CAD Manager's Newsletter (#249)

13 Oct, 2010 By: Robert Green

:: CAD Manager's Survey 2010

How much money do CAD managers make? Do they work part-time or full-time? These questions and more are answered with the help of your fellow CAD managers!

It's that time again: time to share the results of my annual CAD Manager's Survey. And in addition to reporting my findings in this issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter — and the next — I'm going to draw some market conclusions from the results. Here goes.

Survey Timing and Basis

The CAD Manager's Survey 2010 arrives a little more than two years after my August 2008 survey, which preceded the economic meltdown of North America and Europe that autumn. Since world economies seem to be stabilizing now, I thought that a comparison between my 2008 and 2010 data would be a great way to determine what impact these bad economies have had on CAD managers.

My goal was to measure a wide variety of job and compensation metrics for CAD managers, and I think the survey has succeeded in that regard. If you'd like to read the survey questions, you can do so at

Show Me the Money

So what do CAD managers make, and how do they work? Good questions!

Average compensation: $61,176 (down 2% from $62,425 in 2008)
Standard deviation: $25,381 (way up from $20,423 in 2008)
Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Enhancing Your CAD Management Career

Everyone wants to be happier and make more money. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can improve your career outlook.

I'm frequently asked what CAD managers can do to become more employable, better compensated, and more satisfied with their work experience. I wanted to pass along a few of my tips in hopes that you'll find them to be of value in your career enhancement efforts.

Learn something new. Look up training resources at software companies' web sites, or join a user group and learn a new piece of software. If you're a mechanical person, learn a BIM (building information modeling) program. If you're an architect, learn about a civil application. The point is to get outside your comfort zone and expand your software expertise.

Become a programmer. CAD managers equipped with programming skills can customize software to meet their company's specific needs — a capability that is highly valued in today's market. Read more »


Do you have a question or tip for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at; if I use it in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

:: Resources Highlights AutoCAD Design Center Tutorial
Kevin McWhirter of alerts readers to a video tutorial, "AutoCAD — How to Use Design Center." In this 11-minute video, McWhirter offers an introduction to inserting CAD blocks into drawing files using AutoCAD Design Center.

SolidThinking Whitepaper Advocates Morphogenesis as Design Tool
Industrial design software developer SolidThinking is offering a "Computation Inspiration for Product Design" whitepaper to registered users. The document explains how morphogenesis, a computational form-generation technology, can help designers to explore options during the conceptual phase.

Open-Source Solution on SharePoint Enables Collaborative Product Development
Aras, a product lifecycle management (PLM) software solution provider, has developed an open-source SharePoint-based solution in collaboration with Actify, Razorleaf, and Microsoft. The collaborative product development solution enables product data assets normally constrained within PLM or product data management systems to be shared throughout the enterprise as well as with its customers, suppliers, and partners globally.

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Events

Webinar: Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety
October 14, 2010
12 p.m. ET
Hosted by Cadalyst, this webcast will convene a panel of distinguished experts to discuss how "going green" can drive product innovation — and make money. Join us for a spirited discussion of the issues, including plenty of time for questions from attendees. Read more »

Vectorworks 2011 Test Drives
Through November 19, 2010
Various cities
This free, hands-on training session from Nemetschek Vectorworks allows users to experience the Vectorworks 2011 software, ask questions of a Vectorworks trainer, and explore the features of the new release. Read more »

Siemens PLM Connection Americas User Conference 2011
May 2–5, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual event, organized by PLM World with support from Siemens, is designed to help attendees prepare their PLM (product lifecycle management) investment for the future, expand the value of product and process knowledge, and learn from Siemens PLM Software's developers in hands-on training sessions. Read more »


For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

Cadalyst Launches Webcast Series with an Edge
Premiere presentation to air live this Thursday, October 14. "Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety" will convene a panel of distinguished experts to discuss how "going green" can drive product innovation — and make money. Read more »

See Your Work on the Cover of Cadalyst Magazine!
Cadalyst editors invite designers and rendering artists to share your best rendering work, demonstrating the effective use of visualization techniques and technologies for communicating the intent of building, infrastructure, mechanical, product, or other CAD-based design. Our favorite entry will appear on the cover of Cadalyst magazine, fall 2010 edition. Sponsored by BOXX Technologies. Read more »

User Review: Bonzai3d v2
The 3D modeling tools you need are simple, powerful, and a snap to learn. Read more »

NVIDIA Expands Quadro Line with Mid-Range and Entry-Level Graphics Cards
New Quadro 2000 and 600 round out the family of graphics solution offerings launched earlier this year. Read more

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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