Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

An average Computer Aided Design Drafter in the United States can expect to take home roughly $17.44 per hour. Total cash compensation for Computer Aided Design Drafters runs from $28K to $55K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $3K and profit sharing that can reach almost $5K. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While just under one in four report receiving no health benefits, a fair number do receive medical coverage, and just over a half have dental, as well. Male Computer Aided Design Drafters are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. For the most part, Computer Aided Design Drafters enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$29,954 - $58,377

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$12.44 - $24.73

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$29,954 - $58,377  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,543  
Profit Sharing
$197.67 - $4,841  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,891 - $55,203  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,053
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.44 - $24.73  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.82  
Overtime
$17.80 - $36.23  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,543  
   
Profit Sharing
$197.67 - $4,841  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,891 - $55,203  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,530
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Job Description for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter

Computer aided design (CAD) drafters use computer aided design systems to created drawings for building construction or product creation, filling design drawings with codes and specifications for the design. CAD drafters work directly with the company needing the design, and drafters must be able to take directions and use them to deliver a high-quality design. Computer aided design drafters must be precise, have great verbal skills, be able to handle stress, be creative, be organized, and be able to meet deadlines. In addition, CAD drafters need to be able to show they can be trusted with the companies information, designs, and plans.

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Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Tasks

  • Research and obtain standards and codes required by client to develop plans.
  • Review engineering drawings prior to the release.
  • Develop accurate layouts, assembly drawings and details.
  • Take direction from engineers and executives to research drawings, catalogs and sketches to develop detailed dimensioned AutoCAD drawings.

Common Career Paths for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter


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Though it's uncommon, some Computer Aided Design Drafters move into roles as Construction Project Managers, where pay is an average $70K per year. It is quite typical for Computer Aided Design Drafters to transition into roles as AutoCAD Designers or Senior Drafters, where reported median earnings are $5K and $9K higher per year.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter


Computer Aided Design Drafters seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Design, 3D Rendering, and Adobe Photoshop are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and AutoCAD Mechanical. A tool kit that includes Microsoft Office also typically contains Microsoft Excel. It is often found that people who know AutoCAD are also skilled in Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD), Microsoft Excel, and Computer Aided Design (CAD).

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $35K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $41K. Computer Aided Design Drafters claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $45K. Computer Aided Design Drafters with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $50K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Computer Aided Design Drafters, working in the bustling city of Seattle has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Computer Aided Design Drafters will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+15 percent), Atlanta (+14 percent), Minneapolis (+10 percent), and St. Louis (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 5 percent, Chicago is the market with the smallest paychecks. Below-median salaries also turn up in Miami and Austin (4 percent lower).

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Reviews

What is it like working as a Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter?

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter in Las Vegas:
"The Freedom."
Pros: My job is in a low stress environment. It is not difficult if you know what you're doing.
Cons: There is a steep learning curve. Must be extremely detail oriented.

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Experience Affects Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salaries




National Average
$39,000


Skills That Affect Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salaries


3D Rendering
up arrow 3%

Design
up arrow 3%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 2%

Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD)
up arrow 1%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 1%

AutoCAD
0%

National Average
$39,000

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

SolidWorks
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 3%

AutoCAD Mechanical
up arrow 3%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 661 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 23%
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