What does a CAD Engineer do?


CAD Engineers help design and develop 2D plans and 3D models necessary in product engineering. They can be employed in a wide range of industries such as mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering. Let’s take a closer look at their role and responsibilities

Role of a CAD Engineer

CAD Engineer - Job profile overview
CAD Engineer – Job profile overview

CAD, or “computer-aided design“, refers to software used to design, develop, and build plans, blueprints, models, etc.

CAD software comes into play when the individual steps in the design process are no longer carried out manually but are taken over by the computer. 

In Engineering industries, CAD is mainly used for detailed production of 3D models or 2D drawings of physical components, but it is also used throughout the engineering process from conceptual design and layout of products, through analysis of production and manufacturing processes. 

A CAD Engineer is responsible for the planning, development, and of course the design and manufacture of new devices, systems, and systems in the field of electrical engineering and electronics. Let’s take a look at some of their day to day responsibilities:

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Responsibilities of a CAD Engineer

Tasks and responsibilities of CAD Engineers
Tasks and responsibilities of CAD Engineers

On an everyday basis, a CAD Engineer is responsible for the creation of technical and detailed design drawings using CAD software applications. They create virtual models and plans to ensure precision down to the smallest details. 

They work on projects to meet design and manufacturing objectives and timeline commitments. First off, they work on analyzing project requirements and defining the overall scope.

They create models and plans in line with these requirements. They then review and integrate any requests into the designs, ensuring they follow company guidelines and policies. 

CAD Engineers are also responsible for the selection of materials and components required for the end product and, if necessary, carry out trials and experiments with them. The construction of the first prototypes is also one of the tasks of a CAD engineer. 

In addition, CAD Engineers develop design flows, create backup files to prevent data loss, review tools, and select specific software for design functionality – all depending on the project they are currently working on. 

Typically, a designer will work on a large or multiple small sub-projects. They go through a general process of planning and development to the design and manufacture of products. 

Tasks of a CAD Developer:

  • Design, develop and engineer high-quality models using 3D and 2D CAD tools.
  • Implementation of CAD functionality and applications
  • Produce designs that meet requirements and targets
  • Check products for feasibility, performance, costs, quality, safety, legislation and timing.
  • Maintain compliance with company guidelines, safety, and quality procedures. 
  • Update and maintain product design files.
  • Assist in improving daily processes to ensure that the CAD systems meet customer requirements.
  • Work through software limitations and deploy solutions in the design and development of CAD models.

Skills of a CAD Engineer

CAD Engineer's skills required
CAD Engineer’s skills required

As a CAD engineer, you mainly work with CAD programs and tools. And so, strong knowledge and familiarity with these tools will greatly enhance your resume. 

Some of the most used tools for CAD include

  • AutoCAD
  • PTC Creo
  • Solid edge
  • NX
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • SolidWorks.

Additional required skills for a CAD Engineer:

  • Knowledge of CAD systems and materials science
  • Knowledge of applied mathematics and fluid mechanics
  • Spatial imagination and methodical understanding
  • Must be able to interpret scientific and technical documents
  • Quickly grasp technical relationships
  • Innovative thinking, always keeping up to date with technology
  • Good interpersonal skills and team player
  • Excellent communication and documentation skills.

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Background and Education

The basis for the job of a CAD Engineer is an apprenticeship as a technician or an engineering degree at a technical college or university. Training alone can make it more difficult to get a job as a designer so a degree is greatly encouraged. 

Industries – Where can CAD Engineers work?

Most CAD engineers work in the automotive and mechanical engineering industries. As a whole, you can find jobs in any industry that revolved around product manufacturing. 

You mainly work in the development and construction departments of medium-sized and large companies. In the automotive industry, for example, you can be involved in the design of new automobiles or new engine components. In mechanical engineering, for example, the construction of power plants or machine tools is on your daily schedule.

Other areas of application can include:

  • Chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • Food and Textile industries
  • Electrical and aerospace industries
  • Construction and architecture


The average salary of a designer is around $63,000 gross per year. This number is influenced by several factors: the size of the company, the location, the industry, the degree, and professional experience. 

The starting salary is around $41,000 for beginners. Those with professional experience can command up to $109,000 per year.

How much do CAD Engineers make?


How much does a CAD Engineer earn as a freelancer?

Average freelancer rate CAD Engineer
CAD Engineer’ average freelance rate is $74/hour

The average hourly rate of a CAD Engineer is $74 per hour. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $592 per day. (freelancermap price index – March 2020)

Read through other job profiles:

Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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