Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

The average Computer Aided Design Drafter in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $17.63 per hour. Cash earnings for Computer Aided Design Drafters — including $3K in bonuses and $5K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $28K to $57K depending on individual performance. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Computer Aided Design Drafters who answered the questionnnaire. Most Computer Aided Design Drafters report high levels of job satisfaction. Although a strong majority have medical coverage and the larger part have dental coverage, just under one in four claim no health benefits at all. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$30,123 - $59,347
(Median)
$30K
$41K
$59K
MEDIAN: $41,373
10%
50%
90%

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$12.50 - $25.05
(Median)
$13
$18
$25
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$30,123 - $59,347  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,924  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $4,911  
Commission
$900  
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).
)
$28,076 - $56,582  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,136
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
$12.50 - $25.05  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$17.94 - $36.72  
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 - $2,924  
   
Commission
$900  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $4,911  
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).
)
$28,076 - $56,582  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,700
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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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While not commonly seen, Computer Aided Design Drafters who transition into a Construction Project Manager position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Construction Project Managers is $70K per year. Computer Aided Design Drafters moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as AutoCAD Designers or Computer Aided Design Designers. The median paychecks in those roles are $5K higher and $8K higher, respectively.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Design, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, and SolidWorks are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Microsoft Excel. Most people experienced in Microsoft Office also know Microsoft Excel. Those proficient in AutoCAD are, more often than not, 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.


For Computer Aided Design Drafters, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $36K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $41K. Computer Aided Design Drafters with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $46K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $50K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $39,613

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Denver (+14 percent), Portland (+10 percent), Atlanta (+10 percent), and Houston (+8 percent). Trailing the national average by 3 percent, Chicago is the market with the smallest paychecks.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Reviews

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

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter in Birmingham:
"Working in the manufacturing industry."
Pros: One of the perks of having a job in the manufacturing industry is actually seeing what you do rolling down the road.
Cons: It could pay better or have better benefits.

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
$40,000


Skills That Affect Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salaries


Design
up arrow 3%

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

SolidWorks
0%

3D Rendering
0%

Adobe Photoshop
0%

National Average
$40,000

AutoCAD
up arrow 1%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 4%

AutoCAD Mechanical
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 680 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 75%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
medical benefits
Vision: 41%
dental benefits
None: 23%
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