You’ve been poring over all those books for what seemed like an eternity; burning up the midnight oil. Been texting your buddies that “I have an important mid-term exam coming up, so sorry, but can’t make it to the Saturday Night Pom”. You’ve struggled with your studies, fought with your boy and girlfriends, missed out on important family occasions because of pressing academic engagements. And now finally, you are seeing the fruits of all your hard labor. You are graduating from high school, a degree in hand, wondering if the sky is really the limit, should you take up a career in Astronomy? It is the time for all the why’s and the which’s. Which course of higher study to pursue? And if you have decided that you have had enough of education, which career path to follow. Maybe you have been wondering is Autocad a good career path for you? And if it is, then how to become a CAD designer or how to enroll in a CAD drafter program?

If you have been thinking along those lines and want to know career prospects and how to become a CAD designer, then this article will be able to guide and inform you if AutoCad is a good career path for you; and if you are ready to jump onto the AutoCad bandwagon, then what are the different types of CAD jobs that you can take up.

Is AutoCAD a good career path- AutoCAD career path

Is AutoCAD a good career path- AutoCAD career path

Before talking about is AutoCAD a good career path for you, let us find out what exactly is AutoCAD? What does it stand for? How to become a CAD designer? AutoCAD is an acronym for Automatic Computer-Aided Design, and that’s exactly what it does. It is a design tool that enables Architects, Draftsmen, and Civil engineers to use 3D (three dimensional) software to create prototypes of buildings or even complete townships that real estate developers can then show their clients; or that Architects can use to preview buildings, exteriors and interiors, and the materials that they will use before they begin the actual construction. There are essentially three types of AutoCAD. And when you ask how to become a CAD designer and what job can I get with AutoCAD certificate or is AutoCAD a good career path, knowing the three types of AutoCAD will be a great help.

Is AutoCAD a good career – 3DCAD

How to become a CAD designer? This is essentially 3D software that allows realistic simulations and models to be created so that buildings can be visualized, seen from different angles and perspectives before construction begins. This is a huge cost saver as any potential constructional and structural issues can be detected and circumvented before any actual building processes are initiated. One of the most popular software for creating this is Autodesk AutoCAD.

Is AutoCAD a good career – Solid Modeling

If you ask how to become a CAD designer in solid Modeling, this is another software which calculates the exact dimensions of any object that is created and the reply would be affirmative when you ask is AutoCAD a good career with this knowledge. Buildings, rooms, halls, foyers, and many other types of rooms that are within the Architect’s scope of work need to be made with precise dimensions and scale if the blueprints made from these software are to be translated into real buildings. This is where Solid Modeling comes in, and popular software for this is AutoCAD or SOLIDWORKS CAD and SOLIDWORKS CAD (Premium).

 Is AutoCAD a good career – 2D CAD

Talking about how to become a CAD designer, this is a 2D software program that creates drawings consisting of flat shapes like ovals, rectangles, arcs, circles, etc, which can then later be extruded or projected through a program like AutoCAD, or blueprints from the orthogonal views can be printed and then subsequently used by Architects for actual construction. The most popular software for this kind of preliminary design work is CAD key, Medusa, etc.

Well, that’s all very well, you might be saying, but before I start working on them, what are career options available for me or is AutoCAD a good career option at all? What job can I get with AutoCAD certificate? How can I be sure that is AutoCAD a good career path for me? For that, it is important that you understand how to become a CAD designer and what job can I get with AutoCAD certificate. Let us see first, how to make your mark as a CAD designer. Another way of referring to a CAD designer is as a “skilled AutoCAD drafter”. It is imperative if you are to become a good AutoCAD drafter, that you understand circuit layouts, mechanical systems, have more than a rudimentary knowledge of architecture, know electrical lighting, and furthermore, that you are more than acquainted with the codes and regulations that your designs must comply with. If they are to be approved and pass competency tests.

Talking about is AutoCAD a good career or what job can I get with AutoCAD certificate, if we are to take a look at AutoCAD careers salary, an AutoCAD drafter is regarded as an entry-level job and an AutoCAD drafter in the US can expect a salary of approximately $50,000 per annum. Many sources claim that a AutoCAD drafter’s salary in the US is about $21 per hour. And some companies like Coffman Engineers or Graham and Associates push this hourly rate to $25. That is more than decent for an entry-level job.

Naturally, when you ask is AutoCAD a good career or what job can I get with AutoCAD certificate, the payouts vary according to qualifications attached to a basic associate degree, and those with a Bachelors’s or better still, a Masters’s degree can hope to secure a substantially higher AutoCAD Careers salary. Next up the rung is a CAD Designer who on average draws $60,000 per annum. They are paid a little more since not only should they be extremely conversant with good design principles, but also should be aware of safety protocols, rules, and regulations of the different bodies that govern architectural work; and should also be able to guide any AutoCAD drafters that they may be working with. An architect typically draws a AutoCAD Careers salary of around $70,000 and an engineer, by virtue of his or her advanced qualifications, can expect to draw a satisfying $80-90,000 per annum.

So, talking about is AutoCAD a good career or what job can I get with AutoCAD certificate, like in any other field, salaries are commensurate with experience and the bigger players draw bigger salaries, as expected. 

Is AutoCAD a good career – Types of CAD jobs

In the AutoCAD career path or for people who ask what job can I get with AutoCAD certificate, some of the types of CAD jobs you can hold, that don’t require a four-year full degree are:

Is AutoCAD a good career - Types of CAD jobs

(i) AutoCAD career path – Mechanical Drafter

The very first of the types of CAD jobs. This person needs a sharp technical brain as well as precision skills. He should be able to create robust and accurate technical drawings, production plans. And, after obtaining technical information and design briefs from engineers, translate them into practical schematics. If he can do this expertly then the reply to is AutoCAD a good career is good. As far as AutoCAD Careers salary Is concerned, a good mechanical drafter can easily expect to draw a salary of around $54 000 per year.

(ii) AutoCAD career path – Electrical/Electronics Drafter

The next in types of CAD jobs takes us to electronics Drafter. Someone engaged in yet another precision work like this should ideally have a very thorough understanding of electrical circuits – their design, construction, and usage. They are in a sense, scaled-down versions of an actual electrical engineer. Hence, they should be able to not only comprehend technical briefs from engineers but also either through manual drafting methods, (which despite the plethora of computerized software, are still valued) or through computer-aided design, deliver accurate schemata. Manuals, technical guidebooks, calculators and tables, and of course, computers are the stock in the trade of the successful electronics drafter. Talking about AutoCAD Careers salary, a reasonably competent AutoCAD drafter can easily expect a salary of about $60,000 a year and with a projected growth rate of 5% from 2021-2024, they can happily expect their salary to grow steadily over time.Thus, if you ask is AutoCAD a good career, then the answer if definitely yes. 

 (iii) AutoCAD career path – Civil Architectural Drafter

Continuing our discussion on is AutoCAD a good career path and AutoCAD careers salary, this person would typically look after the “civil engineering” part of the entire architectural project. The draftsman (bear in mind we are using the term “draftsman” in a generic sense, and this person could belong to either gender) has the responsibility of creating detailed drawings of structures, installations, and using drawings, maps, and profiles to map topographical contours and subsurface formations and structures. This is a highly technical and precision-oriented job and the person involved has to work very closely with the civil engineer and often accompany the engineer on-site visits, to check and recheck the veracity and accuracy of the blueprints created, if necessary.

So when you want to know types of CAD jobs and AutoCAD Careers salary, salaries for an architectural drafter can range from $50,000 per annum to $ 53,000 for the more experienced or better-performing employees.

So now that you have a fair understanding of is AutoCAD a good career path path, types of CAD jobs and of the AutoCAD careers salary, what are you waiting for? Enroll in a CAD drafter program right away if you are technically minded, have a penchant for the precise, and want to see your imagination crystallize into a completed building or maybe even a mini township!

For people who ask is AutoCAD a good career path or what is AutoCAD Careers salary, the above mentioned are the common types of CAD jobs available in the market. But if you are asking the question, What job can I get with AutoCAD certificate and CAD drafter program, there are several. 

Without any doubt, if along with your AutoCAD certificate, you have a degree in Mechanical Engineering then consider yourself a notch above the average engineer. You can easily expect mid to senior-level positions in Industries that deal with motor parts, air conditioning systems, turbines, and various other miscellaneous types of machinery. The added qualification of AutoCAD experience will certainly place you in the higher income bracket with the added advantage of having more job security.

But not everyone may have the technical acumen required to be an engineer. Or have the patience of those studying in a CAD drafter program. For those with a more creative mindset, having a fair for the unusual, they can opt for a career in Fashion Design. While here micro specifications, such as those required in engineering, may not play such a crucial role, they can use AutoCAD to create patterns, designs, and styles from which templates can very quickly be created, which can then, be in turn used to give instructions to 3D printers and die cutters to mass-produce dresses quickly and to precise specifications.

Interior Designer: All Architects are only too aware that buildings do not have just impressive exteriors. They have interiors too, which need to be well laid out and suitably decorated. This is the domain of the interior designer, who in today’s tech-savvy world is taking increasing recourse to using AutoCAD to do meticulous floor planning, elevated views of each room, and test out the materials and textures that will be used in the upholstery and other fitments. The beauty of CAD drafter program and AutoCAD is that every minute detail can be captured with the software, clothing wrinkles, furniture polish, and all, so that the prospective buyer or agency can check out the interiors. And take an informed discussion before the actual purchasing and decoration work begins.

Is AutoCAD a good career – What job can I get with AutoCAD certificate

Another popular profession when it comes to CAD drafter program is:

s AutoCAD a good career - What job can I get with AutoCAD certificate

AutoCAD career path – Mechanical and Electrical Engineer

Although AutoCAD originally came up as a prime requirement for Architects, it is finding increasing usage with Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. Precise dimensions can be drawn, modified, and finally frozen on an electronic template which can then be projected or extruded to create the actual real-life structure. Massive digital plotters are used to print out blueprints which are then used on the site by the civil engineers to translate visual data into the steel and concrete edifices which are the hallmark of today’s industrial era.

Is AutoCAD a good career – Conclusion

Right. So whether you want to enroll in CAD drafter program or any other training program, there are many options in the AutoCAD career path, many landmarks to point you in the right direction. But where can one get the requisite training to become a good AutoCAD drafter or how to become a CAD designer?

The New York Institute of Art and Design has possibly one of the best online courses in AutoCAD replete with many practice exercises and real-world examples. The parent company AutoDesk, which created and markets the software, offers online certification as well through its site – 

Many MOOC courses such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy offer training in this field as well. Some well-known State Universities that offer Architecture as a subject, in which is included many hours of training in AutoCAD are:

  • Ferris State University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Northern Michigan University
  • University of Alaska
  • University of Central Missouri

These are only some well-known and popular Universities. The actual list is naturally much larger, and many offer AutoCAD training as an elective too.

The field is wide open. It’s you who needs to take the decision – and take it quickly, as to what career choice is best for you. One that will give you satisfaction, success, and security for you and your family in the competitive times that we live in. And if the information given here has answered the initial question in your mind “Is AutoCad a good career path for you”, now that you are hopefully convinced that the AutoCAD career path is the right one, hesitate no longer. Jump right in. You will surely not regret it!


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