So You Want to be a CAD Designer

CAD is taking over the Engineering field and bringing many other unconventional job markets to those trained with Computer Aided Design. CAD Designers use software to produce technical drawings for various projects.

A CAD Designer can focus on surface modeling in a 2D platform, with 3D images, solid modeling, or a combination. Understanding what the field is looking for in this broad study is important to be competitive. Companies are looking for knowledgeable CAD Designers with adequate certification and unique applicants to be good additions to their team. Comprehension of the CAD Designer field elevates the candidate and leads to a more successful placement. In this article we will cover:

  • Overview of the Field
  • What Industries Rely Heavily on These Positions?
  • What Certifications are Typically Required?
  • Best Ways to Stand Out From Other Applicants

Overview of the Field

CAD Designers are typically responsible for working with CAD Drafters and other coworkers to turn flat 2D drawings into detailed 3D images. CAD Designers who focus in 2D may be referred and specified as a CAD Drafter. CAD Designers follow the typical work week and may change from small to large projects.

On a daily basis, you can find CAD Designers doing tasks like establishing timelines and budgets for their design projects, while using AutoCAD to create plans and models. They may keep up with CAD trends, arranging and attending meetings with collaborators and managers, create models or drawings with CAD software, optimizing workflows with their team, make revisions to drawings, and keep design records. AutoCAD Designers specialize in creating models using Autodesk’s AutoCAD software. These highly-trained draftsmen work with architects and engineers to design and create 2D and 3D computer models of buildings and machine parts from blueprints or scratch.

What Industries Rely Heavily on These Positions?

CAD Designers work in various fields, primarily using training in the engineering job market. Different branches of engineering require expertise and preference in work; computer engineering, aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, civil engineering, or even medical equipment designs are hiring CAD Designers. CAD Designers may focus in an engineering firm, but still work on teams with Engineers, Architects, Scientists, and other Designers.

What Certifications are Typically Required?

To become a CAD Designer it is typically required to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Computer Science and there may be more advance work requiring a Master’s Degree.

3DEXPERIENCE Certification


To focus on 2D drawings, referred specifically to as CAD Drafters, there is typically no college degree required and dependent on the company, a high school certification may not be required. The focus is on understanding of AutoCAD and possible competitive software like Autodesk Inventor, Creo, and SolidEdge. Furthermore, computer organization tools like Google Apps and Microsoft Office Suite are now expected in professional positions.

To gain an advantage, it is recommended to take SOLIDWORKS training and strive for the SOLIDWORKS certifications. At TriMech, we offer many free and paid training courses to help you achieve your career goals.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS CAD training courses >>

Best Ways to Stand Out From Other Applicants

With the increased demand in the Engineering field, it is important to get your foot in the door to be more competitive than other candidates. In any professional atmosphere it is important to be transparent with strengths and weakness upfront and to ask for help on any shortcomings. To show interest, it is important to call to confirm and show communication in the scheduling process f the interview.

In this field, teamwork and collaboration are important, thus, revealing great cooperation can prove more character than the certifications listed on your technical resume. Most importantly, having a portfolio of your work experience and finished project gives insight to your sought after qualities in organizing, presentation, and execution styles. It is required to have proper rights to all images and projects shown, so when creating your portfolio, make sure that the project has been made public because this is another layer of the interview that may not be explicit. Portfolios are great to highlight CAD work and accentuate your qualifications.

Going into the CAD field and understanding the preference of employers presents an opportunity to the potential employee, but also provides understanding for you to decide if that is the company you want to work for. With prioritizing your goals and understanding the expectations set forth in this field, it will allow you reach your maximum potential.

Get help obtaining a CAD Designer Job

If you’re a designer looking for a new career, contact a TriMech Staffing Specialist. We can provide further guidance and expertise on conducting engineering interviews with potential employers and may even have a position that is a great fit for you!

Elle Smith

Elle Smith

Elle Smith is a Marketing Assistant for TriMech Staff Augmentation
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