Architectural CAD technicians assist qualified architects and construction professionals by preparing drawings, developing specifications and creating plans.
One route into this skilled job is to gain employment as an apprentice or trainee with a firm of architects or civil engineering company. Anyone who hopes to do this will need good GCSEs and a maths A level, as well as an aptitude for design and excellent IT skills.
Trainees can expect a starting salary of £12,000 to £15,000, but this will increase as their design knowledge and computer aided design (CAD) skills improve. They will also be expected to study for relevant qualifications, such as an HNC or HND in architectural technology.
The other entry route into the profession is to gain a degree in a subject related to architecture. Graduate trainees usually earn between £17,000 and £21,000 a year, but money is not generally the most important factor for them. They tend to see these junior roles as a way to gain some of the experience they need to become a registered architect.
Staff who choose to make a career as an architectural CAD technician can expect to earn between £30,000 and £35,000 once they have a few years' experience, with salaries of £45,000 available for permanent jobs in London. There are also well paid temporary opportunities available via recruitment agencies, as companies often need staff for short term projects.