CAD technician

Computer-aided design (CAD) technicians use software to design buildings, machinery, goods and components.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become a CAD technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


You could start by doing a higher national diploma or degree that includes computer-aided design work. For example:

  • construction
  • architectural technology
  • product design
  • design engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You could train in computer-aided design by taking a college course like:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Engineering Technology
  • Level 2 Certificate in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing
  • Level 3 Diploma in Design and Draughting

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing

More information


You could complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in engineering, manufacturing or construction. The exact apprenticeship you take will depend on your job role but there are several that include computer-aided design work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

More information

Career tips

Some colleges may specialise in particular computer-aided design packages, for example:

  • AutoCAD LT
  • Civil 3D
  • SolidWorks
  • Autodesk 3ds Max

Further information

You can find more details about working and training in computer-aided design through Go Construct and The Institution of Engineering Designers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • maths skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • use software to draw 2D or 3D images of products or parts of a product
  • work with engineers to design parts for machinery
  • help engineers estimate the cost of a product

Working environment

You could work on a construction site or in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could register with the Engineering Council to get Engineering Technician (EngTech) status.

You could become a team or section leader, project manager or site manager. With further training, you could become a design or software engineer.

You could work freelance.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Plastic Fabricator

  • Wage : £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Stalybridge SK15 1ST

L2 Electrical/Mechanical Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Sheffield S9 2QL

Courses In England

CAD - Computer Aided Design (2D) - Level 2

  • Start date: 12 September 2020
  • Location: Blackpool

City and Guilds Computer Aided Design (CAD) Level 3

  • Provider: Wirral Met College
  • Start date: 16 September 2020
  • Location: Birkenhead

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