Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafter Salary

Average Computer Aided Design Drafters in the United States make around $17.63 per hour. In the world of Computer Aided Design Drafters, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $3K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $5K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $28K and $57K. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most Computer Aided Design Drafters survey respondents are men (78 percent). Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, just over a fifth are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a strong majority and dental insurance is reported by a majority. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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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It's not very common for Computer Aided Design Drafters to move on to become Construction Project Managers. Average pay for a Construction Project Manager is $70K annually. 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


Computer Aided Design Drafters seem to wield many skills on the job. 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. Those familiar with Microsoft Office tend to be well versed in Microsoft Excel. Most people experienced in AutoCAD also 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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $36K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $41K. On average, Computer Aided Design Drafters make $46K following one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $50K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $39,613

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Computer Aided Design Drafters that is 25 percent greater than the national average, Seattle offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. 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). Chicago is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 3 percent.

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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