Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)

What They Do

Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.

Develop detailed design drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment, dies, tools, and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment.
Produce three-dimensional models, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components, assemblies, systems, and machines.
Modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies or to reduce production problems.
Review and analyze specifications, sketches, drawings, ideas, and related data to assess factors affecting component designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed.


Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.

Median Income


Technical Skills Needed

Computer aided design CAD software
Computer aided manufacturing CAM software

Knowledge Needed

Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Engineering and Technology— Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Mechanical— Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Mathematics— Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications

Skills Needed

Active Learning— Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making

Active Listening— Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking— Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Mathematics— Using mathematics to solve problems

Reading Comprehension— Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents

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