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Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

An average Computer Aided Design Drafter in the United States can expect to take home roughly $17.45 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 duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for Computer Aided Design Drafters, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — slightly more than a fifth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by slightly more than half. 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. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$29,781 - $58,136
(Median)
$30K
$41K
$58K
MEDIAN: $40,839
10%
50%
90%

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$12.41 - $24.74
(Median)
$12
$17
$25
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$29,781 - $58,136  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,557  
Profit Sharing
$200.22 - $4,854  
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).
)
$27,708 - $55,003  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,048
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.41 - $24.74  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.82  
Overtime
$17.72 - $36.24  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,557  
   
Profit Sharing
$200.22 - $4,854  
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).
)
$27,708 - $55,003  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,519
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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 some Computer Aided Design Drafters move into positions like Construction Project Manager (where the average salary is $70K), this progression is not the norm. A common career progression for a Computer Aided Design Drafter is to become an AutoCAD Designer or a Senior Drafter. Compared to Computer Aided Design Drafters, the first group earns $5K more on average, and the second group earns $9K more.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter


Survey results imply that Computer Aided Design Drafters deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Design, 3D Rendering, and Adobe Photoshop are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit Architecture. Most people who know Microsoft Office also know Microsoft Excel. Most people skilled in AutoCAD are similarly competent 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.


Computer Aided Design Drafters with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $35K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $41K. Computer Aided Design Drafters claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $45K. Computer Aided Design Drafters who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $49K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Computer Aided Design Drafters, busy Seattle offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 18 percent above the national average. Computer Aided Design Drafters will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+16 percent), Atlanta (+13 percent), St. Louis (+10 percent), and Minneapolis (+10 percent). Trailing the national average by 9 percent, Miami is the market with the smallest paychecks. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Phoenix (6 percent less) and Austin (4 percent less).

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 4%

Design
up arrow 4%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 3%

Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD)
up arrow 2%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD
0%

Microsoft Office
0%

National Average
$39,000

SolidWorks
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD Mechanical
up arrow 2%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 672 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
27%
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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