Would you like to be involved in designing new things such as large buildings, or clothes, toys, or maybe machines? CAD Operators draw these designs on computers using software according to the suggestions of design engineers, technologists or architects. Do you love drawing patterns with different colors? Have you tried drawing anything on different materials like walls or maybe clothes or sometimes on a computer with a mouse? Explore to find out who CAD Operators are, what they do and how to become one.
CAD (Computer-aided design) Software Operators are involved in using computer technology to design and draft (make technical drawings) products, structures or parts. This computer technology has a number of uses, from designing tools, clothes, products and machinery to all types of buildings like homes, and industrial and commercial structures. A design is a working solution to a problem or a requirement.
Why become a CAD Software Operator?
As a CAD (Computer-aided design) Software Operator, you will be involved in using computer technology to design and draft (make technical drawings) products, structures or parts. It has a number of uses, from designing tools, products and machinery to all types of buildings like homes, and industrial and commercial structures. A design is a working solution to a problem or a requirement.
You will be creating detailed technical drawings using computer software according to the specifications or descriptions are given to you by presiding designers, architects, engineers, art directors, application engineers, project managers, team leads or clients. You may be making new drawings or modifying existing ones according to the directions given to you.
CAD Operators work in a typical office environment. As a CAD Software Operator, you will be working on specialized computers having the required software needed to draw designs of various kinds of structures, products, and systems. CAD Designers may either work with 2D (surface modeling) plans or 3D (solid modeling) plans. You may need to work for nearly 9-10 hours daily or may also be required to work extra hours to meet project deadlines.
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What does a CAD Operator do?
As a CAD Operator, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities:
- You will be creating high-quality, detailed technical drawings and plans using computer software.
- You will be using a host of software programs (like Autodesk, AutoCAD, CoreICAD, SmartDraw, ARCHICAD, etc.) to create designs in 2D and 3D.
- You will be designing/redesigning complex layouts by collaborating with design engineers, architects, application engineers, project managers, team leads, clients, layout artists etc. to understand their written or verbal specifications and requirements as well as offer technical suggestions to them when needed.
- You will be ensuring that drawings and designs are compliant with industry and safety standards and protocols.
- You will be reviewing existing design layouts to find and resolve problems involving compatibility with basic design concepts.
- You will be communicating with other designers and staff members and keep them updated about the progress, any alterations to the design specifications, etc.
- You will be actively involved in the engineering and manufacturing design review process to evaluate design concepts or make required recommendations.
- You will be assisting junior team members in CAD drawing and design tasks.
- You will be maintaining notes, design calculations and other documentation such as drawings, bill of materials, list of design parameters, etc., for future reference.
- You will be regularly updating the database of design records for future reference purposes.
- You will stay updated of techniques and technology, third-party items, services databases, and industry trends, by researching on current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending professional seminars or conferences or attending meetings or workshops.
How to become a CAD Software Operator – Eligibility Criteria
After Class 10, you have the following options:
- Certificate / Diploma courses.
- ITI courses.
- MES courses.
- NSQF courses.
After Class 11-12, you can also go for B.Voc./ Certificate / Diploma courses irrespective of any industry orientation.
Certificate / Diploma courses are output-oriented technical skill training courses so you can bag opportunities in any industry whatsoever if you know how to use CAD / AutoCAD software or associated computer software.
The cost of studying CAD software operation in India can vary depending on various factors such as the type of course, the duration of the program, and the institution offering the course.
Certificate courses in CAD software operation can be completed in 6-12 months and usually cost between INR 10,000 to INR 50,000. Diploma courses in CAD software operation can be completed in 1-2 years and typically cost between INR 50,000 to INR 1,00,000.
Bachelor’s degree programs in engineering or technology with a specialization in CAD can take 3-4 years to complete and the total cost can range between INR 3,00,000 to INR 8,00,000. Master’s degree programs in engineering or technology with a specialization in CAD can take 2-3 years to complete and cost between INR 1,00,000 to INR 3,00,000.
CAD Operators can find numerous job opportunities in various segments of the industry including Construction-Architecture (Civil and Mechanical sectors), Interior Designing, Gems and Jewelry, Manufacturing, Textile-Handloom-Leather, Glass, Ceramic etc. as:
- CAD Operator
- CAD CAM Solution Expert
- CAD/CAM Customizer
- CAD CAM Executive
- 3D Visualizer
- CAD / CAM Tool Professional
- CAD CAM Programmer
- Junior CAD Designer
- Civil Drafter – CAD/CAM
- Mechanical Drafter – CAD/CAM
- CAD Print Designer
- Auto CAD Designer
- AutoCAD Operator
With sufficient knowledge, work experience and financial resources, you can very well start your own enterprise (business) to provide sales and services related to 2D and 3D visualization or designing using CAD and associated software, gather work contracts from various construction companies, engineering companies, real estate companies, footwear or leather-crafts companies, stonecraft companies, ceramic product manufacturers, toy manufacturers, gift and stationery items manufacturers etc.
Salary of a CAD Software Operator
In entry-level jobs, you can expect a monthly salary package of around Rs. 7,000 – 16,000 or more.
As you gain about 6-10 years of experience and move on to mid-level roles in the field, your average monthly salary will be anywhere around Rs. 15,000 – 30,000, or more depending upon your job title and position.
For senior-level job positions (with 12-20 years of experience), the salary package ranges anywhere between Rs. 25,000 – 45, 000 per month or more.
After 12+ years of experience, you can expect around Rs. 30,000 – 55, 000 per month or more.
Career progression as a CAD Software Operator
At the beginning of your career, you can bag entry-level roles such as Trainee Designer, Assistant CAD Programmer, Junior Design Artist, Associate Level Designer, etc.
After you’ve gained sufficient experience in any particular industry, you can get promoted to roles like Senior 3D Visualizer, Team Lead, Design Head, Project Lead, Strategic Head, Experience Solution Architect, etc.
What does industry trends say – future prospects
You can expect a bright future in this field as the industry growth prospects are encouraging. CAD/CAM design falls under the purview of the IT Enabled Services industry. The IT & ITeS industry in India is predicted to reach the 300 billion US Dollars mark by 2020. The growth rate during the period 2013-2020 is expected to be 16% compounded annually. The global CAD software market is predicted to touch the 12,124 million US Dollars mark by 2023 showing tremendous growth in the Asia-Pacific region including India, Japan and China. The CAD market in India is forecasted to grow at a rate of 9.2% compounded annually during the period 2014-2019. CAD / CAM design has emerged as a major thrust area in the Indian outsourcing scenario, especially in the field of advanced medical devices, automotive and diagnostic tools. Outsourcing from India means Indian qualified professionals migrating to other countries for work. In the next 20 years developed countries will see a huge workforce deficit (skilled professionals requirement totaling to 32-39 million by 2020) and once again will outsource from developing countries including India. The contribution of remote services is expected to be 133-315 billion US Dollars of additional revenue flowing into India generating 10-24 million jobs (direct and indirect) by 2020.
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