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Careers with computer drafting

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bardolph, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    As crazy and absurd as this may sound, I'm a high school graduate who's not sure what he wants to pursue in college. For this year I'm just working in a guitar/bass store to put away some cash, but I want to go get a degree. I only ever got the chance to take one CAD-oriented class in high school, basic tech drawing, which was pretty simple and introductory, but I did well and really enjoyed the class. I've always been intrigued by drafting and am considering possibly going into it. What kinds of careers are there in drafting? What's the demand like? I'd like to say money doesn't matter, but I honestly do want to be able to support a family. I'm thinking about architecture, and yes, I realize it can be one of those "I want to be a rock star/actor/astronaut/architect" dream realities for some people. I'd like to think realistically, but I do know I have the kind of mind for thinking spacially and logically. I'm looking for schools with good programs for drafting/maybe architecture, not extremely far from Michigan. If anybody has some input on the subject (possibly some people in that field) that'd be great.
  2. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I don't have much direct experience with drafting careers but I do know a few people who do. Personally I took drafting in high school and loved it. I carried that experience with me through university and I still find it useful as a recent engineering grad. A friend of mine is currently taking a drafting tech course and he seems to be enjoying it plenty (after deciding engineering wasn't for him). Also, my uncle runs a home business doing custom circuit board layout for a few of the tech companies around here. I can't comment on raising a family (they don't have any kids) but he and my aunt (working in low tech project management) have been able to very well for themselves.

    Pretty much any trade school should offer at least an introductory course in CAD that you can take a night or two a week while doing something else. I've been meaning to get my AutoCAD Level 1 for years since I've got no papers saying I actually know what I'm doing, just a bit of experience.

  3. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Both my parents are architects. They met in school, and ended up getting married and starting their own firm. My dad is old school and still does drafting by hand. My Mom then takes his plans and creates the CAD drawings. Architecture is a great career. I conisidered it, but I'm horrible at math and figured it would be too technical for me. I kinda wish I had considered it a bit more.

    Industrial Design is another great career field that used CAD and technical drawing. ID encompases everything from product design to automobile design. Very cool stuff. My roomate in college was an ID major. He was always building these crazy models and stuff.
  4. CAD drafting has many opportunities for making good money. You will need to find an area that you like and focus on it. For instance I have done a lot of mechanical drafting and CNC programming. For me to go to Architectural drawings or civil engineering drafting would mean learning a whole new system. You need to be able to see the drawing in your head before you can draw it. You can't draw a gate valve or butterfly valve until you have seen one and know what is. Experienced draftsmen can make as much money as engineers in some instances.
  5. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    There's so many different things CAD is used for, I'm not really sure where to start. Anybody know some sites with descriptions of different areas of study involving CAD? or anything to help me figure out what I might want to do, for that matter.
  6. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    My brother had a job doing the auto-CAD program. He designed metal cabinets. He did it for like 5 years, but then the company transfered owners, and he quit. Started his own importing business.
  7. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Learn ProE (Pro Engineer) or Catia. Those are the two I've seen in the Aerospace Firms I've been in. ProE is mostly for Engine parts, while Catia is more for Airframes.
  8. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    3D-modelling is available in following categories:

    1. Architecture
    2. Industrial Design
    3. Engineering / Product Developement
    4. Computer Graphics & Animation

    Pick one.
  9. AspiringBassMan


    Dec 10, 2005
    i'm glad that you've decided to do a degree. its always good to have something substantial to fall back on if things don't work out. the best degrees to go for are maths, computer science, law, and engineering. when you've got your degree, the pressure will be off you then, so you can persue your dreams. if things don't work out, you've always got something to fall back on. at the end of the day, a degree is a degree is a degree. it just shows that you have the persistance to knuckle down and achieve something. the degrees that i've mentioned are worth more in the eyes of an employer though.
  10. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    You're going to want to look into an art school. There are many great schools which feature programs in b Architecture, Engineering, Industrial Design and Computer Graphics. That way you can get a hands on experience in a few of the different career areas.

    Check out Pratt Institute. I went there and know they offer amazing degrees in all those departments. Its a fantastic school. Feel free to PM me if you want more info.
  11. You can learn CAD on the job, I did. I was trained as a machinest by the National Guard. I worked in a machine shop and the foreman asked me if I would like to learn AUTOCAD. You need a knowledge of what your drawing. Just find an interest, then make the first step on the job or in Votech.