What do you enjoy most about your cad drafter career?

Comments (13)


What do you enjoy most about being a cad drafter? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?


Bonnie in Tucson, Arizona

111 months ago

What do I like most? The diversity, right now Aerospace is top of my list for fascinating design to learn. I've been a drafter/designer for 21 yrs now and I still love it so much, there is no way to get bored! Mechanical to Electrical to Aerospace to Nuclear, I mean the choices are endless and if one field starts to look stale, jump to a different field for a while! I was once told, you draft your drawings to the lowest intellect looking at your work, so clarity and style are very important, and I know I've looked at drawings from the past and thought wow what was this person thinking??? and I really don't ever want someone to look at my work that way, so in a way, to me, it is a work of art.

What do I dislike most? Sloppy work! working after someone who is just there to pick up a paycheck. It takes just as long to make something neat as it does to just throw stuff down there and have to go back and clean it up. Working after someone who takes short cuts, doesn't follow standards or take any kind of pride in their work. Gives contractors a very bad name!

Is it challenging? Oh yes, there is so much to learn for each field, parts, components, assemblies, sub assemblies, etc... How things work and why, whats the best way to display the parts so that everyone can see how it all fits together. Learning new software to become even more efficient at what you are doing. Its such a blast!

Are there many opportunities to learn and advance? Learning is what the job is about, the day you don't learn something is the day you should retire. There are always different more efficient ways of doing things. Talking to people, newly to the field and old timers, is a great way to learn things. I've worked with some awesome Engineers that just LOVE it when you ask questions for clarity, or understanding. That way they know you are serious about what you are doing for them. Advancement could mean many things, like taking the next step into 3D design, or engineering.


Upenn02' in Swedesboro, New Jersey

110 months ago

As someone who worked as a CAD drafter for some ten years, for numerous large and small engineering firms, I must say that I sincerely admire the positive attitude(s) of the previous comments concerning a career in cad drafting.
However, of concern to my own career, I left CAD drafting simply because I began to find the occupation extremely limiting in scope. After working with and under many engineers of all types, it became clear to me I would never progress past the "cad jockey" or more spiteful term, "cad monkey" level (these were engineers words). I was extremely conversant in the popular CAD software packages of the day; as well as lesser known CAD software. I knew these programs inside and out, upside down, backwards, inverted, and so on. I could always find CAD work as my resume was full of CAD related big projects, and I usually demanded and received top notch pay. On top of that experience; I had the benefit of a two year associates degree in said discipline. However to engineers, we were only undereducated tools, "failed" engineers as one once told me. Towards 1992-93 I became tired and frustrated with lack of respect for the role the CAD operator played . I was told point blank on several occasions CAD operators would become obsolete as engineers would obtain CAD training; and thereby relieve CAD operators altogether. One can imagine how attractive this looked to engineering firms, they could knock out two birds with one stone essentially. Furthermore CAD operators are not and cannot be engineers no matter how much on the job experience they've had. Long story short, as I did not want to find myself correcting red marks on drawings for someone almost less than half my age, all day, every day; I went back to school, earned Bachelors and Masters degrees and made myself more valuable. I guess its all about what makes one happy...but I would not advise anyone to get into that field now. If your starting out, it should only be a pit stop.


adalea in Yorkville IL in Roselle, Illinois

102 months ago

Well said, Upenn02' in Swedesboro.


Josh in Denver, Colorado

87 months ago

Your comment was so helpful to me! thanks. I'm was thinking of going into this field, learning at a place called ITT tech. Now I'm not so sure...


Bonnie in Pearland, Texas

87 months ago

Not go into Design and Drafting? lol Ive been in this field for about 23 yrs now and yes thats me above as well, I now work with NASA, a dream come true for me, and the work I do is incredibly important to the future of space flight and our future. Ive been told since I started out as a drafter that this was the wrong field to get into, that engineers would soon be doing all that we could do and I have to say that is total BS. Why? Because the engineers I work with are way to busy to do the design part of CAD. They have their hands full doing the creating and making the parts work and all that, which is why I call BS on drafting ever disappearing. I get calls every week to go somewhere else and work, there is more work than there are drafters. The important thing to learn is the softwares. Ive learned several different 3d modelling packages, from Solidworks, to IDEAs to Microstation and that makes me incredibly valuable to employers. Ive taken low paying positions for the chance to learn a new package, looking to the future when I can put that on my resume as a skill. I actually think going into the drafting field is smart, because people do say dont go in and pretty soon a drafter will be a resource that is hard to find. But then I really love what I do :) so don't let doomsayers stop you from going into a field that you enjoy, most of the time its just talk.


Joann in Houston, Texas

32 months ago

Are you still in the same field? I am thinking of a career change and taking classes in CAD. Have been doing clerical work for years and want to do something more. Where would be the best education? HCC has classes and Horn Drafting Center.



31 months ago

I would like to reiterate how important it is to "learn the field" in which you will be drafting. This is the one and only way to make a lot of money drafting.

Employers will expect you to be fluent with their "in house" software (never lie about your knowledge of software you will be found out immediately), but they will be much more leinient about helping you learn the engineering side of a particular field.

It is a challenging field, and to those above who mentioned the "CAD Monkey" comment I would have to disagree. Employers hate hiring one dimensional people who do not think about a design and simply do whatever the red marks say.

Once you become talented, Engineers will be comming to you asking for help making decisions based off of your models.


sisi in Brisbane, Australia

26 months ago

hi, i read all the comments on this page and i would like to start a new career for be drafter and i would like to have some recommandation for study this please? Do you think 2 years at school it's enough for learn (like a diploma)?


JPL in Malden, Massachusetts

16 months ago

I'm still trying to make my drafting career go in the direction I want it to. My (2) biggest problem right now is 1.) I'm stuck in a job where I'm not using autoCAD. In the field I want to get into and went to school for, they exclusively used AutoCAD and/or Revit. Which bring me to my second problem 2.) My current job isn't in the same engineering field as the one I want to get into. I took this current job because I didn't have a job for 4 years after I got out of the military and I desperately needed something on my resume. So now, I don't have the experience these employers want and non of them are hiring me. I'm contemplating getting an AS in engineering so my resume will possibly look better. Possibly get over that experience gap they want so bad. Hope y'all are doing better!


JFW in Lake George, New York

12 months ago

JPL, send me an email. We're hiring. info@turkeldesign.com. I'd be happy to speak with you.


AshR in Halifax, Nova Scotia

4 months ago

I want to become a CAD drafter; a field i was attracted to when I was much younger. Instead I took a more unusual (and misdirected) route and strayed further. I am 47 and I do have a degree in Electronics, Computing and Systems Engineering and one year of professional/industrial experience as part of my course. After that I went into desktop publishing, proceeded by web development and now Business Analyst. Shuffling paper (B.A.) and programming (as is the case with web-development now) is not something of interest to me. I have always been a very visual person, detailed oriented but not creatively/artistically gifted (not to the extent of brand/website design). So with all this in mind, does anyone have a suggestion for my first steps to retrain, study or apply for apprenticeship? Thanks.


livi06 in Renton, Washington

29 days ago

Host said: What do you enjoy most about being a cad drafter ? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

I ended up drafting with an interior design degree because if the salary. I'm not drafting for a 2nd company, basically engineering and I'm extremely bored. I want to k ow what else I can do for a living with the same salary. I really don't like sitting or standing in front of a computer all day. It's rereible for anyone's health and I'm also going stir crazy as there is nothing creative abouty current drafting/design position.


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