If you spend your days scribbling designs into a notebook, you may want to consider a computer aided drafting career. Those who work with Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) systems are responsible for a variety of technical drawings, including everything from houses to pipelines to household appliances.
What does a computer aided drafter do?
When someone comes up with an idea for a product or they need a specific drawing they hire someone who knows how to work with a CADD system. They may hire a firm or an individual. Whoever is put on the project will need to work with the employer to come up with a technical drawing. This means you'll need to be a good communicator, and more importantly, be able to discern what the client requires even if they're not a good communicator.
While the vast majority of your work would be completed on a computer, you'll still be expected to come up with drawings using pen and paper. Typically, someone with a computer aided drafting career will specialize in a particular area. These areas include civil drafting, electrical drafting, architectural drafting, and mechanical drafting. The demand for each specialization waxes and wanes, as does the competition level for each position.
How can I become qualified for a computer aided drafting career?
Post-secondary education is mandatory. Typically, those interested in a computer aided drafting career will attend a technical institute or community college – a bachelor's degree isn't necessary, as most employers will only require a certificate or diploma.
You will take classes that include computer aided drafting, mathematics, science, engineering standards, and manual drafting skills. Expect to spend the majority of your time working on a computer experimenting with a variety of popular drafting programs.
How do I find work after graduating?
Typically, those interested in a computer aided drafting career will find employment through larger firms. Your day-to-day responsibilities may change depending on which project you're working on, as you'll likely be assigned to a particular project for the length of that project. For those that thrive on variety and love technical drawings, a computer aided drafting career is a great choice.
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