Engineering Career Resources

CAD Engineer Job Description

CAD Engineer Job Description

CAD engineers' jobs essentially entail creating technical drawings to be used across a variety of industries that involve the design and production of various tools, equipment, structures, and other products. It is the CAD engineer's task to produce the plans that show to the architects and engineers from other areas of specialty how a particular product should be designed and constructed.

CAD engineering jobs essentially coalesce technical design with process control and artistic prowess to produce functional drawings, which are used to build components, perform inspections, obtain competitive price quotes, and maintain document control. Individuals in this capacity are required to communicate with R&D and design engineers to conceptualize new products and make changes to existing ones, all the while fundamentally understanding the interaction of all the components in their drawings.

CAD engineers must also apply geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) to formal prints so that a manufacturer can properly produce an assembled part without excessive gaps or interferences. Any changes that they make to a drawing must also be formally processed through an engineering change notice (ECN), and reflected through revision lists and bills of material. 

Skills and qualifications

CAD is integral to the curriculum of engineers today as its simulation abilities rapidly expedite the iterative nature of engineering design. However, there are special skills that must be developed and honed to exclusively specialize in CAD work.

First and foremost, the individual must be fully comfortable with the interface of the program he or she is using (e.g. SolidWorks) and its modeling and analysis capabilities. A firm understanding of the engineering discipline with which the individual is working is critical, too, since he or she will need to understand, say, the mechanics of an object in ordeer to functionally model it. Also, a working understanding of the component being designed is vital since it allows one to apply proper GD&T; this is paramount to operation, manufacturability, and quality control. A person in this role should be an assertive communicator with a very high attention to detail since he or she is responsible for conveying the finest points of a design to necessary parties in a clear and consistent format.

Other than technical skills, employers tend to look for candidates with a good understanding of physics, science, materials, mathematics, and general principles of engineering. Business skills, awareness of the commercial appeal of any given product, and creativity are also very strong assets in this line of work.


Day-to-day responsibilities of a CAD engineer vary depending upon one's current stage in a project. Nonetheless, typical daily duties include producing solid models of parts and ensuing assemblies, generating engineering drawings, specifying materials, geometric alignment, and tolerances, creating mark-ups for new revisions, meeting with vendors, and attending design reviews. 

CAD engineers often work in teams when developing concepts and brainstorming ideas. Other than producing designs and drawings, their responsibilities can also include estimating production costs and selecting materials for any given product, and making sure that their designs address all the critical market requirements of the product.