A Day in the Life of a CAD Operator

cad operator
cad operator

A Day in the Life of a CAD Operator

What Is a CAD Operator?

CAD Operators play an important role in the construction of, well, almost everything! The technical drawings and blueprints they create are used across industries. Buildings and bridges and airplanes and cars—all rely on drafting designs before they become what they’ll become. Even the film industry uses a form of Computer-Aided Drafting & Design (CADD).

What Does a CAD Operator Do?

If you became a CAD Operator, you’d spend most of your day on your computer. Using programs like AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Revit, you’ll turn the design concepts of architects and engineers into usable drawings and blueprints. But what your day-to-day might look like really depends on the industry you serve. For example, if you became an electrical drafter, your CADD skills would be used on wiring projects. If you worked as a mechanical drafter, you’d produce schematics for assembly systems and machines. And if you worked for an architect, you’d be doing blueprints. And you’ll do it all on a computer.

The Typical Day for a CAD Operator

As a Drafter or CAD Operator, you’ll probably have a full-time, 40-hour workweek.1 Grab your cup of Joe, glass of juice, or cup of tea, and get started.

Mornings for CAD Operators

There are always projects to work on or prepare for, so first thing in the morning you’ll probably plow through emails and project management updates. You’re already great at operating all the CADD systems so learning digital project management tools will be a breeze. You’ll answer pressing correspondence and then prioritize your day.

For most of the morning, you’ll probably work on your computer in one of the software programs you use every day. You’ll build out plans, make updates, and specify dimensions and materials. You might produce 2D or 3D renderings. Or you might spend the whole morning in your programs.

Afternoons for CAD Operators

As a member of your company’s team, you’ll probably have meetings to attend. Whether they’re in the morning or afternoon depends on the policy of your organization. But they serve as valuable check-ins for policies and procedures. You’ll also have regular updates on the software you use, where you get to learn from others about tips and tricks they use and share what you know. There will also be more formal training opportunities to make certain your skills always evolve.

Later in the day, you might be asked to visit a site or go down on a factory floor. If you work for an architectural firm, for example, the project manager might want you to see where the building you’re working on will actually fit in a neighborhood. If you work in industrial design, your office might be close to a factory floor. Getting a sense of how what you do connects to the bigger picture is always a valuable insight.

Nightlife of a CAD Operator

CAD Operators tend to have pretty consistent work hours. Sure, when you’re under a deadline, you might be asked to work extra, but most of the time you’ll know when your day ends. And the night is yours. On the other hand, if you love what you do, you might find networking events and advance CADD courses so even in your off time, you’re still on.


Because there are so many different kinds of businesses that require the skills of CAD Operators, your day could be very similar to the one just described or a whole lot different. If becoming a CAD Operator sounds like an exciting career to you, consider the Computer Aided Drafting & Design program at Porter and Chester Institute. We combine instruction with hands-on learning and you can complete the CADD Program in as little as a year. Check us out today!

1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/drafters.htm