How to Become a CAD Designer?

Are you thinking of becoming a CAD Designer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a CAD Designer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new CAD Designer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Cad Designer

If you're considering starting your Cad Designer career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Cad Designer and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Cad Designer career.
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1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Cad Designer career path, a Bachelor's Degree in engineering technologies or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Cad Designer internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Cad Designer?

47% of people working as a Cad Designer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Cad Designer?

  • CAD Drafting
  • AutoCAD
  • Revit
  • MEP AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Drawing
  • Surveying
  • BIM
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Cad Designer in the United States.
2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Cad Designer, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Cad Designer field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Cad Designer specialty.
3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Cad Designer

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in engineering technologies or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Cad Designer. In general, you can become a Cad Designer after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Cad Designer role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified dental technician preferred.
4

Advance in Your Cad Designer Career

Following entry-level, there are several Cad Designer career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Cad Designer to progress to the senior cad designer position. Each advanced Cad Designer position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Cad Designer career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Cad Designer career path.
5

Continued Education for Your Cad Designer Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Cad Designer career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in engineering technologies can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $84,812 compared to $37,191 for those without that type of degree.

CAD Designer Career Path

CAD Designer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$45K - $70K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior CAD Designer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$64K - $87K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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8% advanced to

Lead CAD Designer

5 - 7Years of Experience
$47K - $69K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

CAD Designer Career Path

Cad Designer I
CAD Designer
Architecture Assistant Manager
Senior CAD Designer
Cad Designer Manager
Lead CAD Designer
Senior Manager of Architecture
$40K
$64K
$88K
$112K
$160K

Related careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with CAD Designer skills. Discover some of the most common CAD Designer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Cad Drafter
25% skills overlap
27% transitioned to Cad Drafter