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CAD technician

Alternative titles for this job include Structural technician, BIM technician, digital design technician, engineering design technician

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

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become 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, such as:

  • construction
  • architectural technology
  • product design
  • design engineering

Courses that include a year in industry or a summer internship will give you an opportunity to develop contacts and gain relevant work experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


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

  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Technology
  • Level 2 or 3 Award in 2D Computer-Aided Design
  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Design and Draughting
  • T Level in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction
  • T level in Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

Entry requirements

You may need:

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

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, or equivalent, 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

It's useful to find out the common design software packages used by companies you want to work for. Some software companies offer student packages or free trials that allow you to practise using them.

In construction design, it's useful to have an understanding of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Further information

You can find more details about working and training in computer-aided design through:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • use 2D or 3D software to produce sketches, schemes, models and detailed drawings
  • check that drawings meet quality and technical standards
  • find and fix inaccuracies or mistakes
  • communicate with engineers, designers and project staff
  • read and interpret engineers' drawings
  • do mathematical calculations to work out angles, weights and costs
  • keep accurate records of different versions of your design work

Working environment

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

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

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

You could also work freelance.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

CAD Apprentice

  • Wage: £14,605 a year Annually

Apprentice CAD Technician

  • Wage: £13,500 a year Annually

Courses In England

Computer Aided Design

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Smith's Wood

2D Computer Aided Design (CAD) Award

  • Start date: 29 October 2024
  • Location: Paignton

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