most engineers churn out crummy drawings. The "plan" might be right, but the drawing looks terrible.

I can gurantee you that engineers didn't go to college and get a degree to do drafting! Too much sacrifice and cost to end up doing drafting.
Some of the firms have tried to do just that, hire engineersthat have cad experience and have them do draftin too. Here in Houston, TX that has flunked
out big time just because of the reason stated above.
JB

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

JB in Houston, Texas said: Cadworx has online training...

I think I was aware of that. Good reminder though. Similar software, I think even CADWorx, is used in the agricultural/ethanol industry. I had been working in the civil engineering industry. My experience doesn’t translate that well from land base infrastructure to process piping, etc. I’ve worked more with 2D than 3D. Any 3D I did was “land” development using AutoCAD Civil 3D. Plats, streets, waterlines and sewer lines don’t equate to process piping. Furthermore, I have looked for civil drafting jobs in other cities and had phone interviews. (Yes, if I could find a civil drafting job in another city just to get training for something else, I’d do it.) I’m under the impression that nobody wants to pay. For instance, Williston, North Dakota, I saw an ad in their local paper’s classifieds for land survey crew help (That’s a job that a civil drafter could get even without field experience). That particular company only wanted to pay $15 an hour. I’m thinking, are you kidding me. Rent for an average apartment in Williston is five times what it was before the oil boom. What was $500 a month is now $2500 a month. Besides Williston, comparing places like Wichita and Houston, well, Houston is more expensive than Wichita. The kicker is the cost of living difference. I’m under the impression that drafting wages have gone down and companies don’t compensate for cost of living change. I think most of my unsuccessful (phone) interviews have been because of me asking for what I thought were reasonable wages. It’s hard to say what’s real and what’s not. Employers are playing more games these days.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: I think I was aware of that. Good reminder though. Similar software...

Additional thoughts to my own reply:

I could get CATIA training at WATC here in Wichita (once I get my housing needs squared away and hopefully employment. I got laid off nearly 3 years ago.). But it’s geared toward aircraft. Some 3D knowledge could probably be used in other fields. But employers in other fields are less likely to hire you because they don’t want to train you. Not really my forte, anyway. I may end up studying business management (if/when possible). Really, for drafting/design, I wish there had been an apprenticeship-type program like the trade unions have (carpenters, plumbers, electricians). I’m not saying develop a union, but just the apprenticeship program so there isn’t such a dilemma for people to get training or re-training. Make it a multi-discipline apprenticeship program. Because a lot of traditional schools just don’t offer enough, or the right training, or the price is a major barrier. Trade union apprenticeship programs offer free or minimal cost accredited training and they put you to work immediately.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: Strictly CAD or drafting jobs...QUOTE]

Additional thoughts (clearer picture) to my own comment:

Civil engineering firms doing work in the oil and gas industry are dealing with (surveying, writing legal descriptions, preparing drawings and "staking out”) oil wells, pipelines and access roads (that I know of). This is easy work if you have a reasonable amount of civil/survey experience, although low paying contract/temp is a big turnoff. That’s where relocation doesn’t really make any sense, if they'd even hire you (from a great distance).

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: Additional thoughts to my own reply:

Trade union apprenticeship programs offer free or minimal cost accredited training and they put you to work immediately.

More additional thoughts:

Lack of the right training/skills, or no training, is a problem for those who need to keep up their CAD skills. If You're out of work and you can't keep up your CAD skills, it's a big minus when you're looking for a job. We need better options for training.

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

That field has never had a high pay rate as does piping or electrical design.
Maybe a change to another field to get higher pay.
JB

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Here in Houston that is a good field and pays well.
The oil/gas field has its ups and downs but its very profitable.
My opinion is that I will go into a field that will eventially pay well
and I can have employment for long periods. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices
in order to stay employed, like working out of town, but the future for
your family and yourself is what its all about. No sacrifice, maybe no future.
JB

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

JB in Houston, Texas said: That field has never had a high pay rate as does piping or electrical design.
Maybe a change to another field to get higher pay.
JB

I agree to some extent, although you might be surprised at what you can negotiate. I was living reasonably comfortable (working in civil) before I got laid off.

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Most cad systems have online tutorials for 2D and 3D. I see them all the time.
JB

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Here in Houston where there are literally hundreds of engineering firms
using 2D cad & 3D cad, its unbelievable the pay rate. Piping and electrical are king, with rates in the 70's per hour very common. Trainees are in the 20's+ with only one year experience. Experience 5+ in the 45's easily.
After 45+ year experience and no college whatsoever, I have made a great living so far.
Sure, I have been laid off but with so many firms, a new job is right around the corner,and usually with a higher pay rate.
JB

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

JB in Houston, Texas said: Most cad systems have online tutorials for 2D and 3D. I see them all the time.
JB

Yeah, but if you don't have CAD software loaded on your home computer to practice, in my opinion it's not as effective.

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

Training is training, you decide the effectiveness.
JB

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

14 months ago

JB in Houston, Texas said: Training is training, you decide the effectiveness.
JB

I suppose you could try and pass that off as training to an employer in a job interview. It seems to me like I’ve tried “similar” things in the past. It never flew. It might be effective as far as you’re concerned, but an employer may not see it that way. Studying a tutorial or demonstration is only part of it. The other part is actual hands on training. One other issue might be the fact that you’re training yourself. An employer may not see that as being adequate.

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JB in Houston, Texas

14 months ago

You are looking at it in the wrong light,if you are going to be in this biz, you better learn how to sell yourself and your qualifications. A job interview is all about selling yourself to be
able to do the job required.
If you can't do that, you may need to be in another field.
JB

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Gregory in Newark, Delaware

4 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cad operator opportunities?

Back to the original question.....most CAD jobs are requiring an AA degree. A good program will teach you the fine art of drafting methods using your hands and a variety of manual tools such as ames letterng guide, templates, ink and lead. CAD software and BIM software. The computer is just a tool like the pencil. You still need to learn to sketch and take notes clearly.

Then figure out what discipline you want to study. Not enough architects and engineers that know how to draw by hand or computer.

The pissing match is over, have a great day.

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trebby in Pacoima, California

4 months ago

Scott Jackson in Overland Park, Kansas said: Solidworks is a CAD program

solidworks made in England for parts only

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trebby in Pacoima, California

4 months ago

trebby in Pacoima, California said: solidworks made in England for parts only

please don't take it for 15$ per hour that's a ***t, all I can say is, use the right cad program for you to solve your problem in your drawings whatever your job is, don't master all programs, your wasting your time, cad is very useful not only for consulting firm, the thing is that can give you the right dimensions and scale view and creating a design.

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kyeohti in Beaverton, Oregon

3 months ago

I understand all the points here, but there are noteworthy exceptions. If you learn the high end varieties of CAD ( CATIA , Creo, or NX ) and become an industry expert, then you can easily earn over $100,000 per year. The catch 22 is becoming an industry expert. Until a recruiter believes you are one, you won't get a single job. When you do, your first job will be for $40 per hour with all the perks of salary plus more, except for paid vacation. The reasons why are a bit complicated but in short the stockholders of corporations like Intel, Daimler, Honda, Toyota, Boeing, etcetera need much more than drawings from their software and they regularly chop off their legs for short term savings only pay double for it in the end. There is always a desperate blunder needing rescue somewhere. Many specialists earn $70 per hour and their demand is rising as corporations squeeze their engineers to become managers of leave. I am an engineer at Daimler and insanely jealous of our CATIA and NX drafters.

The story at a private firm is much different. Operators of mainstream CAD will face ever rising competition unless they become engineers. The only way I know to still catch a break into the big leagues of CAD is to find a CAD job shop and beg for a chance.

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MCM in Scranton, Pennsylvania

1 month ago

You are completely wrong. Being a CAD "Operator", "Designer" whatever you want to call the former profession is GONE. It is taught in engineering, architectural and interior design school. Those students are coming out with all of the skills.

If you are thinking of going to technical school to get certified as a CAD or REVIT technician, just take the money you were going to spend and burn it. You will not find a job. Not when qualified students coming out of school, mostly with their Master's Degrees anymore, are applying for the same job you intend to. You will not even be looked at. They have much more knowledge and understanding of the profession, even if they start at the bottom as a draftsperson.

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Myrdoc in Salt Lake City, Utah

1 month ago

MCM in Scranton, Pennsylvania said: You are completely wrong. Being a CAD "Operator", "Designer" whatever you want to call the former profession is GONE. It is taught in engineering, architectural and interior design school. Those students are coming out with all of the skills.

Yeah but engineers suck at drawings, I've been working with Engineers in different fields for 10 years and they do not make good drawings. Sure they can do a 3D component in Solidworks, but they're lost when it comes to making a clean shop drawing with GD&T. That's why there will ALWAYS be a need for a drawing professional, call them what you want (drafters, designers etc), but until drawings go away completely, they will always be around.

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