How Do I Choose the Best Freelance CAD Jobs?

Erin J. Hill

When choosing between freelance computer-aided design (CAD) jobs, you should consider what it is you are trying to achieve in your career. You may choose jobs based on what you are most interested in or passionate about, or you may choose them based on the size of the project and potential income. Other times, if you are low on work, you might also choose to do any project that comes your way. Overall, it's most important that you choose work you enjoy, and that will allow you to support yourself.

CAD operators are needed in a number of different industries, including architecture, engineering and manufacturing.
CAD operators are needed in a number of different industries, including architecture, engineering and manufacturing.

One factor you should consider when taking freelance CAD jobs is how well you will enjoy the work. If money is not an issue and you have more work coming in, you can afford to be a little choosey when it comes to deciding which jobs to take. In these cases, you should choose to do projects that sound stimulating and enjoyable. Get as many details as you can up front about the project at hand, and then determine how well you think you could do on it. If it seems like something you could see yourself being engaged in for awhile, take it.

Some freelance CAD designers must buy or rent a plotter in order to print their designs.
Some freelance CAD designers must buy or rent a plotter in order to print their designs.

Another issue you should keep in mind when choosing freelance CAD jobs is how much each project pays. Only you know how much your time is worth, so it's up to you whether or not a job is worth your time. To determine your rates, figure out how much you would like to get paid per hour. When quoting a project, multiply that number by the number of hours you think the job will take. If the potential client takes your offer, then you are in business. If not, it's up to you to decide whether or not you can work for less.

CAD involves the use of computers to create designs.
CAD involves the use of computers to create designs.

In some cases, working for less money may be a good idea. For instance, if you need more experience in drafting certain types of freelance CAD jobs, working for less can be a good way to do that. You may also just really like the project. If it's enjoyable enough for you to want to take it even though the pay isn't what you're used to, go ahead and take it if you have the time.

There are some times when you shouldn't be too picky when it comes to choosing freelance CAD jobs. If you have very little experience, it's often a good idea to take any job that comes your way in order to add samples to your portfolio. You may also have to be less choosey when it comes to jobs if you really need the income.

Many companies hire freelance CAD drafters for special projects.
Many companies hire freelance CAD drafters for special projects.

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