Learn about the work responsibilities of a structural CAD technician. Find out what education and skills are needed in addition to job outlook and salary to decide if this is the right career for you.
Structural designers benefit from the highest salary, while electrical, Industrial and electronics drafters can expect the most positive career outlook in the coming decade.
Career Definition for a Structural CAD Technician
Structural CAD technicians produce drawings for projects, such as public works systems, residential and commercial buildings, and concrete and steel bridges.
- 1 Structural drafting
- 2 Software development engineer
- 3 Project planning software
- 4 Drafting services
- 5 Structural cad technician
- 6 Structural cad technician jobs
- 7 Structural cad designer jobs
- 8 Civil Engineering Technician
- 9 Architect or architectural designer
- 10 Autocad designer job description
- 11 Autocad designer responsibilities
- 12 Autocad price
- 13 Buy Autodesk AutoCAD
- 14 Is CAD Drafting a Good Career?
- 15 Top EPC Companies
- 16 EPCM Companies
What is Structural Drafting?
Structural drafting is a plan or blueprint for how buildings or other structures are to be built. Instead of focusing on detailed drawings of floor plans, structural drafters focus on the building’s overall support system, which includes things like columns, beams, foundations, etc. Drafters used to create these drawings by hand, but with more advanced technology, CAD programs now complete these plans much quicker.
Software development engineer
Using computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) techniques and software, they create complex drawings and 2D and 3D renderings of structural components, including framework, foundations, roofs, and retaining walls.
They often assist engineers in outlining designs, gathering data, performing graphic imaging, drawing sketches of existing structures, and interpreting structural markups.
They may also perform administrative duties, produce documentation and progress reports, participate in meetings, and perform computations.
Project planning software
Structural CAD technicians are sometimes known as AutoCAD drafters and may work in offices, visit construction sites, or submit work from home via the Internet.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 49% of all drafters work in the architectural and engineering sectors.
Structural CAD technicians generally have an Associate in Applied Science degree in industrial technology, engineering design, or a related field; however, some employers may prefer a B.S. in drafting technology.
Coursework should include instruction in CAD software, such as AutoCAD and MicroStation, 2D and 3D modeling, mechanical drawing, math, and science.
The American Drafting and Design Association (ADDA) website offers information about accredited drafting and design programs throughout the country, as well as voluntary certification, which may benefit job seekers.
Structural cad technician
Structural CAD technicians must have a solid understanding of drafting fundamentals, with the ability to use the latest drafting software as well as sketch freehand.
- They must be analytical and have strong math aptitude combined with artistic ability and creativity.
- Technicians should be familiar with CADD techniques, software, and principles specific to the industries in which they specialize, such as highway and city design, water and drainage systems, transportation infrastructure, construction, agriculture, or mining.
- They must have good communication skills, with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- In addition to expertise with drafting software, they must also be familiar with commonly used word processing and spreadsheet programs.
Structural cad technician jobs
Economic Forecast and Career Outlook
The BLS expects job increases for architectural and civil drafters to be about 8% for the 2016-2026 period, varying slightly depending on various areas of specialty.
- As CAD software becomes more user-friendly, a wider variety of basic drafting functions can be performed by untrained personnel, tempering job growth somewhat.
- Job prospects should be best for structural CAD technicians with the strongest technical skills.
In May 2018, median annual earnings for architectural and civil drafters ranged from less than $35,020 for the lowest-paid ten percent to more than $80,880 for the highest-paid ten percent.
Structural cad designer jobs
Structural CAD Designer Jobs Description
A structural CAD designer is responsible for preparing the preliminary design, checking of designs and drawings, preparing specifications, conducting contract administration, structural inspection and preparing proposal and report.
The functions of a structural CAD designer include prefabrication, Shop Drawing, and Architectural Drawings.
- A structural CAD designer should be very well conversant with AutoCAD, Microstation V8, J and Plan software, AutoCAD computer-aided design in 2D, versions of AutoCAD-12, 13, 14, 2000 and 2006.
- A structural CAD designer should be very skilled at preparing all types of drawings in AutoCAD and Microstation. A structural CAD designer also performs scanning, conversion of Raster Images to Vector, MS-PowerPoint presentation with Microstation & AutoCAD Drawings.
- A structural CAD designer creates PDF and images files with a scanner and also performs CAD troubleshooting.
- A structural CAD designer should possess a bachelor’s degree in Civil or Structural Engineering and a diploma in AutoCAD for Designing and Architecture.
- A structural CAD designer should be proficient with AutoCAD-R12 to 2006, Microstation J, V8, Photoshop, Corel Draw and Photo-Paint, MS office, Material Integrated Production System and PDMS Drafting.
Civil Engineering Technician
For those wanting to delve further into the actual creation of structural designs, becoming a civil engineering technician could be the right option.
- These technicians examine drawings from drafters to verify measurement accuracy.
- They also make site visits to determine if the design is being properly executed in addition to analyzing building materials and soil, developing cost estimations, and compiling project information into written reports.
- Although a degree is not required to enter the profession, an associate degree in civil engineering technology may be appealing to some employers.
According to BLS projections, civil engineering technicians are expected to experience 9% employment growth during the 2016-2026 decade. In 2018, these professionals earned a median wage of $52,580.
Architect or architectural designer
If utilizing CAD software to create building designs for government and private clients sounds intriguing, consider a career in architecture.
- Architects meet with clients to determine what the design vision should be and use their artistic skills to draw sketches and blueprints.
- They also choose construction materials, create cost estimates and schedules, prepare construction contracts, oversee construction work pertaining to the design, and make sure clients are satisfied.
Aspiring architects must complete three stages before working in the field; earning a 5-year bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture, working as an intern for at least 3 years, and receiving a passing score on the Architect Registration Exam.
Upon completion, an architect can obtain a required state license.
The BLS predicts that job opportunities will increase 4% for architects from 2016-2026, with about 5,500 new positions opening up during that time. As reported by the BLS in May of 2018, architects received a median yearly compensation of $79,380.
Autocad designer job description
AutoCAD designers require little formal education. Learn about the training options, job duties, and available certifications to see if this is the right career for you.
As an AutoCAD designer, you have myriad possibilities upon which you can direct your professional focus. Options include industrial designer, electrical drafter, civil drafter, and mechanical drafter, each with unique salary and outlook prospects.
As competition heats up, companies must ramp up productivity in design and manufacturing technologies. AutoCAD designers are widely used in the engineering, architecture and construction fields.
Autocad designer responsibilities
- AutoCAD is a computer-aided design software program used in many industries, including architecture, engineering, construction, and interior design.
- AutoCAD allows the user to create 2D and 3D drawings using visualization and technical documentation.
- This software program increases productivity in manufacturing and design, replacing the need for manual drawings and designs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of industrial designers was expected to grow 2% between 2014 and 2024, while drafters, in general, would actually see a three percent decrease, although that number varies by type of drafter.
The best opportunities should arise for drafters with experience and formal training using CAD (computer-aided design) technology.
In 2015, industrial and commercial designers earned an annual mean wage of $69,820. Electrical and electronics drafters earned an average salary of $62,890, while architectural and civil drafters earned an average salary of $53,470 the same year. Mechanical drafters took in an average annual salary of $56,610, stated the BLS.
When choosing to invest in CAD software, there are a number of factors to consider. One of the most important of these, of course, is cost. For this reason, demystifying the often complex pricing structures of CAD licenses is incredibly helpful. How much, for example, will an AutoCAD license really cost you?
It’s a simple question, surely? Well, not quite. Software manufacturers have shifted from offering perpetual licenses to subscriptions over the years, with the CAD industry proving no exception. As such, Autodesk stopped selling perpetual licenses for AutoCAD (alongside most of its other products) on August 1st, 2016.
The result of this shift is that, instead of paying a one-off fee to be able to use AutoCAD forever, users now pay for a rolling subscription to maintain access to AutoCAD. You can see the cost of an AutoCAD subscription direct from Autodesk in the table below.
Buy Autodesk AutoCAD
Is CAD Drafting a Good Career?
CAD drafters specialize in the use of computer-aided design software to create schemes and technical drawings. Drafters are a key component required in both the manufacturing and building industries, but can also be found in electrical design where they map out electrical wiring diagrams.
Drafters generally need to complete postsecondary education in drafting. This is typically done through a 2-year associate’s degree from a technical institute or community college. Most 4-year colleges do not offer training in drafting, but they do offer classes in engineering, architecture, and mathematics
Inside Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology. CAD operators use computer programs to create drawings that are used in building or manufacturing. Drafters may be employed in the architectural and engineering fields, creating drawings that provide the technical specifications of buildings.
Drafting is used as a part of the design and fabrication processes. Drafting can be done by hand or using specially designed computer programs and mechanical drawings. It is a detailed technical drawing that can cover one segment of the mechanical device or structure or all of it.
Parallel projections are subdivided into the following three categories: orthographic, oblique, and axonometric projections.
Orthographic projections are drawn as multi-view drawings that show the flat representations of principle views of the subject.
Oblique projections actually show the full size of one view and are of two varieties:
-cabinet projection (½ scale)
-cavalier projection (full scale)
Axonometric projections are three-dimensional drawings and are of three different varieties:
Draftsmen, like architects, prepare CADD drawings. However, drafting can be applied to many other areas besides construction and architecture. Drafting can be used to create drawings of circuitry or mechanical designs. For example, architectural drafters produce drawings for new construction projects.
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