Kangan Institute Blog

How to Start a Career in CAD Drafting

Drafting has been around for thousands of years. The greatest artists and scientists to have ever lived used their drawings to graphically depicts ideas and proposed designs for the creation of mechanisms and buildings. Computer-aided design (CAD) drafters are design professionals that use CAD software for drafting technical drawings used in the construction of complex objects and structures.

Drafters prepare detailed CAD drawings of buildings and other structures illustrating specific dimensions and features as well as just about any other discipline where something is being designed and built. Technical training in CAD drafting courses is required to start a career in CAD drafting and training in computer-aided design is becoming increasingly more important.

The drawings used in CAD drafting are very specific, they show measurements, materials and instructions so other workers can then use these drawings and plans to build things. If you like turning ideas into images, spending your day on the drafting table, making exact measurement and working as a team, then this may be a job for you.


A CAD drafter will use a CAD related software program to convert engineer and architectural designs into blueprints. The ability to understand how to operate CAD software programs is a must, technicians are required to also understand architectural and engineering techniques, manufacturing systems, product data management and building information modelling. Industrial drafters and designers are concerned with the development and drawing of machines, casting, tooling jigs and fixtures, piping and structural details, sheet metal layouts and pictorial drawings.

Work Tasks

As a CAD drafter you could work in 2D design, known as surface modelling and 3D design, known as solid modelling. Surfacing modelling would be used to draw a flat representation or a product. In solid modelling, you would create a 3D display of a component or structure. Engineers can use this to take a virtual tour around the inside of a new building, look inside a piece of manufacturing machinery to see where improvements to parts could be made.

CAD drafters may choose to specialise in a particular area of design. The following are examples of CAD specialities and the type of work each drafter can expect to complete:

  • Architectural drafters: Drafters in the architectural industry design buildings and elements of buildings such as walls, doors and windows. Some drafters in this discipline have the opportunity to further specialise in a particular type of material such as wood, concrete or steel.
  • Electrical drafters: prepare diagrams of wiring and layout used in installing, making and repairing electrical wiring and appliances from buildings to power plants.
  • Civil drafters: Civil drafters specialise in designing civil engineering projects such as highways, bridges or water and sewage systems.
  • Aeronautical drafters: Drafters in the aeronautical industry create plans used in the manufacturing of aircraft, missiles and other related parts.
  • Mechanical drafters: Mechanical drafters design machinery and mechanical devices.

Do Your Research

Most of the drawing you will do is done using computer-aided drafting, or CAD technology. Drafters are required to have strong knowledge of engineering practices, mathematics, building materials and construction techniques. Some CAD drafters may specialise in a particular type of structure, such as residential or commercial and others may specialise in materials or construction methods such as steel, wood or masonry.

Advance Your Career

Architectural draftsmen typically start off in entry level positions under the supervision of more experienced draftsmen. Upon proving their abilities, they may be promoted into higher-level specialist roles providing management and supervision. CAD drafters may consider continuing their education to become licensed professional architects or engineers.

Get Certified

At Kangan Institute, we offer the Certificate III In Engineering - Fabrication Trade (MEM30305) l. This engineering course is designed for those who wish to start a career in the shipping and mining industries as a fabrication tradesperson with CAD drafting skills. It will provide students with the training in the field of engineering design, measurement and drafting. This course can lead to employment opportunities for higher engineering study. The main engineering subjects of study include CAD, engineering measurement and engineering systems including material properties and applications.

Depending on the specialities, CAD drafters design a broad range of objects, structures and products. From the smallest of microchips to the largest of aircrafts, if you are looking for a career with a strong past and a secure and developing future, start a career in CAD drafting today at Kangan Institute.

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