MEET THE PRO: Shamard Thomas, CAD/CAM Drafter

By Arkansas Next on Thursday, September 15, 2022

Jacob Slaton
"My goal is to make my parents proud, be a role model for my siblings and inspire those who look like me [so] that they can achieve great things if they put in the work and time,” Shamard said.

Hometown: Conway

Age: 21

Where I Trained: University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton

What I Earned: Associate degree

Job Title: Senior CAD Technician

Employer: Entech Consulting Engineers

Shamard initially wanted to be an architect and started his career on the traditional college route. He even moved out of state to earn a master's degree in architecture. Ultimately, however, he moved back to Arkansas during his first semester to care for his mother, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. 

Shamard's mother is his No. 1 supporter when it comes to his education, so he decided to pivot and pursued an associate degree in CAD technology at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. He’s still able to stay connected with architects and engineers through his work, just like he always wanted.

Shamard's primary responsibilities are developing and designing construction documents for various construction projects. Documentation includes structural elevations, framing plans, foundation plans, steel detailing and more. He enjoys being able to see project sites and pointing out a building or structure he helped design to his siblings. 

“Drafting is kind of an obscure job, but people don’t realize how important the job is, because we work so closely with architects, engineers and other field professionals,” Shamard said. “I feel like it is a career that is here to stay. We help turn ideas from sketch to an actual thing that you can view and understand more readily.”

Jacob Slaton


A CAD/CAM drafter develops and designs construction documents which include structural elevations, framing plans and foundation plans and steel detailing for building construction projects. 

Education needed: 

An associate or bachelor's degree is typically preferred, along with an advanced grasp of CAD programs and various experiences in building documentation and practices. 

Job Outlook

► 5% projected job growth in Arkansas by 2028

► 70 annual projected job openings in Arkansas

This option is for you if

  • You like building LEGO® sets
  • You have an eye for small details
  • You're known for being meticulous
  • You enjoy collaborating
  • You're creative

High-end earners in Arkansas (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$49,320 Annual
$23.71 Hourly


  • Arkansas State University-Beebe
  • Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
  • Arkansas State University-Newport
  • East Arkansas Community College
  • NorthWest Arkansas Community College
  • Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
  • University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton


  • Central Moloney Inc.
  • Hytrol
  • McGeorge Contracting Company
  • McKee Foods Corporation
  • Riceland