NEXT PROS: Aaron Smith, CAD/CAM Drafter

By Arkansas Next staff on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jacob Slaton
“I feel that I have access to many different kinds of resources and capacities that most people will never have access to. I can design almost anything I want and have it in my hand in five days.” - Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

Hometown: Mammoth Springs  |  Age: 20  |  Where I trained: University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville  |  What I earned: Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology  |  Job title: Product Developer  |  Employer: Intimidator Group in Batesville

What does a CAD/CAM drafter do?

Computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) drafters take the vision of an architect or engineer and use computer software to create 2D design drawings or 3D simulations to aid in production. Drafters can work in a broad range of fields, so their designs could lead to sleek electronics or towering buildings.

“I like being able to design something from scratch and seeing it through all the way until it’s a finished product. I also like being able to think of an idea, turn it into a reality and hold it in my hand.” - Aaron


• Develop plans or layouts utilizing computer-aided design software.

• Work with architects or engineers to create accurate design for products.

• Include precise details such as the dimensions and materials.

• Communicate with the company about codes, standards and specifications.

• Conduct product design, development and testing.

Job Outlook

expected growth from 2016 to 2026 in Arkansas.

Related Occupations

• Mechanical Drafter

• Electrical Drafter

• Civil Drafter

• Commercial and Industrial Designer

• Mapping Technician

This option is for you if:
You’re detail-oriented with an eye for the fine print.
You’re good with computers.
You’re creative or artistic.
You have a positive, “can do” attitude.
You have good communication skills.

High-end earners (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$59,080 Annual
$28.40 Hourly


Arkansas State University–Beebe
East Arkansas Community College
National Park College
North Arkansas College
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith–College of Applied Science & Technology
University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton


ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc.
CenterPoint Energy
Lexicon Inc.
Pace Industries
Simmons Foods Inc. & Affiliates
Tyson Foods

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and

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