How do I Become a CAD Operator?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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A person can become a CAD operator or drafter if he or she takes classes to learn computer aided design. Technical schools, vocational schools, adult education classes, and software tutorials can help a prospective drafter learn the tricks of the trade in order to find employment in this particular field. Many CAD operator positions require a college degree and several years of on-the-job experience. Exercise care when selecting a training program as not all schools that offer a CAD operator program offer the same quality of training.

Before the days of computers, drafters drew structures using pens, pencils, compasses, triangles, protractors, and other tools to help them do their job. Now CAD operators perform this work with computers. The computer software permits the drafters to make and store drawings electronically.

These drawings can be accessed at a later date so that changes can be made according to a client's specifications. The plans can be printed or directly programmed into manufacturing systems. Designs created by a computer aided drafter are used to create buildings, houses, appliances, machinery, pipelines, and even toys.


A high school student who wishes to become a CAD operator should take courses in science, math, computer graphics, graphic design, and computer technology in order to prepare for further studies in college. Any students who wants to become a CAD operator also needs to learn how to use computer drafting software like AutoCAD. Along with the ability to create 2D and 3D drawings, students must receiving training in light commercial drafting, roadway drafting, structural steel drawing, and other common work associated with the drafting field. Since the work requires attention to detail and precise measurements, a person who wants to become a CAD operator must be skilled in mathematics as well.

Upon learning computer aided design, a prospective CAD operator can find work in a variety of industries. Typical industries include construction, government, electronics manufacturing, aerospace engineering, architectural design, and other industries that have a need for designers who can create complex drawings by using a computer. Whether the company designs cars or metal structures, it usually will require the services of a drafter.

A CAD operator is responsible for a variety of job tasks and must work closely with architects, engineers, and fashion and interior designers in order to devise ideas for projects. The CAD operator may also need to consult with clients, receiving information concerning what the client needs to be done for a particular assignment. The ability to process complex details and specifications and create a blueprint that mirrors those details is another requirement of a CAD operator. He or she presents the blueprint to the engineer, architect, or client before acting upon any suggested revisions.


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