I am new to this AutoCAD Community and am exicted to see such a supportive forum available for all levels of users.
I am looking for some advice on how to futher my experience using AutoCAD.
Over the last couple of years I have completed my AutoCAD 2D Certificate through a local college in my area. I have a full time job and did it on the side, online. I learned a lot and now feel I have a basic knowledge of the program.
I took this certificate program to see if I would like working with AutoCAD and to add it to my resume in hopes of maybe finding another career that primarily uses the program (or an entity of it) in some capacity.
WIth that being said, I am wondering if anyone has some advice on how I could go about getting practical experience using the program?
Currently, the only experience I can get is just practicing by copying other drawings and examples I have. I was hoping to get some more practical experience with a company or person that would give me some real life situations.
At this point, money isn't really a concern, just looking for the experience.
My background is professional landscaping, as I am an Estimator for a large development/commercial landscape company here in Calgary. I read architectural and landscape drawings all day everyday, so I am very familiar with reading technical plans. I have worked in the industry for 10 years and have a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, majoring in landscape management. However, I am open to any experience in any industry.
Any advice on how I could position myself to obtain some practical experience, is more than welcome, and greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance and great to be a new member of this community!
I started out with just 4 years of AutoCAD experience from highschool trying to get a job in an architectural firm as a draftsman. It wasn't happening... and then I found a local sheet metal shop hiring a drafter, and I must say I have learned a LOT and I get paid more than most of my friends who hold a B Arch and I mainly use AutoCAD. I mainly work on designing sheet metal parts and converting 3D Inventor/Solidworks models into flat drawings to be cut via waterjet so that they can be formed to make the part on a press brake. This industry is booming where I am, and they're looking for people with that knowledge all over the place. Like the suggested, you should find a niche like that and run with it.
Yeah, I got my experience (MEP in Facilities Management) before I got my degree. Hands on is a better way to learn a trade anyway, plus MEP wasn't really covered at all in my associate's anyway, but, it's in more demand than architectural skills ime.
The AUGI Salary Survey just came out and there are some charts in there about which folks are finding new jobs easily (BIM Coordinators) and which industry specialties/markets served have done the most hiring this year (can't remember offhand, but, y'all get my point).
Involvement in the local design community will present you with options... all the best to the op.
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