3 Benefits of Becoming a Drafting Technician or CAD Technologist
Nearly everything that gets constructed or manufactured begins with a set of visual plans or schematics. Without detailed and accurate diagrams and drawings, we simply wouldn't be able to produce or build the high-quality products and structures many of us take for granted.
That's why skilled drafting technicians and CAD specialists are so vital. They ensure that the ideas of architects, engineers, and industrial designers are translated into visual and technical documents that can be easily followed by construction or manufacturing teams.
In 2012 alone, close to 2,400 drafting firms operated across Canada.* And many other types of organizations actively employed or used the services of draftspersons, including governments at every level. So plenty of opportunities can be found, especially as some industries grow more complex and new ones begin to emerge.
Here are three other advantages often associated with having a drafting career:
1. You Could Work on a Large Variety of Projects in Different Industries
Drafting professionals are employed in a lot of exciting sectors. For example, they can be found creating 2D drawings or 3D computer models for:
- Architectural structures like homes and skyscrapers
- Civil engineering projects like bridges, dams, and airports
- Mechanical items like tools, engines, and medical equipment
- Electrical components like microchips and circuit boards
- Manufactured consumer products like furniture and sports equipment
- Industrial projects like pipelines and refining facilities
Some drafters choose to specialize in just one of these areas, whereas others decide to explore two or more industries throughout the course of their careers. Plus, many experienced draftspersons advance into higher positions—such as project coordinator—where they get to lead teams of other design and drafting pros.
2. You Get to Use Fascinating CAD Technology
Today's drafting technicians benefit significantly from powerful software tools that make their work highly interesting and productive. In fact, CAD systems keep getting more sophisticated in their user features and capabilities, especially in areas like 3D modeling, 3D printing, and virtual simulation.
The terms CAD and CADD are often used interchangeably and can stand for:
- Computer-aided drafting
- Computer-aided design
- Computer-aided drafting and design
- Computer-aided design and drafting
Regardless of what it's called, CAD is simply the technology and process used by drafting specialists to turn engineering, architectural, or design concepts into tangible plans that include all of the visual and technical information needed to make them a physical reality.
Some examples of popular CAD software include:
- Creo Parametric
3. You Can Make a Great Living Without Much Schooling
In most cases, you only need a small amount of formal training to get started in this field. Many programs take under two years, and some take less than one.
And check this out: The average salary for a full-time drafting technician or technologist in Canada is about $52,000. But salaries can go a lot higher in some regions. For instance, in certain provinces, the top earners have made $84,000 to $105,000 or more.**
* Industry Canada, website last visited on February 23, 2015.
** Job Bank, Government of Canada, website last visited on February 23, 2015.