How to get started as a CAD Operator

by Barry Morton

This is not a technical question, but more of a professional question. I'm looking at changing careers and getting in something I love to do, drawing/drafting and design.

I've looked at many training sites and online universities that offer a drafting/CAD course, but I'm not sure which is the best way to go.

I currently live and work (IT) overseas and I wish to remain working overseas, maybe as a CAD Operator Contractor or something along those lines.

Can you guide/inform/tell me, in your professional opinion, what would be the best school/course/training to take for CAD? What level of certification and type would I need to have a opportunity to work in this field?

I know I would lack experience in the beginning, but that will come over time. At the moment I need to increase my knowledge with CAD.

Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Barry Morton


Hi Barry,

I think the first thing you need to decide is what field you want to get into, with respect to CAD.

You enjoy drawing, so what types of things do you like to draw? I ask this so you can narrow down your preferred field.

After all, it is better to end up working doing something you LOVE, than just to collect a paycheck.

If you want to get into Architectural drafting, the requirements and training will be different than Aviation drafting.

If I were you, I would call up a few firms related to the field of drafting you would like to get into. Talk to them a bit on their requirements.

This may end up saving you time. If most of the firms indicate they use Pro-E software, and you've gone and taken a bunch of AutoCAD courses... well, I think you get the picture.

With that said, if AutoCAD was the area of CAD drafting you wanted to get into, I would locate an Authorized Autodesk Training facility first.

I know you are over seas, but they are located all over the world.

We did an article a while back here on computer aided drafting career information.

In that article is a link to Autodesk training facilities. That would be my first stop for AutoCAD training because you know you are getting solid training straight from an approved facility.

If they do not have a facility near you, call the nearest one and ask to talk to one of the instructors.

Tell them what field you want to get into and ask them what is the best way to get certified training, based on your location.

Hope that helps and good luck with getting started as a CAD operator.

Warm regards,

The Cadtech Design Team

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Nov 20, 2009
Autodesk or AutoCAD
by: Barry


Thank you for your comments and the information provided. This will be a big help.

To answer your questions, I'm looking at Architectural Drafting/Design. Actually I'm in the middle of designing the interior of my new home now. 3D Modeling experience would surely help, maybe later. This something I really enjoy.

I read the article you suggested and it provided some great information. Thanks.

Based on the Architectural Industry would Autodesk be any better than AutoCAD to learn? What I mean should one learn AutoCAD, just to find out that Autodesk is more common in the industry.

I appreciate the information you have provided and any additional information that you or others provide in the future.


Nov 20, 2009
Autodesk Makes AutoCAD
by: Anonymous

You're welcome Barry, I'm glad you found the information helpful.

Autodesk actually makes the AutoCAD program; it's their flagship program actually.

They also make architectural, mechanical, 3D and many other types of discipline specific programs.

Since you are interested in Architectural drafting, you could take a basic AutoCAD course to get your feet wet, then take an Architectural Desktop course for more experience. It is made by Autodesk as well.

As I said before, I think it's best to contact an authorized AutoCAD training center and have a chat with them. I think they will be a big help in the long run.

Warm regards,

The Cadtech Design Team

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