AutoCAD professionals are experts at using the 2D- and 3D-CAD software and principles. They translate that knowledge into design and drafting careers. Even working professionals in architecture, design, or construction take ongoing AutoCAD classes to stay current when designing industrial or manufacturing projects.
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How to Prepare for a Career in AutoCAD
2D and 3D drafting principles, techniques, and software programs are essential skills to secure work at construction, design, engineering, or manufacturing companies. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may need several years of hands-on experience as well as additional drafting and AutoCAD classes to qualify for advancement to chief designer, design department head, or another managerial role.
Education Requirements for AutoCAD Designers
The BLS reports employers favor designers and drafters who earn at least a bachelor's degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering. Many working designers and engineers return to college or design school to earn a master's degree to advance in the field. If you didn't attend a four-year college, you can start by taking a year of basic art, design, or AutoCAD classes at a trade school or community college.
Salary Range and Job Outlook for AutoCAD careers
The BLS predicts a nine percent growth in jobs for commercial and industrial designers during the 2008-2018 decade. The median 2008 annual salary for designers was $57,350, rising to $97,770 at the top of the pay scale.