Are cad operator job opportunities growing or declining?

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Host

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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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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JB in Houston, Texas

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 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

15 months ago

Training is training, you decide the effectiveness.
JB

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

15 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

15 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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trebby in North Hollywood, California

1 month ago

me, 20 years working experience with the engineers, I do calculations too and submit drawings to the city, I like cad drawings and I like my job, i'm already in the profit sharing of the company, bec. of my contributions to perform cad drawings.

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Derp in Baltimore, Maryland

1 month ago

MCM in Scranton, Pennsylvania said: You are completely wrong. (blah blah blah, etc)

Well, my my. Quite an obstensibly authorative assessment. But consider the mentality of a hiring manager seeking to fill a mere CAD tech opening, which level of education is going to bring with it higher salary requirements - Master or Associate? The defense rests.

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