MEET THE PRO: Caleb Hoffman, CAM Drafter

By Arkansas Next on Friday, October 13, 2023

Jacob Slaton

Hometown: Black Rock

Age: 20

Where I Trained: University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville

What I Earned: Associate degree in industrial technology, technical certificate in mechatronics

Job Title: Design Engineer

Employer: Roach Conveyors

Caleb Hoffman was always mechanically minded growing up. He knew for quite some time that he wanted to build a career in engineering, but it wasn’t until he’d already started college that Caleb realized he wanted to pursue this goal in a different way.

“I was planning on going the traditional route for an engineer and getting a four-year degree, and then a license,” Caleb said. “However, once I realized how much I loved the design and prototyping process, I decided to start with a technical degree and see where it would take me.”

He earned an associate degree in industrial technology and a technical certificate in mechatronics from the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. He’s also completed extensive work-related training that has opened many doors for him.

“I have been able to move up to higher stations in my field sooner than I would have if I had gotten a four-year degree,” Caleb said. “Instead, my hard work and perseverance moved me forward.”

As a design engineer at Roach Conveyors, Caleb uses computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to design parts for conveyor systems. He turns 2D files of the parts into 3D models so that engineers can use them to configure conveyor systems in the future, which makes the design process much easier.

“I love that I can design a part and then watch it get made and hold it in my hands,” Caleb said.  

When considering their future careers, Caleb encourages students to follow their own path and remember that it doesn’t have to be identical to other people’s paths.

“Just do what is right for you,” Caleb said. “God has a plan for your life, and it might not be the same as everybody else’s.”


Prepare wirings, circuit diagrams and layout drawings used  for the manufacture, installation or repair of electrical equipment.

Education Needed: 

Associate degree

You'll be great at this too if...

 You’re always doodling in class

 You’re inspired by architects and graphic designers

 You use your left brain and right brain equally

 You like watching HGTV

 You want to be a part of projects that have a big impact

High-end earners (top 10%) make
$66,160 Annual
$31.80 Hourly

Median wages in Arkansas
$61,750 Annual
$29.69 Hourly


  • Arkansas State University-Beebe
  • Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
  • Arkansas State University-Newport
  • Phillips Community College, University of Arkansas
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
  • University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College
  • W&W|AFCO Steel


  • Hytrol
  • Riceland Foods
  • W&W|AFCO Steel