Apprenticeships in England
Apply for apprenticeships in England
Computer-aided design (CAD) operators use computer software to produce 2D and 3D drawings for construction and manufacturing projects. As a CAD operator, you may be designing buildings, machinery or component parts. You’d be taking complex information and using it to produce technical building diagrams for architects, engineers and other construction workers.
There are several routes to becoming a CAD operative. You could complete a university or college course, or an apprenticeship.
You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and able to follow instructions.
You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.
You could complete a foundation or undergraduate degree in engineering, construction or civil engineering.
To do a degree you’ll need at least:
Your local college or training provider may offer courses such as:
For these, you’ll generally need:
If you are aged between 16 and 24 you may be eligible for a traineeship. This is a short course (2 weeks - 6 months) which helps you to gain work experience in your chosen role.
An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.
For an apprenticeship you’ll need:
Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works in construction. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.
Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a CAD operative include:
As a CAD operative you will be responsible for designing technical drawings. You will be creating solutions and designs which are used for the construction of buildings, and structures such as railways and bridges.
The job role of a CAD operative involves the following duties:
Claire Mathews is a senior CAD technician with Hyder Consulting.
The expected salary for a CAD operative varies as you become more experienced.'
Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do. Salaries can also improve with chartered status.
* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources
Check out the latest CAD operative vacancies:
As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.
As a CAD operative, you could also work as a 3D visualiser/specialist, BIM manager or CAD modeller. You could progress to become a project or design manager and earn a higher salary.
You could take various work-based qualifications and learn more about engineering technology to further your career.
Experienced CAD technicians can register with the Engineering Council to gain EngTech status for professional development and to improve job prospects.
You could also set up your own business and work as a freelance CAD operative.
Explore the progression opportunities below