Clothing CAD technician

Clothing CAD technician article illustration


Clothing CAD technicians use software to create design plans for clothing products. They work in 2D design which is known as surface modelling, or 3D design which is called solid modelling. They use surface modelling to draw a flat representation of the clothing product. In solid modelling, they create a 3D display of a structure or component in order to take a virtual look of the clothing product.

The main duties of a clothing CAD technician include:

  • analyzing design concepts
  • creating digital patterns
  • grading patterns for different sizes
  • making design changes
  • ensuring the final design meets quality standards
  • creating technical packs, which include detailed instructions on how to produce the garment
  • maintaining accurate records of all designs and patterns.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to clothing CAD technician:

CAD fashion designer
clothing CAD operator
clothing computer aided designer technician
clothing computer-assisted designer technician
fashion CAD technician
clothing CAD specialist

Working conditions

Working conditions for a clothing CAD technician typically involve working in a design studio or manufacturing facility. They may spend long hours sitting at a computer, which can lead to eye strain and back pain. They may also need to work overtime or on weekends to meet deadlines.

Minimum qualifications

Education and experience requirements for a clothing CAD technician may vary, but typically include a degree in fashion design, textile design, or a related field. They should have experience working with CAD software and knowledge of garment construction and pattern making. Strong attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and communication skills are also important for success in this role. Some employers may also require certification in specific CAD software programs.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Clothing CAD technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Clothing CAD technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to clothing CAD technician.

clothing process control technician
textile chemical quality technician
textile sourcing merchandiser
footwear quality technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of clothing CAD technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of clothing CAD technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

clothing operations manager
clothing development manager
clothing technologist
clothing fashion designer
textile designer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of clothing CAD technician.

  • Manufacturing of wearing apparel: The  processes used to fabricate wearing apparel and the different technologies and machinery involved in the manufacturing processes.
  • Manufacturing of made-up textile articles: Manufacturing processes in wearing apparel and made-up textiles. Different technologies and machinery involved in the manufacturing processes.
  • Marker making: Marker diagram of a precise arrangement of pattern pieces for a specific style and the sizes to be cut from a single spread. Markers can be made by manually tracing master patterns onto the fabric or paper or by manipulating and plotting computerised pattern images. Process of determining the most efficient layout of pattern pieces for a specified style, fabric and distribution of sizes.
  • 3D body scanning technologies: The principles and usage of technologies for 3D body scanning used to capture the size and shape of the human body.
  • Apparel manufacturing technology: Traditional and advanced apparel manufacturing technologies. Technologies including processes, machinery, etc. in order to compile and design pattern requirements, contribute to product costing and finalise assembly sequence and quality assurance criteria.
  • History of fashion: Costumes and the cultural traditions around clothing.
  • CAD for garment manufacturing: Softwares of computer aided design for garment manufacturing which allow create 2 or 3 dimensional drawings.
  • Standard sizing systems for clothing: Standard sizing systems for clothing developed by different countries. Differences among the systems and standards of different countries, the development of the systems according to the evolution of the shape of the human body and their usage in the clothing industry.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of clothing CAD technician.

  • Create patterns for garments: Create patterns for garments using pattern making softwares or by hand from sketches provided by fashion designers or product requirements. Create patterns for different sizes, styles, and components of the garments.
  • Inspect wearing apparel products: Inspecting and testing products, parts and materials for conformity with specifications and standards; discarding or rejecting products, materials, and equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Perform process control in the wearing apparel industry: Perform process control to wearing apparel products in order to assure mass production in an uninterrupted production manner. Control processes to ensure that processes are predictable, stable and consistent.
  • Make technical drawings of fashion pieces: Make technical drawings of wearing apparel, leather goods and footwear including both technical and engineering drawings. Use them to communicate or to convey design ideas and manufacturing details to pattern makers, technologists, toolmakers, and equipment producers or to other machine operators for sampling and production.
  • Grade patterns for wearing apparel: Grading patterns by performing processes of resizing initial patterns in order to create nest of patterns to fit various body types and sizes.
  • Operate computerised control systems: Operate electronic or computerised control panels to monitor and optimise processes, and to control process start-up and shut-downs. Monitor and inspect equipment and systems to detect malfunctions.
  • Draw sketches to develop textile articles using softwares: Draw sketches to develop textiles or wearing apparel using softwares. They create visualisations of the motives, patterns or products in order to be manufactured.
  • Prepare production prototypes: Prepare early models or prototypes in order to test concepts and replicability possibilities. Create prototypes to assess for pre-production tests.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of clothing CAD technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Properties of fabrics: The influence of chemical composition and molecular arrangement of yarn and fibre properties and fabric structure on the physical properties of textile fabrics; the different fibre types, their physical and chemical characteristics and different material characteristics; the materials used in different processes and the effect on materials as they are processed. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of clothing CAD technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Manage briefs for clothing manufacturing: Manage briefs from clients for the manufacturing of wearing apparel. Collect customers’ demands and prepare them into specifications for the production.
  • Analyse scanned data of the body: Analyse 3D scanned data for the development of prototypes, of avatars, for the creation of size charts, the garment pattern modification, alteration and manipulation, and for testing fit.
  • Use 3D scanners for clothing: Use different 3D body scanners and softwares to capture the shape and size of the human body in order to produce 3D body model for the creation of avatars and mannequins.

ISCO group and title

3118 – Draughtspersons

  1. Clothing CAD technician – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Last updated on May 4, 2023