How to start freelance CAD drafting?

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Comments (12)

cadgirl in Taunton, Massachusetts

68 months ago

Believe it or not my favorite thing to do as a kid was to draw out floor plans. I have notebooks full of residential floor plans from when I was very young. When I got older I loved playing with CAD software, but for some reason, I went into Software Engineering instead. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and I'm almost finished with a M.S. in Software Engineering (company paid for it). I've been an unhappy software engineer for the past few years. I took career tests in high school which led me to become a software engineer but I truly think they were incorrect in directing me to this career.

So, I was hoping that I could start doing freelance CAD drafting on the side. I don't have any professional experience but I have used AutoCAD quite a bit in my spare time. Could anyone give me some guidance on how to start freelancing? Do I need to go back to school and get a certificate/license or anything? I live in Massachusetts by the way.

Thanks you in advance :)

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cadgirl in Taunton, Massachusetts

67 months ago

Nobody?

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mabarnes59 in Norfolk, Virginia

66 months ago

I would really recommend going back to school to atleast get a certificate. It would be like me trying to get sidework as a Software Engineer. . . No expereince = no work.

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janetkissho in SYDNEY, Australia

55 months ago

No need for a certificate, go on any freelance site, create you profile and start working. Work on low rates to get projects easily and after you gain experience start charging.
outsourcecadservices.weebly.com/cad-software.html

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

55 months ago

I wouldn't recommend just drafting. It's not lucrative. Work is scarce ever since the construction industry went downhill with the recession. Architects are less likely to hire anyone who isn't an architect or architect intern. Furthermore, I'm under the impression that freelance drafting is something that never really thrived. It's not a common practice. It never was and probably never will be. Freelancing is a nice thought, though. Have you heard of the website "Tiny House Blog"? If anything, why not become a designer/builder? Start a business. As far as I know, structures of this nature don't require the seal of approval from an architect.

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gcpro04

29 months ago

I fall in that same category as the guy asking advise that you replied to. I can't seem to find much that I can low ball. The ones I find, have problems trying to connect with them. I have some CAD experience and architectural drafting too.
I am not trying to get rich here just need some work. I do enjoy CAD and Drafting floor plans and elevations and cross section. I not super fast at it so that's all I am looking for is the low ball until I can get my speed up. Is there anything you can suggest on this.

Thanks

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CHORTONDRAFT in Spring, Texas

26 months ago

I have 25 years experience in Piping Design. I have been laid off due to the low prices in the oil and gas business. I am wanting to work as a freelance designer. I have lots of contacts. Do I need any kind of licences, such as a tax exempt number, LLC or a DBA? Or can I just get business cards made and give them out to the compaines?

Thank you,
Cindy

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Russell.LDunn@*****.*** in Texas

18 months ago

Hello Cindy,

You really only need to focus on the business part. Here in Oklahoma, you can start as a DBA and then get the DBA after some use. I would definitely check with a licensed CPA that specializes in business accounts. Then draw up some basic paperwork that will help safe guard you from certain liabilities and have a friend lawyer check them over with whom is familiar with small claims and business court preceedings that involve a customer suing a business person that doesnt have a LLC. You don't really need a certificate or engineers association certificate to practice, or even a standardization because those are all for saving money and making money. Just remember the drafting fundamentals, business fundamentals, and hopefully you are a genuinely good person that will be humble at all times. I would recommend to verify everything I say and eliminate all of your questions with the architects, city ordinances, county ordinances, state ordinances, state laws, abstract office, and any other people you can think of. I know of a guy who does remodel drafts for houses and it does not require a sign off because it is a technicality. even if it is structural. (its a roofing company)

I am about to start spooling up and decided to start looking since oil may be making a climb back up. not to solicit...but I am looking for work and versatile, LOL

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tonybelmonte3740@*****.*** in Chalfont, Pennsylvania

15 months ago

Cindy
I have over 35 years of bearing design experience and was laid off also due to the low oil & gas prices.
Any freelance would help. I believe you have to a Sole Proprieter

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tonybelmonte3740@*****.*** in Chalfont, Pennsylvania

15 months ago

Cindy
I have 35 years experience in Bearing Design. I was laid off due to the low prices in the oil and gas business.
I am wanting to work as a freelance designer. I think you have to be a Sole Proprieter.

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Jet in Romeoville, Illinois

10 months ago

Yah, must important to get a certificate or go to school so that u will put on your profile.

Thanks
Jer il.

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Anthony in Brandon, Mississippi

7 months ago

Something you need to think about when considering a career in drafting (or CAD Tech./Designer by todays standard). The days of board drafting are no more for most industry. This was a time when engineers and architects needed help producing plan sheets to get projects out. As Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD or CAD) programs have developed, more engineers and architects are doing most, if not all drawing for projects from start to finish. Now the days of the CAD Technician/Designer are becoming a thing of the past. College engineering programs are including more Computer Aided Drafting and Design classes as part of the engineering program. Projects are designed solely within these programs where engineers are required to have an extensive knowledge of the use of CAD software leaving less work for the Tech./Designer. There are many companies that still have CAD Techs and Designers on board, but the trend is as they get older and retire, are replaced with young engineers entering the field. I have been aware of this growing trend working as a CAD Tech. for over 25 years at a large engineering firm where the trend caught up with me and was laid off along with others and replaced with graduate engineering students. I am finding there is no demand for experienced CAD Techs anymore. I would give this some thought when thinking about spending the money and time to go to school to get a degree as a Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technician.

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