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Career and Education Opportunities for CAD/CAM Specialists in Seattle, Washington

CAD/CAM Specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Seattle, Washington. There are currently 1,300 jobs for CAD/CAM Specialists in Washington and this is projected to grow by 15% to 1,500 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for CAD/CAM Specialists are expected to shrink by about 1.1%. In general, CAD/CAM Specialists prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.

The income of a CAD/CAM Specialist is about $28 per hour or $59,740 annually on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $46,640 per year on average. Earnings for CAD/CAM Specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Drafting in Washington and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. CAD/CAM Specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: tool design drafter, designer, and mechanical equipment engineering assistant.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a CAD/CAM Specialist, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. CAD/CAM Specialists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be 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 Seattle 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.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • 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

Green River Community College - Auburn, WA

Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622. Green River Community College is a medium sized college located in Auburn, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,544 students. Green River Community College has a one to two year program in Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD which graduated one student in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a one to two year program in Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a less than one year program in Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD which graduated one student 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.