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What to Know Before You Begin a Computer Aided Drafting Career

CADD professionalBefore an invention comes to life or a building starts to rise, it needs be designed. Every car you've driven in or bridge you've driven over started out as a detailed drawing sketched on a computer. If this sounds intriguing, check out what it takes to begin a drafting career. It might be right for you.

What Is Computer Aided Drafting?

Drafting is the process of putting an idea on paper in the form of a technical drawing. Those drawings are created with specific math and calculations, and they inform engineers and architects about the materials, dimensions, and procedures that should be used to create the final product. And while drafting was once a painstaking process done with graph paper, pencils, compasses, and slide rulers, most all of it is now done on a computer. Computer Aided Drafting and Design is the new drafting and programs like AutoCAD and SolidWorks are the tools of the trade.

What Skills Do I Need for Computer Aided Drafting?

Are you good with computers and comfortable spending a lot of time behind a screen? Since all your design work will happen through technology, you'll need basics computer skills. You'll also need to understand AutoCAD and other drafting software. But don't worry, you can learn Computer Aided Drafting and Design.

You'll need an eye for detail and the ability to follow very specific instructions. As a drafter, you'll produce a big picture, but it's made up of tiny details - and lots of them. Those details are extremely important in the manufacturing and construction processes - one small error could compromise the whole project or structure.

You'll use basic math concepts in drafting. And you'll need a good understanding of geometry and a bit of physics. All those geometric shapes help you build in design and physics will provide you with the concepts around materials and strength.

But if think all this solo work means you're working all alone, you're wrong. You'll be a part of a team so you'll need to get along with other. You'll need to be a good communicator and open to feedback and revisions. Your boss may want to change parts of the design or be under a tight deadline, and you'll need to deliver accordingly.

What Jobs Can I Get in Computer Aided Drafting?

Drafters are often employed by architectural firms to create technical drawings and charts for commercial and residential buildings. Here, you'll combine their architectural designs with knowledge of building codes and spatial limits to create interior and exterior arrangements.

Drafters are also commonly employed by engineering firms. Mechanical, aeronautical, and civil engineers all need drafters to draw their designs. Here's a look at each of these jobs:

  • Mechanical Drafter: You'll draft drawings of mechanical equipment. This includes robots and machinery. You'll draw the components and help inform engineers how they should be assembled.
  • Aeronautical Drafter: Interested in aircraft? As an aeronautical drafter, you could draft parts for airplanes, helicopters, or missiles.
  • Civil Drafter: You'll work with civil engineers to draw the topography of a specific region, and construction items like highways, bridges, and dams.

Are you ready to start drafting? At YTI Career Institute in Pennsylvania, we offer a Computer Aided Drafting and Design program that will train you to draw on software such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks. Request more information to learn more.

Program lengths vary. Not all programs available at all locations. Job placement not guaranteed. Financial aid is available to students who qualify.