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Check out a sample of the 570 CAD Designer Jobs jobs posted on Upwork

30+ hrs/week
Hours needed

More than 6 months
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

We are a custom sign manufacturer that fabricates everything from small (e.g., restroom signs) to large exterior signs (e.g. Nationals…

CAD Designer Jobs 3D Design CAD Drafting Autodesk AutoCAD Product Design
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Less than 30 hrs/week
Hours needed

Less than 1 month
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

We are seeking an experienced SketchUp user to create construction documents for a commercial renovation project. The ideal candidate M…

CAD Designer Jobs 2D Design & Drawings Construction Drafting SketchUp CAD 2D Design
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Make a 1/24 scale rc car 3d design design Fixed-price ‐ Posted 3 days ago

$50
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

I need a Custom 3d desing for a 1/24 scale rc car. It should consist a steering mechanism and a gear box to spin 2 motors with 1 n20 mo…

CAD Designer Jobs CAD 3D Modeling 3D Design
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Rhino tutoring Hourly ‐ Posted 2 days ago

Less than 30 hrs/week
Hours needed

1 to 3 months
Duration

Expert
Experience level

An in person tutor for Rhino to walk me through the coursework that resides in New Paltz. NY

CAD Designer Jobs CAD
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3D Designer for Custom VW Golf MK4 Front Bumper Fixed-price ‐ Posted 2 days ago

$40
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

We're looking for a skilled 3D designer who can create a printable STL file of a custom front bumper for a VW Golf MK4. The ideal candi…

CAD Designer Jobs CAD 3D Modeling 3D Design
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Product concept design Fixed-price ‐ Posted 4 days ago

$200
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

Pocket-Sized Telescopic Ski Pole Concept Overview The concept is to create a compact, portable ski pole designed with the adventurous s…

CAD Designer Jobs CAD 3D Modeling Concept Design Product Design
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30+ hrs/week
Hours needed

More than 6 months
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

I am looking to make a replica version of this product from YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxhUg0Shnsc https://www.youtube.c…

CAD Designer Jobs Product Design Drafting Mechanical Design CAD Drafting CAD
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Silversmith & Jewellery makers wanted Hourly ‐ Posted 2 days ago

Less than 30 hrs/week
Hours needed

3 to 6 months
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

MARSH is a startup jewellery brand founded by two London based fashion designers. We are in the exciting process of making our first co…

CAD Designer Jobs CAD 3D Modeling
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$4,000
Fixed-price

Expert
Experience level

Seeking Licensed Architect in Michigan to Stamp and Seal drawings. The relevant drawings haven not yet begun as I am securing needed se…

CAD Designer Jobs CAD Autodesk Revit
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Less than 30 hrs/week
Hours needed

Less than 1 month
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

We are looking for a skilled landscape designer who can help us with planting and designing our single-family yard. The main focus will…

CAD Designer Jobs CAD Autodesk AutoCAD Landscape Design Planting Design Landscaping
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CAD Designers on Upwork
can earn $16–$77/hr.
Learn more below about how you can earn a career on the world’s work marketplace.
CAD Designer average prices bell curve

$16 $77

Median hourly rates (USD)

How to Become a Freelance CAD Designer

CAD designers have laid out the concrete jungles of the modern age. Freelance CAD designers are typically contracted by engineering and architectural firms, or individual clients to work on a specific project. The work revolves around building construction, real estate development, and other companies that need to create 3D models of their projects.

The hiring of Freelance CAD designers is commonplace and among the highest paying of any freelance work opportunity, but it is also competitive so professionalism and performance are critical to developing a regular stream of projects and repeat clients.

What does a freelance CAD designer do?

Freelance CAD designers draft and model new buildings, homes, and other structures according to client specifications by using computer-aided design (CAD) software. CAD design freelancers have also come to perform 3D modeling for product designers and high-velocity startups. These works are often produced using some form of rapid prototyping.

Rapid prototyping encompasses traditional 3D thermoplastic extrusion printers (Additive manufacturing), metal-fusion 3D printers, photopolymer 3D or ferromagnetic fluid prototyping, or some combination of CNC milling, waterjet or laser cutting, or other high-speed production methods.

Freelance CAD designers are also responsible for creating finished assembly models, including exploded views alongside both isometric and perspective drawings of whatever they have modeled. These drawings enable the assembly teams to create a functional product from a series of pieces and blueprints.

What skills do I need to become a freelance CAD designer?

Among the most important skills for CAD designers are functional understandings of engineering design principles, expertise in object-oriented constraints, and hierarchical file organization.

CAD designing freelancers will lay out complex 3D models as smaller, functional units with internal constraints. Those functional units are then combined into larger units, such as a building floor, which will then be constrained into an even larger, complex structure, such as a skyscraper or a home.

Here are some additional CAD design skills aggregated from online job descriptions that would supplement the skill set of a Freelance CAD Designer.

  • Familiarity with 2D and 3D design
  • Ability to create, edit, and maintain design model libraries and drawings
  • Ability to create high-quality design documents and deliverables
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines; if you don’t, it will affect your ability to get more work
  • Solid communication skills are important for meetings with client or project teams to obtain and discuss task requirements, obtain reference information, and gain approval of design concepts; maintain efficient information sharing with the client or project team
  • Remain flexible by showing a willingness to accept changes to design approach
  • Maintain current knowledge of design trends and industry standards for applications such as 3D printing, interior design, architectural design, product design, and more
  • Ensure all design deliverables meet or exceed quality requirements, including part tolerance specs and constraint verification requirements.
  • An associate’s degree in drafting is the most common education level for entry-level CAD designers, but earning a bachelor’s degree or higher is beneficial if you plan to advance in this competitive field
  • Gain certification from the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA)

Work responsibilities for CAD design freelancers

Freelance CAD designers are responsible for ensuring that models are correctly labeled. Proper drawing labels will include callouts such as part specifications, and construction or manufacturing callouts including counterbore/countersink diameter and depth.

All drafting callouts must be consistently formatted based on ASE standards, NSME standards, or any other applicable engineering standards. Additionally, most engineering clients require at least one isometric view of a model and one exploded view of a model or, in the case of complex models, an exploded view of each simple, functional component of said model.

The callouts that CAD designers and engineers use include symbols such as counterbore, countersink, and centerline, and numerical representations such as hole depth for drilling and part totals for items such as rivets, nails, and screws.

  • Verify that all designs are within tolerances and state them accordingly
  • Resolve any functional design issues such as non-constrained parts or functional part errors (e.g., Two parts cannot be constrained because they would defy physics by being constrained.)
  • Request and apply engineering drafting and design changes
  • Work with a wide range of media, and graphic design and CAD software, such as AutoDesk (Fusion360 and AutoCAD) and SolidWorks
  • Ensure that engineering ethics are applied to all drawings and that a PE-Certified engineer provides approval on all final drawings before they are shipped to the client.

Eager to learn more about CAD design freelancing on Upwork? Check out these additional resources:

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyse and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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