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Careers Advice: How To Become a CAD technician

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What is a CAD technician?

A CAD technician, also known as computer-aided design technician, creates design plans using software platforms. These plans are usually focused on designing the structure of buildings and machinery.

CAD technicians jobs are available in a wide variety of industries, operating within the engineering, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, electronics and telecommunications sectors... amongst many others! Therefore, career opportunities for ambitious graduates are plentiful.

Normally, you’ll work a Monday-Friday week within a design office. Later on, you may also be able to work remotely as a freelancer.

What does a CAD technician do?

As a graduate CAD technician, you’ll initially focus on surface modelling and then progress to solid modelling.

Surface modelling refers to the practice of 2D design where you’ll draw flat representations of a product, such as a car. Clients can provide feedback on the flat design before the model is physically built for testing. Solid modelling involves 3D design, allowing engineers to get an accurate visualisation of important aspects inside the component or structure before they make a start on its construction.

Your designs will be a huge help in helping other professionals involved in the project make key decisions, such as estimating costs.

Other common names for a CAD technician include:

  • CAD design engineer

  • CAD engineer

  • Computer-aided styling (CAS)

  • Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

Salary ranges & earning potential

Typically, an entry-level CAD technician or a junior technician will earn around £15,000 to £20,000 per year. With a bit more experience, you’ll earn up to £26,000 on average. Senior CAD technicians earn a salary upwards of £30,000 per annum.

Please note, a CAD technician salary will differ according to your location. If the cost of living is higher in one city than another, then the salary will reflect that. For example, a junior CAD technician in London will be paid a greater salary than Manchester.

Education requirements

If you’re looking to complete a CAD training course via the University or college route, search for a BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC), a University HNC course or a foundation degree in subjects such as engineering, construction or civil engineering.

Bear in mind, however, it isn’t vital that you have a University degree for CAD careers.

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