Computer-aided design operator

Computer-aided design operator article illustration

Description

Computer-aided design operators use computer hardware and software in order to add the technical dimensions to computer aided design drawings. Computer-aided design operators ensure all additional aspects of the created images of products are accurate and realistic. They also calculate the amount of materials needed to manufacture the products. Later the finalised digital design is processed by computer-aided manufacturing machines that produce the finished product.

The duties of a computer-aided design operator may include:

  • analyzing sketches, specifications, and other data to create detailed technical drawings and models using specialized software
  • consult with other professionals, such as architects, engineers, or product designers, to determine project specifications and requirements.
  • assist in the testing and evaluation of prototypes
  • create documentation and reports
  • help to maintain CAD software and hardware.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to computer-aided design operator:

CAM drafter
3D CAM technician
computer aided designer
computer-aided manufacturing draftswoman
CAD design designer
CAD design specialist
computer aided drafting and design technician
CAD design technician
CADD Designer
CAD draughtsman
computer aided design draughtsman
computer-aided manufacturing draftsman
computer aided design technician
CAM equipment operative
3D computer-aided manufacturing technician
CAM draftsman
computer aided drafting and design draftsman
computer aided design designer
computer-aided manufacturing equipment operator
CAM draftswoman
computer-aided manufacturing technician
computer aided manufacturing operator
computer aided industrial manufacturing operator
computer aided design specialist
CAD drafting and design technician
CAD drafting and design draftsman
CAM technician
CAID operator
CAM equipment operator
computer-aided manufacturing drafter
CAM operator
computer-aided manufacturing equipment operative

Working conditions

Working conditions for CAD operators can vary depending on the industry they work in. They may work in an office or a manufacturing facility, and may need to stand or sit for extended periods of time. They typically work full-time, and may need to work overtime or weekends to meet project deadlines. Additionally, they may need to travel to job sites or manufacturing facilities to oversee the production process.

Minimum qualifications

Education and training requirements for CAD operators vary depending on the employer and industry. Most positions require at least an associate degree in drafting or a related field, as well as proficiency in CAD software. Some employers may prefer candidates with additional certifications or training in specialized areas, such as civil engineering or product design. Strong technical and communication skills are also important for success as a CAD operator.

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.

Computer-aided design operator is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Computer-aided design operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to computer-aided design operator.

ICT security technician
computer hardware engineering technician
telecommunications engineering technician
ICT technician
webmaster

Long term prospects

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

numerical tool and process control programmer
3D modeller
embedded system designer
ICT system architect
ICT application configurator

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of computer-aided design operator.

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  • Graphic design: The techniques to create a visual representation of ideas and messages.
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  • CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
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Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of computer-aided design operator.

  • Design process: Identify the workflow and resource requirements for a particular process, using a variety of tools such as process simulation software, flowcharting and scale models.
  • Create AutoCAD drawings: Create As-Built municipal drawings using AutoCAD.
  • Use CAM software: Use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programmes to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
  • Use automatic programming: Utilise specialised software tools to generate computer code from specifications, such as diagrams, structured information or other means of describing functionality.
  • Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
  • Develop design concept: Research information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production. Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff members, in order to develop design concepts and plan productions.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of computer-aided design operator. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Woodworking processes: Steps in the processing of wood for the manufacturing of wooden articles and types of machines used for these processes such as drying, shaping, assembling and surface finishing.
  • Material mechanics: The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.
  • Documentation types: The characteristics of internal and external documentation types aligned with the product life cycle and their specific content types.
  • Design drawings: Understand design drawings detailing the design of products, tools, and engineering systems.
  • Industrial software: The selection of software that aids in estimating, managing and scheduling industrial processes such as design, work flow and production improvement.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • Metalworking: The process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures.
  • CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics.
  • Jewellery processes: Materials and processes involved in creating jewellery items like earrings, necklaces, rings, brackets, etc.
  • Imitation jewellery: The materials and processes used to create imitation jewellery, and how to manipulate the materials.
  • Manufacturing of jewellery: The manufacturing of different type of jewellery such as rings or necklaces out of various metal types such as silver, gold, diamond and other precious stones.
  • Industrial design: The practice of designing products to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.
  • Automation technology: Set of technologies that make a process, system, or apparatus operate automatically through the use of control systems.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of computer-aided design operator. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
  • Provide technical documentation: Prepare documentation for existing and upcoming products or services, describing their functionality and composition in such a way that it is understandable for a wide audience without technical background and compliant with defined requirements and standards. Keep documentation up to date.
  • Customise drafts: Edit drawings, schematic diagrams, and drafts according to specifications.
  • Use specialised design software: Developing new designs mastering specialised software.
  • Attend design meetings: Attend meetings to discuss the status of current projects and to be briefed on new projects.
  • Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
  • Think analytically: Produce thoughts using logic and reasoning in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Attend to detail regarding jewellery creation: Perform great attention to all steps in the design, creation and finishing of jewellery.
  • Adapt to new design materials: Without neglecting more traditional techniques and materials, monitor materials innovation such as new resin, plastic, paints, metals, etc. Develop ability to use them and include them in design projects.
  • Use communication techniques: Apply techniques of communication which allow interlocutors to better understand each other and communicate accurately in the transmission of messages.
  • Design engineering components: Design engineering parts, assemblies, products, or systems.
  • Collaborate with engineers: Work closely and communicate with engineers on designs or new products.
  • Use CAE software: Work with computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools to perform analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics.
  • Design circuits using CAD: Draft sketches and design electronic circuitry; utilise Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment.
  • Create architectural sketches: Create architectural sketches for the design and detail specifications of interiors and exteriors to scale.
  • Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
  • Develop jewellery designs: Develop new jewellery designs and products, and modify existing designs.
  • Apply organisational techniques: Employ a set of organisational techniques and procedures which facilitate the achievement of the goals set. Use these resources efficiently and sustainably, and show flexibility when required.
  • Develop design plans: Develop design plans by using computer-aided-design (CAD); work in accordance with budget estimates; organise and conduct meetings with clients.
  • Use Microsoft Office: Possess the ability to work with the standard programs contained in Microsoft Office at a capable level. Create a document and do basic formatting, insert page breaks, create headers or footers, and insert graphics, create automatically generated tables of contents and merge form letters from a database of addresses (usually in Excel). Create auto-calculating spreadsheets, create images, and sort and filter data tables.
  • Design automation components: Design engineering parts, assemblies, products, or systems that contribute to the automation of industrial machines.
  • Develop product design: Convert market requirements into product design and development.

ISCO group and title

3118 – Draughtspersons


References
  1. Computer-aided design operator – ESCO
  2. CAD Operator Job Description – Betterteam
  3. CAD Operator | Degree Search | ASU
  4. CAD Operator Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  5. Featured image: By TopSystemsLTD – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Last updated on May 7, 2023