CAD technician

Job Description:

Computer-aided design (CAD) technicians create technical drawings for products used in the engineering, manufacturing and construction industries.

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

You’ll work with architects and design engineers to understand the requirements of their initial designs, and turn them into accurate technical drawings in 2D design (surface modelling) or 3D design (solid modelling).

These drawings will then be used at all stages of a project, from estimating its production costs to creating the blueprints for manufacturing.


  • use a range of CAD software programmes to create designs
  • speak with architects, designers and engineers to understand their design requirements
  • provide accurate, detailed drawings that are to scale
  • make sure the drawings are compliant with relevant industry or health and safety standards

You’ll usually work in a small team, managed by a design engineer.


You’ll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • maths skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and a high attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking, reasoning & problem-solving skills (creative skills)
  • presentation skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition/drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Technician, specific qualifications are not mandatory. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for a career in CAD and design-related roles. CAD Technicians typically require a combination of education, technical skills, and practical experience. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are important for CAD Technicians, as they often deal with measurements, calculations, and geometric concepts in design and drafting.
  2. Design and Technology (DT): Courses in design and technology can provide valuable insights into design principles, materials, and the use of CAD software.
  3. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in computer applications and software is crucial for CAD work. Familiarity with basic computer programming concepts may also be beneficial.
  4. Art and Design (Optional): Courses in art and design can enhance your creativity and understanding of aesthetic principles, which can be valuable in CAD work.
  5. Physics (Optional): Some CAD work may involve designs for mechanical or engineering projects, so a basic understanding of physics principles can be helpful.
  6. English Language: Effective written and verbal communication skills are essential for CAD Technicians, as they often need to interpret design specifications and collaborate with other team members.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  1. a university course
  2. a college course
  3. an apprenticeship

You could start by doing a higher national diploma or degree that includes computer-aided design work, such as:

  • construction
  • architectural technology
  • product design
  • design engineering

Courses that include a year in industry or a summer internship will give you an opportunity to develop contacts and gain relevant work experience.

You could train in computer-aided design by taking a college course like the following in the UK:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Technology
  • Level 2 or 3 Award in 2D Computer-Aided Design
  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Design and Draughting
  • T Level in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction
  • T level in Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

You could complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in engineering, manufacturing or construction.

The exact apprenticeship you take will depend on your job role but there are several that include computer-aided design work.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You’ll work in a design office, working at a CAD design workstation or on a PC.

For construction and engineering design projects you could be based on a building site.


Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could register with the Engineering Council to get Engineering Technician (EngTech) status.

You could become a team or section leader, project manager or site manager. With further training, you could become a design or software engineer.

You could work freelance.