Salary and Career Info for a Computer-Aided Design Assistant

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a computer-aided design assistant. Get a quick view of the career and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Computer-aided design assistants create computer designs and layouts using design software. They may work in industries such as fashion, desktop publishing, programming, textile, and others. Those in this profession can expect a median salary of about $47,000 per year.

Essential Information

Computer-aided design assistants work in various companies and industries such as drafting, graphic design, and fashion design. These workers are responsible for using computer systems and design software to develop drawings and layouts. Relevant undergraduate training is commonly available and can range from a certificate in drafting to a bachelor's degree in graphic design.

Required Education Variable; graphic designers need a bachelor's degree in graphic design, and drafters need a certificate or associate's degree in drafting
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% (All Art and Design Workers)*
Median Annual Salary (2016) $41,887 (CAD Technician)**

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Salary Information

PayScale.com reported that a computer-aided design (CAD) technician, similar to a CAD assistant, in the United States made a median of $17.00 per hour as of January 2016, or $41,887 annually.

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Career Information

A computer-aided design assistant or a computer-aided design technician is responsible for preparing drawings and designs for various different industries using computer programs and software. A company's computer-aided design assistant might also be responsible for company specifications utilizing computer design software.

Computer-aided design assistants can find jobs in many different fields including fashion design, graphic design, drafting, computer software engineering, computer programming, desktop publishing, and textile, product, and apparel manufacturing.

In the textile, product, and apparel manufacturing world, the influx of computer-aided design assistants and new software systems have led to growth in the industry due to Internet developments, which allow new designs and fashions to be sent expeditiously throughout the globe. Similarly, computer-aided design has influenced the fashion design industry positively by giving designers the ability to translate their hand-sketched designs into computer systems that allow them to make sizing and color adjustments quickly and easily.

Some industries utilizing computer-aided design, such as graphic design, were expected to show little change in job growth from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Others, like fashion design, may see a slower-than-average increase in job opportunities. In each of these fields, as in any field utilizing technology and computers, competition is expected to grow, and more job prospects will be available to applicants with the most specialized computer and technological training.

Educational requirements for computer-aided design assistants vary by industry and position. Some positions require completion of a certificate program or associate's degree in a related field, while others require a bachelor's degree. This field has a slower than average job growth outlook.

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