By Jason Vander Griendt

December 31, 2017 at 6:02 am

CAD drafters specialize in the use of computer-aided design software to create schemes and technical drawings. Their purpose is to produce a visual guideline towards how something will be made, through detailed dimensions, procedures, and materials.

The designs are done following a set of norms and technical specifications that serve a purpose for the further understanding of anyone reading the schemes.

Drafters are a key component required in both the manufacturing and building industries, but can also be found in electrical design where they map out electrical wiring diagrams.

Many universities, community colleges and technical schools offer CAD drafting classes, but there are technical colleges that offer a focused approach to CADD learning, with the aim of specializing in a specific task. This is fine from the point of view of simply operating the software, but it doesn’t convey the importance of the whole understanding of the engineering behind the design.

CADD as a Career

Given the constant evolution of CADD, and its efficiency, the requirement for drafters in the workforce is steadily declining, and according to the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), employment growth rate of drafters is projected to be around 6% in the next decade. That’s below average.

But why? How is it possible that drafters are such an important component of design, and there’s so little demand for them?

Currently, most professionals in the engineering and architectural disciplines, are educated on drafting and usage of CAD software, and as technological culture advances, all of us are being raised in the computer age, so all professionals are getting better at handling technical software, thus relieving some firms of having to hire specialized drafters to do that part of the job. Another factor to consider is that having a proper understanding of your model while going through the drafting process is an advantage and a safer guarantee of a design that matches your requirements and specifications.

Most managers think that letting engineers and architects do the drafting themselves is more profitable, but we have found that that is not necessarily the case. Not all engineers and architects have the skills to be efficient at drafting, and they are more cost-effective focussing on their area of specialty while a CAD drafter works on developing the schematics required for the project. Some drafters even get to learn a good deal about their respective fields and tend to acquire high amounts of knowledge and understanding due to the design process.

See also: Are there advantages to CAD design over manual drafting? Which is better? Which is more lucrative?

So, Where Does that Leave Drafters?

As the demand for jobs grows less than the number of CAD drafters in the marketplace, the competition will get stronger, and it will be a must that as a drafter you gather all the expertise and knowledge you can in your particular industry, not only as a drawer but also as a designer. It will also become important to make sure you are skillful, efficient, and able to produce value for your company on a level that most architects and engineers won’t be able to.

If there’s a large number of layouts to be produced, it’s always going to be more advisable to a firm to hire a specialized drafter, than to pay a licensed professional to do that job. If you need expert drafters, you can find them here! At J-CAD Inc. we’ll put our services and experience to work for you!

If you’re looking to learn more about CAD drafting, you might like these books:

And if you’re reading this as a skilled professional, feel free to get in touch. We’re always on the lookout for new talent. Give us a call at 1.888.202.2052 or email

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Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at or follow him on LinkedIn.

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