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Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

Earnings for Computer Aided Design Drafters in the United States come in at around $17.22 per hour on average. Total cash compensation for Computer Aided Design Drafters runs from $27K 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. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — between a fifth and a fourth lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and slightly more than half receive dental plans. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Computer Aided Design Drafters. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,556 - $57,608
(Median)
30K
40K
49K
58K
MEDIAN: $40,478
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$12.25 - $24.57
(Median)
12
15
17
20
25
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$29,556 - $57,608  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,516  
Profit Sharing
$199.33 - $4,927  
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).
)
$27,195 - $54,716  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,014
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$12.25 - $24.57  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.82  
Overtime
$17.57 - $35.57  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,516  
   
Profit Sharing
$199.33 - $4,927  
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).
)
$27,195 - $54,716  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 2,512
United States (change)

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 typically move into roles as AutoCAD Designers or Senior Drafters, and those positions pay $6K more and $9K more, respectively.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter


Computer Aided Design Drafters report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, 3D Rendering, Design, and Computer Aided Design are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 6 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Autodesk Inventor. Those familiar with Microsoft Office tend to be well versed in Microsoft Excel. Those educated in AutoCAD tend to be well versed 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 and pay tend to be weakly linked for Computer Aided Design Drafters — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $35K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $40K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $45K. Computer Aided Design Drafters who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits 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 Minneapolis (+12 percent), Denver (+12 percent), St. Louis (+11 percent), and Houston (+9 percent). Miami is the lowest-paying area, 13 percent south of the national average. Employers in San Antonio and Phoenix also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively).

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.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salaries




National Average
$39,000


Skills That Affect Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salaries



up arrow 5%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 4%

Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD)
up arrow 3%

AutoCAD
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
0%

SolidWorks
0%

Microsoft Word
0%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
0%

Adobe Photoshop
0%

AutoCAD Mechanical
0%

National Average
$39,000

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 2%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 649 votes.

Gender

Female
21 %
Male
79 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 23%