How to Become an AutoCAD Drafter

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Architects and engineers rely on 2D and 3D imaging to guide them through the construction and manufacturing processes. These images are often created by professional drafters who are skilled in computer aided design. They use software such as AutoCAD to develop drafts that include details of the materials used, measurements and dimensions, building codes, and production methods. If you’re computer savvy and have an interest in how things are made, you might be able to turn your interest and abilities into a career as an AutoCAD drafter. Enroll in a training program first, build your resume, and begin your job search.

Start With AutoCAD Training

A training program in computer aided design can be your first step toward a career as a drafter. It can help you develop the software skills you need so you can start looking for job openings that demand AutoCAD proficiency. Your program should be taught by instructors who are experts in the programs they teach and who have experience working as professional drafters. You learn how to create and save new files, how to set up a document, and how to use the various software tools to render architectural drafts and manufacturing drawings. You also hone your math skills, gain an understanding of various building codes, and how to create 3D models.

Earn Certifications from AutoDesk

Industry certifications validate your knowledge of a particular subject and show employers that you’re qualified for the job. Through your training program, you should be prepared to sit for a certification exam from AutoDesk, the company that produces the AutoCAD software. Once you pass this national exam, you can earn the AutoCAD Certified User credential, which can stand out on your resume and set you apart from other candidates.

Build Your CAD Resume

Before you complete your training program, start to pull together your resume. If you don’t have a resume already, you can contact your school’s Career Services office for guidance on how to format it and what to highlight. The staff can show you examples of a drafter’s resume and provide advice on what you should and shouldn’t include. If you already have a resume, update it to include the following:

  • Education—Include your training program, the date you graduate with your certificate, and any awards you may have received.
  • Certification—When you earn the AutoDesk certification, be sure to include that credential in the education section.
  • Experience—List any relevant experience, even it’s an internship or a volunteer project. If you don’t have any drafting experience, that’s OK. You can list your previous work experiences, but include the skills developed or duties accomplished relative to a career in drafting.
  • Skills—Now that you’ve completed your training, you should have a variety of hard and soft skills to highlight. List the technical skills you developed, like 3D modeling and drafting, along with the soft skills you acquired such as analytical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving.

Look For AutoCAD Jobs

With your education, certification, and resume, you’re ready to look for work. A good place to start are online job boards dedicated to drafting jobs, including the American Design and Drafting Association’s employment center. If you’re more interested in freelance work, you could check out sites like Upwork, which allows employers to post projects that they need drafters to work on. Another great option is to create a LinkedIn profile, which allows you to search for jobs on the social media platform. You can also find and connect with other drafters as well as architects and engineers who may be hiring or could point you in the direction of available opportunities.

If you’re ready to start your career as an AutoCAD drafter, contact Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Computer Aided Design that can help you prepare for entry-level jobs in the field. The program can be completed online in as few as 10 months. Classes are enrolling now. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.