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CAD technician

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Computer-aided design (CAD) technicians use software to design buildings, machinery, goods and components.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science subject.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You could also take a college course to learn the skills you'll need.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent maths and IT ability
  • problem-solving skills
  • presentation skills

3. What you'll do

You'll work in 2D design (surface modelling) or 3D design (solid modelling).


  • use software to draw 2D or 3D images of products or parts of a product
  • work with engineers to design parts for machinery
  • help engineers estimate the cost of a product

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

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £20,000

Experienced: £22,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns 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.

6. Career path and 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.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018