A computer aided drafting (CAD) trainee works in an entry-level job position or internship focused on preparation for a CAD career in fields such as architecture, interior design, or civil engineering. Working with CAD typically entails rendering detailed blueprint drawings according to established industry specifications. The average CAD trainee has plans for career advancement in one of these fields, and one of these positions often provides a good opportunity for learning CAD alongside experienced professionals. CAD trainee duties usually include assisting a CAD designer team with projects and performing basic steps of the design process such as transferring two-dimensional drawings to three-dimensional formats.
Many college degree programs have resources for CAD trainee job placement. These types of CAD positions are usually open to students who are in their final years of study in a field that requires daily use of CAD software. Some positions may require a portfolio submission of hand-drawn blueprints in order to demonstrate a basic understanding of relevant design practices. Good candidates for CAD trainee positions have also usually completed coursework in topics such as measurement scaling and the applied vocabulary of their particular design fields. These jobs may be paid or unpaid depending on different school programs and sponsoring companies, though many students consider them important first steps for career advancement.
A new CAD design trainee often has job duties like using this software for drawing the outline of a building, labeling different components according to industry standards, and scaling finished drawings to the necessary sizes for printing. Trainees often receive instruction in how to manage and calibrate the large-scale printers used for finished blueprints. They also sometimes assist with binding finished drawings together in packets for easy storage and reference.
CAD trainees in engineering fields often help with multi-component parts, such as engine design. They may practice working with CAD to create realistic renderings of machine components with correct engineering measurement conversions. One of the main requirements of a CAD trainee is the ability to draw plans and blueprints with accurate scaling that converts to actual dimensions when construction begins on a given project. Many of these entry-level jobs provide practical instruction in using CAD to fit various three-dimensional parts together while checking for errors in measurement or scaling. A trainee may also be promoted to more advanced CAD positions in a particular company after one or two successful years in this beginning CAD job.