How To Become an Architectural CAD Technician

Architect at work

The houses we live in, the restaurants we eat in, the offices we work in – ever dreamt of creating the cities of tomorrow? Architectural CAD technicians are responsible for working along with technologists and architects to draft and design all of this and more! Architectural CAD technicians are responsible not just for the appearance of these structures, but they also manage the safety, the design and at times, the economy. They create visions keeping in mind these things. They help provide professional services to organizations and people who plan a construction project. Their drawings act as the foundation of communication between the engineers, architects and builders while being involved in all phases of development. Apart from specific technical skills, their role demands excellent communication, organizing and supervising skills with builders and clients. Knowledge of drafting technology and computer-aided design gives you a one up in a competitive market. 

What is AutoCAD?

A structure always takes design, does not create itself! And this design needs to be created in a manner that the person who uses can understand it. Drafters are responsible for preparing technical plans and drawings that is used by construction and production workers who build everything from manufactured products such as industrial machinery or spacecraft to structures such as gas pipelines or office buildings. Their drawings give visual guidelines depicting the technical details of the structures and products, materials to be used, specifying dimensions, various processes and procedures. AutoCAD exist in interior design, the trades, architecture or the world’s largest oil sand development! It is the world’s leading design software for manufacturing, architecture and resource management. Computer Aided Drafting is the connection between reality and creative design concepts. Getting into this type of career is not only interesting but also rewarding!


The average salary for architectural CAD technicians is $51,000 as of Jan 2010. It varies greatly due to location, company, industry, benefits and experience.


  1. Start with developing a strong background in science, math and English in high school;
  2. Computer drafting is an essential component of the CAD technician’s job, so get comfortable with computer technology;
  3. Gain a 2-year degree in AutoCAD and other architectural desktop programs along with a 2-year Associate degree in CAD and drafting. Choose the best curriculum, look for courses in graphics, engineering, technical calculations and construction drawing;
  4. Research on building and design regulations that are set by federal, local and state law while gaining experience from your coursework;
  5. Seek consultation from your academic counselor on how to get internship opportunities that will give you initial experience in AutoCAD.


  • To get closely involved within your projects, consider working with smaller companies that allow interaction with team members;
  • Gain confidence with public speaking as this will help you present models and drawings to clients and professionals in a convincing and effective way;
  • Look for entry-level positions to start with such as CAD technician and gain experience for further growth;
  • Apprenticeship and internships will help you gather minimal experience required to get hired by corporate giants!


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