How to become a CAD engineer

Updated February 21, 2017

CAD stands for Computer Aided Design, and CAD engineers typically work for businesses and corporations designing various products and devices. The products and devices they design can be almost anything, from prosthetic limbs to vehicles to furniture. CAD engineers can also design objects for the virtual world to be used in simulations or as blueprints for future products. To prepare for a career as a CAD engineer, you'll need many years of education and training.

Decide which direction you'd like to take your career as a CAD engineer. CAD engineers can take many different career paths, including as a civil engineer or mechanical engineer, and they can work for a variety of businesses or institutions, including private corporations, manufacturing companies, or the government.

Take high school courses that will help you in your future career as a CAD engineer. These types of courses include any advanced math, science, or computer courses your high school offers. While in high school, keep up with technology and familiarise yourself with computer software, applications, and programs.

Enrol in a university that offers a degree in engineering. As an engineering student, you can specialise in electrical, electronic, mechanical, computer, or automobile engineering, depending on the path you want to take in your career. If you're having a difficult time choosing a speciality, take a course or two in each discipline to help you decide which speciality most interests you and fits with your skill set. CAD engineers are needed in all engineering fields.

Double major in architecture, or at least take several architecture courses while earning your degree. Architecture is a field that utilises many of the benefits of CAD technology. Designing a structure is easier, cheaper, and faster on a computer than it is by hand, and as an architecture student, you'll receive hands-on training in Computer Aided Design.

Consider incorporating engineering computer sciences into your college program. Some CAD professionals have degrees in engineering computer sciences along with an architecture degree. Courses in engineering computer sciences, like architecture courses, will give you hands-on training in Computer Aided Design, which will help better prepare you for a career as a CAD engineer.

Practice using CAD technology. Education in this field is important, and you're going to need a lot of it. But nothing can replace actually using the technology yourself. You'll learn the necessary software and techniques needed while earning your degree, but you won't become a true expert until you've had years of practice and experience in the field.

Consider finding a job in the industry you want to work in before applying to be a CAD engineer in that field. Many companies prefer to hire CAD engineers who already have experience working in the field. That way, you're more familiar with how the industry works, the software applications you need to know, and the needs of the company or institution.

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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.