Industrial job-seekers with a strong creative streak can find success (and indulge their inner inventor) as a CAD design engineer. Using the latest design software, CAD design engineers work in a wide variety of fields to turn innovative ideas into a reality.
Duties of a CAD design engineer
CAD design engineers are responsible for designing new products using computer-aided design software applications such as AutoCAD, Pro/ENGINEER, and SolidWorks. CAD design engineers handle the most complex aspects of the design process, and may oversee a team of drafters. Many CAD design engineers also have a hand in the manufacturing process; they may create prototypes of the products they’ve helped to develop and make design improvements based on prototype testing.
While design engineers set the framework for a project, they may work closely with industrial engineers and packaging engineers to develop, market, and implement their product.
Where to find CAD design engineer jobs
Engineering firms, laboratories, and industrial plants provide a number of opportunities for CAD design engineers. However, a CAD design engineer may be responsible for developing anything from a new toy to a skyscraper — and as a result, the job prospects are wide-ranging.
CAD design engineer programs
Associate’s degree programs in drafting and design engineering are available at many community and technical colleges. However, the jobs with the highest level of responsibilities (and the salaries to match) typically go to design engineers who have completed a four-year engineering degree. And if you dream of building bridges or designing sports cars, be aware that projects affecting public safety may require a Professional Engineer license.
Demand for CAD design engineer jobs
Engineers are employed in every major industry, and the demand for engineers as a whole is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As technology quickly evolves, CAD design engineers who can stay current in their field will have the best outlook for a lucrative career.