How to Start a Career in Freelance CAD

A Freelance CAD professional specializes in drafting 2 and 3 dimensional plans and models of buildings with the help of the Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. The CAD software helps in drafting the floor plan, elevation and various different views of the building with ease. It ensures accuracy and speed when properly used. When you opt to work as freelance CAD professional, you can either be a CAD designer or a CAD design engineer. A designer works on making the models, various drawings and drafts on instructions provided by design engineers. Design engineers are responsible for completion of the entire project from conceptualization, implementation, cost estimation to testing. If you have  a flair for drafting with the willingness to learn more, then here is how you need to begin your career as a CAD professional:

Obtain the Qualifications

Although many CAD professionals begin their career with just training in the software, these days projects are given based on your educational qualifications. This is because the competition in the industry is high and the job demands trained experts. Here are the steps you need to take if you are interested in pursuing a career as a freelance CAD designer or freelance CAD design engineer.

  • Obtain a high school diploma with high scores with a related subject as an elective.
  • Pursue engineering in a related subject such as civil or architecture.
  • Get well trained in CAD. Both full-time and part-time options are available.
  • Get trained under an architect or engineer or apply for internship during or after the college.
  • Be up to date on all related software.
  • Be well informed about the industry to know how to obtain projects, fix price and advertise your services.

Working Conditions

Freelance CAD professionals are hired by construction or architecture firms and sometimes by engineers and architects to work on their projects. They are also hired by individuals to work on their personal properties. Whatever, the case might be , depending on the project undertaken, you might either have to work from your location or have to travel to the client’s location. Here are few typical tasks of a freelance CAD professional.

  • Liaising with the prospective client and negotiating a deal.
  • Having a detailed conversation about the task requirements and suggesting ideas or approval.
  • Working on the designs, plans, layouts and elevations based on the requirements provided.
  • Getting it approved from the client and working on changes, if any.
  • Managing all areas of the business on your own.

Advancement Opportunities

The need for CAD professionals is expected to rise by 6 percent by 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states. While good projects are guaranteed if you have the right skills, you might also look for advancing to supervisory positions after gaining experience and knowledge. Salaried CAD designers and engineers earn about $35,000 to $75,000 annually depending on their experience. Freelance CAD professionals usually earn in the same range if they have the right skills.