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Thread: Should someone like me make a career using autocad?

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    Administrator Ed Jobe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should someone like me make a career using autocad?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanadamenos371163 View Post
    Is there one you would recommend starting out with?
    Sorry, I don't have any experience with them. But I think that's working backwards. Don't pick a software and then try to find a job using it. Think of what industry you want to work in and then get the skills. Like I said, software is just a tool, and they change. Then you'll have to learn that new software. What some others said about degrees bears upon the fact that employers want to know that you understand the whole process of the field you're in, not just a piece of software. For example, if you do choose something CAD related, like architectural design, employers are more concerned that you know the construction industry than the the software you use. That involves building codes, product specifications, construction practices, etc., etc. Those other things are what you go to school for. You could learn the software by reading Help or the user guide. Its all about understanding what you're drawing, not how to draw it. Knowing the software well makes you efficient and that's a plus, but it takes second place to practical knowledge. Employers know they can train you to use the software if necessary, but aren't willing to fund the expense of training you to know their industry.

    The previous mostly applies to the technical and engineering fields. The entertainment industry focuses more on the creativity that you bring. Again, the software is just a tool for you to share your creativity.
    C:> ED WORKING....

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    Mod / Salary / SM Wanderer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should someone like me make a career using autocad?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanadamenos371163 View Post
    Wanderer – Im glad you pointed me in the direction of that salary survey, interesting read, very insightful. It mentions that Designers were the largest number of people surveyed. Silly question, but are Designers those who work with the 3DS Max and they are doing more freehand design? If not where does that fit into this industry? Also, its interesting that you mention online schooling. Is that what you recommend over a physical environment? Will I run the risk of not having any connections since I can’t physically reach out to others in the class? Are there any online schools you would recommend?
    Sorry if I’m asking a little too much, I’m just very interested now.
    Well, as John said, most of the people with the title 'designer' are making buildings, systems and machines work (with an engineer or architect stamping above and a drafter doing markups below, in the simplest terms.).
    I don't necessarily mean online schooling, I meant more online training for a specific program for your chosen field.
    For example, I was interested in mechanical design. I got my associate's degree. But, even though that school still mostly teaches autocad, if I were going into the field now, I'd seek training on my own for Inventor (manufacturing) or Revit MEP (hvac) on top of that associate's degree.
    In which case, if I bought a book or a set of training dvd's, I'd reach out to the people here on these forums when I got stuck (oh, wait, I DO do that already ), or meet up with them through a Local User's Group (LUG [either search on this site to find one near you, or ask your local autodesk reseller because many of them provide some form of sponsorship for the groups or have customers who are members]).

    Try some random searching on indeed.com for 'designer' 'drafter' 'autocad' 'revit' 'inventor' 'engineering' 'architecture' or any random industry or tool mentioned in this thread or in the salary survey. Read up on some of the job descriptions available near you and see which of those you could picture yourself doing.

    Me? I work in the Engineering department of a large medical facility. I didn't see that happening back in college because the career advice was so vague, but, it's a great fit for my personality. I don't do much in the way of drafting, but, I do work with a ton of files from varying sources, so I have to be pretty darned good with AutoCAD to make that work, and I'm also transitioning us to Revit MEP, as a more data-rich environment.
    A guy that currently works for my reseller used to work for a home plan company that makes those plan books they sell at Lowe's. Both pretty small niches.
    You want a lot of jobs? Go for architecture. If you've got a strong manufacturing community near you, go for mechanical. If you want a slightly better niche that is smaller but with decent opportunity because they're hard to find, go for mechanical with a specialty in hvac.
    ~shrugs~

    You're asking great questions so far, and that's the trademark of someone who will do well in any technical field. Best of luck.
    Melanie Stone
    @MistresDorkness

    ARCHIBUS, FMS/FMInteract and AutoCAD Expert (I use Revit, too)
    Technical Editor
    not all those who wander are lost

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