What Design Professions Use AutoCAD Drafting Software?

Many professions require the use of computer-aided design programs such as AutoCAD to manipulate floor plans, design blueprints and map utilities. Keep reading to learn more about computer-aided design as it applies to the architecture, interior design and engineering fields. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Common Uses for AutoCAD Drawing Software

Created by Autodesk, AutoCAD is a computer-aided design software program that professionals use to digitally draw, import, export and publish 2- and 3-dimensional designs. Some of the industries that use this desktop technology are outlined below.

Important Facts About Possible Careers

Architect Interior Designer Civil Engineer
Median Annual Salary (2018) $79,380 $53,370 $86,640
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 4% growth 4% growth 11% growth
Required Education Minimum bachelor's degree, though many professionals hold a master's as well Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Organizational, technical and analytical skills Interpersonal and problem-solving skills, artistic ability and creativity Decision-making, math and leadership skills

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Professional architects use AutoCAD to design residential homes, office buildings, commercial developments and landscapes. The software allows them to map out the stages of a construction process or to create sophisticated design concepts. They may use the program to create drafts of floor plans and surface features, such as windows and roofs. Architects can also utilize AutoCAD to create presentations for contractors or city zoning boards.

Interior Designers

AutoCAD helps interior designers create functional spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, such as residential living and dining rooms, hotel suites, corporate conference facilities or other indoor environments. With AutoCAD, interior designers can create detailed images of interior spaces that include furniture and appliances. This may involve creating layers, scaling designs, inserting objects and manipulating floor plans. AutoCAD also allows interior designers to present design concepts to potential clients.

Civil Engineers

The Civil 3D version of AutoCAD contains applications specific to the design of bridges, roads, tunnels and other structures common in the built environment. With this software, engineers can incorporate geographical features into a design, including the elevation of a landscape. Moreover, they can use AutoCAD to design and map hydraulic systems or utilities infrastructures.

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers can use AutoCAD to plan entire manufacturing processes or create prototypes for the finished product. They can also map out the automated processes of lathes or other machine tools. The result is a consumer product with a surface design or curve that is manufactured according to the engineer's specifications.

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