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Careers in CAD

CAD drafting is a useful, practical skill that is used in many different industries. Individuals with drafting skills have a variety of employment and career advancement opportunities.

Employment Sectors

Drafting is used in a wide variety of business, industrial, professional and governmental activities, including the following:

  • Industrial Technology
  • Architecture and Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Automotive Services
  • Machine Shop-Welding
  • Marine Technology
  • Electronics
  • Mechanical-Electrical Systems
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geology-Geography Surveying, and
  • Technical Illustration.
Employment and Duties

Here are just a few examples of positions and primary responsibilities:

Electrical drafters prepare wiring diagrams that other construction workers use to install and repair electrical equipment and wiring in power plants, electrical distribution systems, and residential and commercial buildings.

Electronics drafters produce wiring diagrams, assembly diagrams for circuit boards, and layout drawings used in manufacturing and in installing and repairing electronic devices and components.

Mechanical drafters prepare layouts that show the details for a wide variety of machinery and mechanical tools and devices, such as medical equipment. These layouts indicate dimensions, fastening methods, and other requirements needed for assembly. Workers sometimes create production molds.

You can find a lot more examples online if you visit O*NET and search for "CAD".

Earning Potential

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of electrical and electronics drafters is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Electrical and electronics drafters will continue to be needed to work on the electrical system designs in buildings, cars, and devices that have electrical systems.

The median annual wage for drafters was $49,630 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

The median wages for detailed drafting occupations in May 2012 were as follows:

  • $55,700 for electrical and electronics drafters
  • $50,360 for mechanical drafters
  • $47,870 for architectural and civil drafters
  • $46,110 for drafters, all other

In the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, our CAD students typically make about $15/hour starting pay with no professional experience. Their CAD skills help them achieve part-time and full-time job offers! And, our AACC students that move on to pursue an bachelor's degree in engineering are more likely to score engineering firm internships due to the CAD skills they gained from their coursework here!


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Drafters, on the Internet at (visited November 25, 2015).

National Center for O*NET Development. Quick Search. O*NET OnLine. Retrieved November 25, 2015, from