Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

Computer Aided Design Drafters in the United States can expect to earn an average of $17.44 per hour. Total incomes of Computer Aided Design Drafters incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $3K from bonuses and close to $5K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $28K and $55K. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The majority of Computer Aided Design Drafters claim high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — just over a fifth — do not have any health coverage, a strong majority do receive medical benefits and a little more than half have dental insurance. Most Computer Aided Design Drafters survey respondents are men (78 percent). Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$29,825 - $58,038
(Median)
$30K
$41K
$58K
MEDIAN: $41,019
10%
50%
90%

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$12.44 - $24.75
(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
$29,825 - $58,038  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,520  
Profit Sharing
$199.47 - $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).
)
$27,831 - $55,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,043
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
$12.44 - $24.75  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.82  
Overtime
$17.77 - $36.27  
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 - $2,520  
   
Profit Sharing
$199.47 - $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).
)
$27,831 - $55,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,529
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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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Computer Aided Design Drafters do not often transition into Construction Project Manager roles. The role averages $70K per year. 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 substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Design, 3D Rendering, and Adobe Photoshop are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit Architecture. Most people experienced in AutoCAD also know Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD), Microsoft Excel, and Computer Aided Design (CAD). The majority of those who know Microsoft Office also know Microsoft Excel.

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, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $35K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $41K. For Computer Aided Design Drafters, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $45K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $49K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 18 percent, Computer Aided Design Drafters in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Computer Aided Design Drafters can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Denver (+17 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), Minneapolis (+10 percent), and St. Louis (+9 percent). Miami ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 4 percent below the national average. Employers in Austin and Chicago also lean toward paying below-median salaries (4 percent lower and 3 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.

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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 2%

AutoCAD Mechanical
up arrow 3%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 670 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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