Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

Median pay for Computer Aided Design Drafters in the United States is around $17.43 per hour. Overall cash earnings for Computer Aided Design Drafters stretch from $28K on the lower end to $55K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $3K from bonuses and $5K from profit sharing. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Computer Aided Design Drafters survey respondents are men (78 percent). Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — just over a fifth — do not have any health coverage, a fair number do receive medical benefits and a little over a half have dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,880 - $58,076
(Median)
$30K
$41K
$58K
MEDIAN: $41,052
10%
50%
90%

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$12.44 - $24.72
(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
$29,880 - $58,076  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,530  
Profit Sharing
$199.20 - $4,848  
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).
)
$27,840 - $55,006  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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
$12.44 - $24.72  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.82  
Overtime
$17.80 - $36.25  
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 - $2,530  
   
Profit Sharing
$199.20 - $4,848  
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).
)
$27,840 - $55,006  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,527
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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. When Computer Aided Design Drafters are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become AutoCAD Designers or Senior Drafters. Those roles pay an additional $5K and $9K, respectively.

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 exploit a large range 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. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit Architecture. A tool kit that includes Microsoft Office also typically contains Microsoft Excel. Those familiar with AutoCAD also tend to know 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. 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 with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $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, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 19 percent greater than the national average. Computer Aided Design Drafters will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+17 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), Minneapolis (+10 percent), and St. Louis (+9 percent). The lowest-paying market is Chicago, which sits 5 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Miami 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 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 667 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: 41% employee benefits None: 23%
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