Top cad technician skills needed to get the job.

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What are the top 3 traits or skills every cad technician must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your cad technician expertise?

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chad Drennan in Springfield, Missouri

69 months ago

Im 2 MONTHS IN TO COLLEGE AT VATTEROTT COLLEGE MY MAJOR IS CADD.I NEVER THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE TRAINED IN THE FIELD FOR SOMITHING THAT I WOULD LOVE TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.IM REALLY GETTING INTO IT BUT THE JOB MARKET IS DOWN AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING FOR ME TO DO.STAY AT THE JOB IM AT OR TRY TO FIND SOMTHING IN MY DEGREE.

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bac in Clearwater, Florida

68 months ago

chad Drennan in Springfield, Missouri said: Im 2 MONTHS IN TO COLLEGE AT VATTEROTT COLLEGE MY MAJOR IS CADD.I NEVER THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE TRAINED IN THE FIELD FOR SOMITHING THAT I WOULD LOVE TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.IM REALLY GETTING INTO IT BUT THE JOB MARKET IS DOWN AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING FOR ME TO DO.STAY AT THE JOB IM AT OR TRY TO FIND SOMTHING IN MY DEGREE.

just wait, the economy is bad

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kc8wor in Columbus, Ohio

66 months ago

I was a CAD Specialist for 4.5 years. These are the three skills I would list as crucial to keeping a job in that field:

1) Detail/Observational Skills - You need to be very detail-oriented, very observant. If you're friends think of you as a neat freak or picky, that's a good trait in a draftsmen. This is the most important skill.

2) Keeping cool - This job gets really stressful and people's jobs are literally on the line all the time. You need to be able to stand out as someone who is calm when things go wrong.

3) Reliability - Being punctual and having good attendance is as important or more important than working hard. They need to know that they can depend on you.

This should also be included, but not as important.

4) Quick - Since there is so little money in design anymore, companies are always looking for ways to make a profit. Being quick and efficient makes money for the company, which translates to raise in pay. However, this must never be as important as the level of detail you put into your work.

Some advice for people going into this field:

- Watch your weight. People get really fat in this occupation. It's not natural for someone to sit as long as what is required of this job. Make sure you get plenty of activity outside of work.

- Don't let your work go to your head. After a few years, you'll notice how unimportant your work really is. In the end, the actual design of whatever the engineer or architect thought up matters.

- Stay away from jobs working for manufacturers or anything related to the housing/architectural industry. Concentrate on 3D modeling and jobs related to civil(highways, bridges, etc.) or telecommunications.

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Shane Izzo in Sarasota, Florida

65 months ago

kc8wor pretty much nailed it on the head. However, if you have a love for the industry above all else, those traits will naturally occur. Dont apply for a job as a CAD Technician simply to have a job because you know how to do it. THE LOVE WILL DRIVE YOU TO DO ALL THOSE THINGS!!

Never sit too long in one field of CAD. Learn it and know everything about it then move into something else. For instance, maybe you started in architecture and could do plan sets in your sleep, then you know its time to move into maybe civil engineering - Push yourself to learn more all the time!!!

Forget 2D! 2D is going away very quickly!! 3D programms will still generate your 2D plan sets, but you need to acquire the skills to produce in 3D.

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John Galeas in Livonia, Michigan

56 months ago

I was recently let go due to these economic times we are finding ourselves in and a drift away from the traditional engineering design work and lack of work. I have +20 years of solid Architectural Engineering (MEP)design consulting work using Autocad and Microstation 2D-3D and was a past cad design coordinator...I cannot even get an interview, any ideas? I have revamped my resume 3-4x, I was part of a small team that designed the state of the art Chrysler GEMA Facility in Dundee michigan...and was a Cad Design Coordinator for Giffels which if you know the design industry is a very sad story to what has happened to that company. It is very frustrating after all these years even know what to do. Any ideas fellow designers? thanks...

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Spectrum in Saint Clair, Missouri

56 months ago

John Galeas in Livonia, Michigan said: It is very frustrating after all these years even know what to do. Any ideas fellow designers? thanks...

I know how John is feeling right now. All of us designers feel as though we are being shut out now. The problem with a down economy is that employers have the upper hand. They can get a guy like John for a lesser rate, even as little as what you would pay a guy fresh out of tech school. They will lump us all together as if experience counts for nothing. It is a sad state of affairs indeed. The resultant of this time will be; A.) talented designers leaving the field because they were forced out.; B.) engineers doing CAD, which is already becoming more prevalent in many industries.; C.) the role of "designer" being diminished to "CAD Monkey".

The problem with the current trend is this; the nuts and bolts of a project(especially in a larger eng. firm) are better handled by the experienced CAD designer. Companies are exploring using engineers for the detailed design these days to keep the profit margin high. For larger companies though, I severely doubt this model will work; at least in the near future. This is especially true for companies that produce hundreds of construction drawings. It leaves very little time for engineering I would think.

I know this is a cliche, but my advice to John is think about what your skills translate to for other careers. You could also wait it out. Another option, yet pricey, is that you could also go back to school for engineering. Right now, I see alot of ads for engineers wanted.

Best of luck to all the other designers out there. I hope that we all survive these times and come out the other side.

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james.norman@comcast.net in Mount Vernon, Washington

55 months ago

CAD is a great career and I have enjoyed the 15 years I've been in it. For a rewarding career, be the absolute best you can be. As a boss once told me, be a student of your job. Know your discipline and your program software... and leard 3D.
I would recomend knowing as many programs as possible.. AutoCAD, MicroStation, 3D StudioMax as I have, but also Catia, Pro E, Solid Works etc...
I would also recomend knowing various disciplines. I specialized in Civil, and now that the economy is dead and there are no infrastructure projects happening, I'm enjoying my 71st week of unemployment.
If you go into manufacturing design, as my wife did, be prepared to chase jobs. My wife has had over 15 jobs in the past 10 years as she moves from project/company to project/company.
I would also recomend that you network your but off. Build relationships with peers at other companies, when you sub, or they sub on a contract with your company. Build relationships with engineers, planners, vendors... etc, you may find yourself in need of a contact to land that next job. I didn't. I was comfortable after 15 years, and didn't have that many contacts, and I'm still unemployed.
The last thing I would say is keep up on education and if possible just become an engineer or archiect.

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Inmotion12 in New Braunfels, Texas

54 months ago

It's not you John, it's the economy. My advice is stay active, active, active. You should be spending your spare time helping out others in the community (the principle of reciprocity will be on your side), learning some new technologies, and targeting a few companies you would like to get your foot in the door and looking for networking opportunities there.

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Antonio Alvarado in Yorkville, Illinois

53 months ago

3D skills are very important. That skill is what landed the job I held for the last 10 years. Also, some programming skills can add a string to your bow. I used Autolisp to develope productivity tools; I asked a coworker to test one once and suddenly it was spread to all the sister companies in three states; and is still used to this day. I don't mind sharing, in fact, I believe it is one of the ways coworkers can come together as a team, So I extended the service to individual coworkers for their personal productivity tools.
When I was transferred to a sister company, my supervisor said "Your work ethics are impeccable." Been laid off 4 months now.
Corporate headquarters is now posting a position on line; Why would I think that they might have considered me? Duh!

Having a solid grip an a handfull of CAD programs is an excellent start; and good people skills can also be very rewarding, but I think character, commitment and integrity are the foundation of all that we do.

I sure you are all that and more, so don't give up, John. Network...

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Eddie Reize in Lawrenceville, Georgia

45 months ago

Most CAD Technicians I know are presently on the unemployment line.
But, if it's your passion specialize in a particular field.

I love Bridge design/drafting, done it for 28 years but it is not for the faint at heart, knowledge of Autocad or Microstation is not enough to design/draw bridges, moreso, if the bridge of choice in your state are Suspension, Cable Stayed or Bascule.

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James Norman in Mount Vernon, Washington

45 months ago

Here in NW Washington, Civil, my field, has pretty much dissappeared. What really seems to be the main force is manufacturing and they use Solid Works. Boeing is another and they use Catia. I'm presently trying to teach myself modeling in hopes I can find a job

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Antonio Alvarado in Yorkville, Illinois

45 months ago

It is very wise to learn additional CAD packages, and to generally invest in yourself. FYI: Some CAD software companies (AutoCAD and SolidWorks, for sure) offer versions of thier product(s) for free to displaced engineers. There is a time limit, but it is quite longer than usual, (AutoCAD 1 year).
Info is available at thier sites.

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Linetype Master in Front Royal, Virginia

23 months ago

My last day at work was December 21 2012 that's right, four days to Christmas and this was my first day back from a 12 week medical leave for back surgery. How's that for a hard luck story there is more but I won't bore you now I have 31 years experience in Civil Drafting 18 years on the board (ink and leroy)and 13 years on computer so I not just out of school :-).

There are lots of jobs out there but two things I am finding 1. You need to be willing to relocate (anywhere). 2. It's a matter of numbers.

At this point I have probably sent out/applied for over 250 positions all 95% fit to my skill set. So far it has produced 3 phone interviews. Take it for what it's worth.

I liked the comment above about changing fields I guess it's time for me to change although Civil3D and land development is doing enough changing to make your head spin. Employers are now talking about designing in 5 dimensions (2D, Modeling, Time/Schedule/BIM, Cost/Budget)

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