AutoCAD Drafter

autocad drafter trainingAutoCAD Drafters design technical schematics for products & structures.

AutoCAD drafters use AutoCAD - Autodesk's industry-leading drafting and design software - to prepare 2D and 3D technical drawings. These drawings are used as blueprints to construct products and structures, such as buildings, machinery, toys, microchips, plumbing & electrical systems, vehicles and a host of other manufactured goods. AutoCAD drafting professionals hold a range of job titles, including engineer, drafter, estimator, designer, modeler, architect or illustrator.

The best AutoCAD drafters combine "right-brain" attributes, such as creativity & spatial relationships, with "left-brain" traits, like mathematics & analytical thinking, to produce captivating and innovative designs. Whether your CADD (computer-aided drafting & design) career path lies in civil engineering, architecture or even entertainment (CADD software such as Autodesk's Maya can render stunning 3D animation and special effects), AutoCAD gives you the power to bring your ideas to life.

AutoCAD is the most popular CADD software with the highest overall job-market demand. There are also specialized versions of AutoCAD and other Autodesk products designed for drafters in specific job-roles and industries. Here are the most popular Autodesk products and the drafting specialists that use them:

Autodesk Product Drafting Specialists
AutoCAD Designers, Architects, Engineers
AutoCAD Civil 3D Civil Engineers, Drafters, Designers
AutoCAD Architecture Architects, Contractors, Building Managers
3ds Max Game Developers, Graphic Designers, 3D Animators
Inventor Product Manufacturers, Inventors, Prototype Designers
Maya 3D Animators, Effects Specialists, Game Designers
Revit Architecture Architects, Building Information Managers
AutoCAD Electrical Electrical Controls & Systems Designers

Drafting and design schools offer campus & online degree programs, courses and certificates in the latest AutoCAD drafting skills & technologies. Compare the top-rated AutoCAD drafter training programs in the U.S., Canada and online.

a.k.a. CADD Drafter | AutoCAD Designer | AutoCAD Operator | AutoCAD Engineer | AutoCAD Illustrator | AutoCAD Architect

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AutoCAD Drafter Skills & Responsibilities

Typical day-to-day activities and in-demand skill sets for AutoCAD drafters include the following. AutoCAD drafters:

  • Are fluent in one or more Autodesk CADD (computer-aided drafting & design) programs.
  • Create technical schematics and blueprints for the construction of structures and products.
  • Provide measurements, dimensions and notes on the materials needed to complete the project.
  • Coordinate with other employees to obtain technical details, optimize designs, and resolve issues.
  • Modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies and limit production problems.
  • Write additional instructions & comments and position them into technical drawings and blueprints.
  • Need strong communication skills to deal with both technical & non-technical employees/clients.
  • The best AutoCAD drafters are creative thinkers with an ingrained curiosity for how things work.


AutoCAD Drafter Salary

  • AutoCAD drafter average annual wage: $43,000

AutoCAD Drafter Salary $44,000


Salaries for AutoCAD drafters and related positions by experience, specialty, industry & AutoCAD certification:

  • AutoCAD Drafter: $43,000
  • AutoCAD Designer: $51,000
  • AutoCAD Certified Associate: $52,000
  • AutoCAD Mechanical Designer: $62,000
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D Drafter: $63,000
  • AutoCAD Landscape Designer: $64,000
  • Autodesk Revit Drafter: $64,000
  • AutoCAD Structural Designer: $64,000
  • Autodesk Maya Animator: $65,000
  • AutoCAD Electrical Engineer: $70,000
  • AutoCAD Electrical Controls Engineer: $70,000
  • AutoCAD Piping Designer: $74,000
  • AutoCAD Instructor: $76,000
  • AutoCAD Product Design Engineer: $79,000
  • AutoCAD HVAC Mechanical Engineer: $80,000
  • AutoCAD Certified Professional: $52,000
  • Autodesk Revit Specialist: $82,000
  • AutoCAD Project Manager: $84,000
  • Senior Civil Engineer: $99,000
  • Lead Electrical Engineer: $127,000

For AutoCAD drafting jobs paying hourly, wages typically range from $12 to over $25 per hour.



AutoCAD Drafter Education Requirements

Hiring managers for AutoCAD drafter positions prefer applicants with training in a recent version of AutoCAD or a specialized Autodesk drafting program, such as Revit Architecture, AutoCAD Civil 3D or 3ds Max. Depending on the type of position you wish to acquire and your preferred learning style, you can learn AutoCAD drafting in a two-year program at a technical or trade school, as part of an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, or through a post-secondary diploma or certificate program. The AutoCAD subject matter works well with online training programs. Prospective employers may also want to see a portfolio of your completed AutoCAD projects. Most AutoCAD training programs, including those listed below, will review your coursework and help you assemble a professional portfolio and resume. Relevant work experience and drafting certifications will aid candidates in securing a position.

Specific coursework and in-demand skill sets to look for in an AutoCAD drafting education program include hands-on training in AutoCAD technologies, AutoCAD user interface (UI) training, mechanical drawing, knowledge of drafting standards & terminologies, mathematics, science, art and engineering. For industry-specific AutoCAD training programs, Architecture, Building Information Modeling (BIM) & Civic Engineering are currently in the highest demand; that said we recommend you choose the CADD specialty you're most passionate about, as there will always be new job opportunities and hot specialties, but your passion for the subject matter can give you the edge in getting hired as well as more happiness on the job.

Research and compare top-rated AutoCAD drafting training programs in the U.S., Canada and online.


AutoCAD Drafter Training, Certificates & Degree Programs

Browse the top-rated undergrad & graduate degrees, professional certificates, online courses and self-paced training programs matching the AutoCAD Drafter education requirements and career path.

Admissions advisors can provide more info about AutoCAD programs and curriculum, admissions & start dates, online learning details, career opportunities, tuition costs, personalized financial aid & scholarship options.
Got targeted learning goals? Many schools offer individual courses from campus and online degree programs.


AutoCAD Training Program

Course Highlights & Certifications

BS - Interior Design

  • Method: Online
  • Degree Level: Bachelor
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Use AutoCAD, REVIT and other CADD Tools to Design Stunning Residential & Commercial Spaces
  • Beginner through Advanced Architectural Drafting
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign & Acrobat
  • Learn Cutting-Edge Sustainable Design Techniques
  • Fine Arts Fundamentals & Observational Drawing
  • Color, Furniture, Textiles and Finish Selection
  • Build a Strong Portfolio for Potential Employers

BS - Computer Animation

  • Method: Online
  • Degree Level: Bachelor
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Create Engaging Animations using Autodesk's Entertainment Suite: Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox, Softimage, Motionbuilder & Sketchbook Pro
  • Fine Arts Foundation inc. Character Motion, Color Theory and Life-Drawing
  • Design Stunning 3D Graphics for Video Games, TV, Feature Films & Websites
  • Seamlessly Merge CGI with Film Elements
  • Professional Portfolio/Demo Reel Creation

Bachelor's - Mechatronics

  • Method: Online or On-Campus
  • Degree Level: Bachelor
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Learn the Technical and Design Skills to Pursue a Variety of Engineering Careers
  • 3D Drafting & Modeling using Programs like AutoCAD, Pro/E and SolidWorks
  • Advanced Training in Computer, Electrical, Control & Mechanical Engineering
  • Develop and Troubleshoot Robotics, Programmable Controllers & Integrated Systems

Diploma - Residential Planning

  • Method: Online
  • Degree Level: Diploma
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Use AutoCAD and other Drafting Tools to Plan & Design Residential Spaces
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign & Acrobat
  • Fine Arts Fundamentals & Observational Drawing
  • Space Planning and Sustainable Design Training
  • Color, Furniture, Textiles & Finish Selection
  • History of Architecture, Interiors & Furniture

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AutoCAD Drafter Certifications List

Marketable certifications for AutoCAD drafters include the following credentials from Autodesk, and the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA).

Autodesk Certifications:

  • AutoCAD User
  • AutoCAD Associate
  • AutoCAD Professional
  • Revit Architecture Associate
  • Revit Architecture Professional
  • Autodesk Inventor Associate
  • Autodesk Inventor Professional
  • Revit Architecture Associate
  • Revit Architecture Professional
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Associate
  • 3ds Max Professional Models to Motion
  • 3ds Max Professional Surface & Look Development
  • Autodesk Maya Associate
  • Maya Professional Models to Motion
  • Maya Professional Visual Effects and Simulation

ADDA Certifications:

  • ADDA Certified Apprentice Drafter - Architectural
  • ADDA Certified Apprentice Drafter - Mechanical
  • ADDA Certified Drafter - Architectural
  • ADDA Certified Drafter - Mechanical
  • ADDA Certified Design Drafter - Civil
  • ADDA Certified Digital Designer - Digital Imaging
  • ADDA Certified Digital Designer - Visual Communication

Autodesk typically releases new AutoCAD software versions and certifications each year.

Compare AutoCAD training and certification programs online and in your area.


AutoCAD Drafter Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for drafters is projected to grow by 1% from 2012 through 2022, slower than most IT career paths, however CADD drafters entering the field with the right AutoCAD training and career specializations will still have a great deal of job opportunities.

Civil engineering and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are among the hottest drafting specialties, projected to grow more than twice as fast as the overall drafting field. Increased construction activity stemming from U.S. population growth and the need to improve America’s infrastructure will spur demand for AutoCAD drafters who are trained and certified in Civil Drafting, BIM and interior design. Product Data Management (PDM) software - programs that track and control data related to a specific product and its lifecycle, including CAD schematics - is another emerging drafting domain that's stirring up workforce buzz and demand.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook


AutoCAD Drafter Jobs

Your AutoCAD education, experience and certifications qualify you for a range of positions including:

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Subject Matter Expert Contributor

IT Subject Matter ExpertDaniel Greenspan is an IT education specialist, web designer and entrepreneur living in New York City. Working closely with IT professionals, world-class trainers and technology executives since 2005 has given him a unique perspective into the IT job market and the skills and credentials IT professionals need to succeed.


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