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Career and Education Opportunities for CAD/CAM Specialists in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for CAD/CAM Specialists in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. About 1,030 people are currently employed as CAD/CAM Specialists in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 8% to 1,110 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for CAD/CAM Specialists are expected to shrink by about 1.1%. CAD/CAM Specialists generally prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.

The income of a CAD/CAM Specialist is about $20 hourly or $42,860 per year on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $46,640 annually on average. CAD/CAM Specialists earn more than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Iowa and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. Jobs in this field include: designer, design technician, and cadd drafter .

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as a CAD/CAM Specialist. The most common level of education for CAD/CAM Specialists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become a CAD/CAM Specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: CAD/CAM Specialist

CAD/CAM Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, CAD/CAM Specialists prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.

CAD/CAM Specialists direct and consult other staff to lay out or detail components. They also modify and revise designs to fix operating deficiencies or to decrease production problems. Equally important, CAD/CAM Specialists have to lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components and machines. They are often called upon to develop detailed layout drawings and requirements for mechanical equipment and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment. They are expected to position instructions and comments onto drawings. Finally, CAD/CAM Specialists inspect and analyze specifications, sketches and related data to gauge factors affecting component designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed.

Every day, CAD/CAM Specialists are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for CAD/CAM Specialists to check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to the materials. They are often called upon to compute mathematical formulas to evolve and layout detailed requirements for components or machinery using computer-assisted equipment. They also lay out and reproduce illustrations for reference manuals and technical publications to define operation and maintenance of mechanical systems. They are sometimes expected to layout scale or full-size blueprints of specialty items such as furniture and automobile body or chassis components. Somewhat less frequently, CAD/CAM Specialists are also expected to draw freehand sketches of designs, trace finished drawings onto designated paper for the reproduction of blueprints, and reproduce working drawings on copy machines.

And finally, they sometimes have to layout scale or full-size blueprints of specialty items such as furniture and automobile body or chassis components.

Like many other jobs, CAD/CAM Specialists must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: CAD/CAM Specialist Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD which graduated nine students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Transfer Station Technical Associate: This certification was developed to address the increased interest in transfer stations and provide transfer station managers and others the opportunity to learn more about transfer station design and operation.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.