What Does a CAD/CAM Operator Do?
CAD operators are in demand in virtually every area of design.
A CAD operator with a backround in architectural design, for example,
would find employment in a firm that is involved in either residential or
The operator would generate construction drawings on CAD from sketches and
specifications from the architect. All modifications, schedules and 3D
presentation models would also be created in CAD and plotted for the office and
The CAM operator, works with the production engineer to develop a process
plan or plan to manufacture a part. The operator then utilizes CAM software to
generate a set of instructions to the computer controlled manufacturing
machines. The operator takes care the process plan is adhered to when
generating the instructions. The CAM operator and production engineer
select the machine(s) and cutting tool(s) to be used in production
What Must a CAD/CAM Operator Know?
A CAD/CAM operator should be able to read and write well. A basic knowledge
of college level algebra , trigonometry, manual drafting practices, the Windows
operating system , 2D and 3D CAD, manual shop practices, production
processes, manual programming of computer controlled production machines as
well as using CNC software to program such machines is recommended.
How Does One Become a CAD/CAM Operator?
The optimum path to becoming a CAD/CAM operator is to seek the best
available training. Upon graduation from high school, students are encouraged to
enroll in a two year associate degree program with a concentration in CAD/CAM
technology. Graduates can then seek direct employment experience in the field
or go on to pursue a four year degree at a senior institution. They can also opt to
obtain work experience while they pursue a four year degree part time. Many
employers pay part of the expense for college level courses aimed at an employee’s