What is a CAD Operator?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2019
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More properly referred to as a computer aided design operator, the CAD operations specialist is an individual who is well versed in the use of computer software to create innovative and creative designs for a number of production goods and end products. The range of design options for a qualified operator varies from machinery and tools that can be used to create products to the packaging and structural creation of the products themselves.

Basic to the work of CAD operators is the ability to design or engineer models for the goods and products within a given industry. Using software to effect the design, the operator will provide 3D models that can provide visual impact to a presentation for a new product. Along with the models, the person may also choose to create detailed drawings and blueprints that aid in the manufacturing process, as well as spark some marketing ideas for the new product.

The CAD operator has become an important part of the business community. Modern computer-aided design methods, in addition to being able to provide designs in a relatively short period of time, have also proven to be more cost efficient than the methods used in years past. Because of these two factors, many companies choose to include operators as part of their creative departments, as well as in the research and development arms of the corporation.


There are a number of industries that benefit from the services of a CAD operator, including architecture. Computer aided design can be employed in the basic design phase, as well as in the preparation of presentation models and even in creating the blueprints that are used for construction. In a similar manner, the job plays an important role in the apparel industry, especially with garment design. A few other common applications for the profession include mechanical engineering, garden and landscape design, and lighting systems for public and private buildings.


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Post 9

A CAD operator's job is possibly the worst brainless waste of a life.

Post 7

In a construction company, usually CAD operators are architects.

Post 4

you don't need a degree may need to do a diploma unless you get an internship like i did. You will either do a course geared towards building design or product design (manufacturing). Manufacturing is tougher to find and keep work these days. i would go for the architectural side.

Post 3

@Sandy12 – You’ll need at least a certificate in computer aided drafting, but preferably an associate’s degree. You can expect to take an introductory course in computer-aided drafting, as well as architectural drafting with CAD, which will let you apply the skills you learned in the introductory course by combining CAD concepts with architectural design techniques to create buildings and other structures. You’ll also learn about the importance of building codes and the development of floor plans, elevations, sections and site plans. You’ll also take a 3-D CAD modeling class where you’ll learn how to use 3-D CAD modeling software, an engineering drawing class which will teach you the basics of engineering drawing and how to apply them to computer-aided drafting. Finally, you’ll take an electronic drafting course that will teach you basic technical drafting that is used for electronic systems, layouts and products.

Post 2

I’m considering going to school to become a CAD operator. What kind of degree would I need to obtain, and what kind of courses would I be taking?

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