CAD Coordinator (Computer Aided Design)

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Joanne M

00:00:04 My name is Joanne M, and I’m a Technical Co-ordinator in the Work Systems and CAD Department. CAD means Computer Aided Design, so there’s various software that’s used for this. A CAD Technician previously would have been a Draughtsman, or a Draughtswoman, and it’s the person that does the drawings for the engineers. So an engineer with design a road, or a railway, or something, and the CAD Technician will do the technical drawing, but on a computer, so it’s – things then are built from these drawings. So they have to be very precise.

00:01:38 Oh I probably wanted to be an Air Hostess, like most girls, or a princess probably. I don’t – I didn’t really have – I did think about being a teacher, and I think when I was young I wanted to be a teacher. But by the time I’d left school I never wanted to see an inside of a school again so – I didn’t really like school. I knew that I liked Maths and Geography, and those kind of subjects, but I didn’t, you know, I didn’t want to work with languages, or write or report or anything, because I was never good at that. But I really – when I left school I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. There was a job in the paper that said – No experience needed, come and be interviewed for a job in mapping and data conversion, and I liked Geography, I liked computers. I thought I’ll go and see anyway, and that’s where they said we’ll train you, to a City and Guilds course, and they taught us the CAD packages, and I worked there for a year and a half. But it wasn’t going anywhere, and I decided I’d had enough of the job, I’ve had enough of Ireland, and moved to the UK. With very little notice to anybody, I just upped and left. I think it took me about an hour to make the decision. I told my Mum and Dad on the way home from here, on a – I’d been here for a weekend, went home, said I’m going to the UK, I’m going to London. Handed my job in the same day, and was here in a month. I don’t take long to make decisions – when I put my mind to it.

00:02:14 The things I enjoy most are that the job is quite varied, that we do work on different projects, so one day it can be a huge rail project and the next day could be a smaller project. And you can go out and see these things built, and it’s quite enjoyable to look at them and say, you know, I drew that, I designed that. And there’s – you know, they’re building White City at the moment, and I worked for five years designing the things on White City, and yesterday went through – got the tube and stopped at Wood Lane station, and I’m like, I know this inside out, ‘cause we did Wood Lane station.

00:02:54 If I could have any job in the world, I would play Eponine in Les Misérables on the West End stage. And do that every day. I know what I want to do when I grow up, definitely. I like – I like to sing. I’m Irish, we tend to do that a lot. And my family all sing so – I can’t believe I’m doing this. (SINGS)

00:03:41 Where I’d like to be in five, ten years’ time? No idea. Absolutely no idea. I don’t plan, plans tend to fall apart. I don’t plan ahead. But I love what I’m doing now, so I can’t see myself going anywhere just yet.


Joanne M is a Technical Coordinator in the Computer Aided Design Department at Halcrow. She uses computers to create plans. She loved geography and she loved computers – so she answered an ad for jobs in computer mapping. She likes to visit the finished buildings and structures she has drawn.

More information about Draughtspersons

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

88%  male 
12%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Draughtspersons prepare technical drawings, plans, maps, charts and similar items.
Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades, BTEC/ SQA awards, an appropriate GNVQ/GSVQ or A levels/H grades. Further training consists of courses of study and supervised practical experience.
  • Examines design specification to determine general requirements;
  • Considers the suitability of different materials with regard to the dimensions and weight and calculates the likely fatigue, stresses, tolerances, bonds and threads;
  • Prepares design drawings, plans or sketches and checks feasibility of construction and compliance with safety regulations;
  • Prepares detailed drawings, plans, charts or maps that include natural features, desired surface finish, elevations, electrical circuitry and other details as required;
  • Arranges for completed drawings to be reproduced for use as working drawings.
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