Computer-Aided Design Drafters and Technicians

Computer-Aided Design Drafter at Work

Computer-aided design (CAD) drafters and technicians, sometimes called CAD operators, use computer-based systems to produce or revise technical illustrations needed in the design and development of machines, products, buildings, electronic components, manufacturing processes, and other work. They use CAD (also known as CADD, computer-aided design and drafting) machinery to manipulate and create design concepts so that they are feasible to produce and use in the real world. Approximately 205,190 drafters work in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Computer-Aided Design Operators
Duties Use computer-based systems to produce or revise technical illustrations used in the design and development of electronic components and other products
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas
Minimum Education Level
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Drawing/Design
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Data Processing Manager, or CAD Engineer, or CAD Designer
  • Experienced CAD Drafter/Technician
  • Entry-Level CAD Drafter/Technician