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What does a CAD Designer do?

A CAD designer creates design plans for buildings and machinery. They create 2D or 3D technical drawings using computer-aided design (CAD) systems, such as AutoCAD and Revit. These technical drawings are used for complex building construction or product manufacturing projects. CAD designers may work with civil engineers or architects to help come up with effective designs for projects.


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Working as a CAD Designer

Working as a CAD designer involves successfully being able to:

  • Design or redesign complex drawings and layouts based on verbal or written specifications
  • Produce CAD drawings for projects using departmental and industry standards
  • Work with groups to access reference data for drawings
  • Look over design layouts to find and fix compatibility problems
  • Read, comprehend and correct 2D and 3D drawings
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How much does a CAD Designer make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $25.27
Low $16.02
High $39.86
Non-cash benefit
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The average salary for a cad designer is $25.27 per hour in the United States. 2.7k salaries reported, updated at June 6, 2023

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Where can a CAD Designer earn more?

Compare salaries for CAD Designers in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?


25,618 job openings

Average $69,372 per year

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Common questions about for a CAD Designer

What is the difference between a CAD designer and a CAD drafter?

Though the two jobs do overlap to an extent, CAD drafters are typically responsible for creating flat drawings, and CAD designers might take those drafts and convert them into more detailed 3D images. CAD designers usually need less input from management than CAD drafters because they have higher levels of experience and knowledge of their specific design field. In general, CAD designers are given more responsibilities and need less supervision, and they are usually more familiar with regulations and codes. Many CAD designers start as CAD drafters before moving up in their careers.

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What is the career outlook for a CAD designer?

The demand for CAD designers is expected to rise by 8% by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since demand is rising, the career outlook for a CAD designer is positive.

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Where do CAD designers work?

CAD designers typically work in office settings, sitting at desks and using CAD software to design products and structures on computers. There may be times when they need to work at job sites and factories as well to check on the progression of projects.

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Does this job require professional certification?

What skills are required to work as a CAD designer?

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