Skills essential for a CAD Drafter

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Demand for CAD Services are increasing in leaps and bounds. It thus becomes important for any AEC firm to choose the candidates with the right skill set. These chosen CAD Drafters are responsible for creating the plans which would be used for bidding, design approval and final construction.

CAD Designers must hold a minimum qualification degree. But on top of that they must also have certain proficiencies which determine their successful association with any good organization. For instance, according to Autocad Drafter 15.3% of drafter resumes contain layout drawing as a skill. Of course there are a more specialized skills required for each disciplines like for Architectural CAD Drafting Services the person must be able to communicate with the contractors and similarly a certain capability is requisite for MEP or Structural CAD Drafter. However, in this article we focus on the broader set of abilities that are essential for a CAD Drafter.

1. Adeptness in different types of CAD Software:

This is perhaps the foremost and the more obvious skill that a drafter must possess. The person must be well versed with more than one CAD software to deal with different client requirements. The AEC industry has many options available for 2D drafting software as well as for 3D BIM Modelling such as Autocad, Turbocad, Archicad, Revit, Bentley, Sketchup etc. Each company and design consultant has their own criteria for selecting of software. This is dependent of the project and region requirements. Along with the sound knowledge and skill of drafting software, the person must also be aware of exchangeability of one software to another.

2. Drawings and Sketching:

A drafter must have a keen eye for design which is essential to visualize the surface elements into an appealing solution. A lot of times architects, engineers and designers give drafters loose sketches and ideas which must be translated into tangible plans. These orthographic representations maybe schematics, diagrams, blueprints which would be used to construct a building. Even though a lot of work today is done on software, still a skill in manual draughting is must for any CAD Drafter.

3. Mathematical skills:

The entire drafting skills are ground in the rules and boundaries of math. There are a variety of mathematical calculations that necessary, along with basic principles of shapes, lines, views etc. To make accurate drawings a drafter must be well versed in planimetry, projective geometry etc. Additionally, to that each disciplines have their own standards and specifics that need to be applied. Yes, there is no longer a need to do calculation in the head, but the person should be able to gauge if the calculation is correct or not. 

4. Knowledge of Building Codes:

Drafters must know the fundamental building codes and standards. This enables them to ensure that the construction meets the minimum requirement for health and safety for everyone who would be living and working there. Case in point, in MEP Drafting Services it is a requirement in USA that the drafter must be aware of the NFPA codes and standards that are intended to minimize the prospect and effects of fire and additional risks. Similarly, these drawings are often used to get building permits. Any errors or a misstep could put the future of the building in jeopardy.

5. Communication:

In AEC industry communication is a key parameter determining a project’s successful design execution and construction. Drawing is a form of Architectural and Engineering language which is used to carry out the intended design in the real world. If the CAD Drafter is not effectively capable of communicating this would reflect on paper leading to issues for the designer and the contractor.

6. Basic knowledge of BIM Services:

A lot of companies are now looking for CAD Drafters who have at least some basic understanding of BIM. BIM brings creativity and innovation as well as has many advantages like better visualization, proper coordination, representation of functional characteristics of the materials etc. Drawings extracted from the 3D virtual model are accurate and precise. This is perhaps why even CAD Drafters are now being asked to have at least some idea of BIM.


That being said these are certain skills that are specific to CAD Drafters on top of that a lot of employers are looking for a myriad of skills that determine how even a highly qualified person would amalgamate into the company atmosphere. These include but are not limited to problem solving, weather a person is a team player or not, time management, attention to detail etc. Of course, these blend of skills are honed and polished with time but at least some potential must be apparent in the person.

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