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A CAD technician uses computer software to create 2D or 3D design plans for buildings or structural civil engineering projects. This is career that involves creative flair as well as technical skills.


Average salaries are in the region of £22,000.00 to £35,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

A CAD technician uses computer software to create 2D or 3D design plans for buildings or structural civil engineering projects. This is career that involves creative flair as well as technical skills.

What they do

CAD (Computer Aided Design) technicians – also known as modellers – work as part of the design team to produce realistic graphic representations of proposed construction projects.

This work can fall into one of two categories:

  • Surface modelling is the modern day equivalent of a 2D drawing, and shows how the project will look through detailed renders and photorealistic representations.
  • Solid modelling takes this a step further and allows projects to be shown in 3D form, making it possible for clients and colleagues to ‘walk through’ a proposed building or structure.

Both are used to gather feedback, assess options and improve the overall end project, making the CAD technician a key player in the overall design process. 

Typical tasks include:

  • Team meetings to assign project responsibilities
  • Working at a CAD workstation to produce 2D or 3D designs
  • Liaising with other team members and colleagues
  • Making sure initial plans are represented as accurately and attractively as possible
  • Taking part in progress meetings
  • Adapting plans based on feedback from others
  • Keeping up to date with software advances

Hours & Salary:

The working week would normally be within standard office working hours, Monday to Friday, but there may be times where you would have to work late, particularly in more senior roles

  • Newly trained CAD technicians can earn in the region of £15,000-£20,000
  • Trained with experience CAD technicians can earn in the region of £22,000-£35,000
  • Senior, chartered or master CAD technicians can earn in the region of £35,000-£50,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. 


Find out more about the whole range of construction vacancies on offer with our Careers Explorer A-Z.

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Qualifications & Training

There are a number of routes that can lead into a career in CAD, but one of the most common is via an apprenticeship.

In order to qualify for an apprenticeship scheme, you will need four or five GCSEs (A-C) – or their equivalents, such as the Welsh Baccalaureate or Scottish Nationals – including English, Maths and a science subject.

Alternatively, there is a wide range of college courses relevant to a career in CAD, including:

  • City & Guilds Computer Aided Design Level 2 & 3

You will also be expected to be experienced in relevant design software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks and 3D Studio Max (there are many others).

 

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Indeed 

Jobrapido

The number of jobs vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

16,690 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 16,690 non-construction professional, technical, IT and other office-based staff (which includes CAD Modellers) to meet demand between 2017 - 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI).  The majority of this demand will be in the South West followed by East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, and Scotland and Wales.

Search other careers

Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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