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I need your opinion please


New member
2 years ago, I graduated from university with a Mechanical Engineer degree and I took 1 Pro/E course and 1 SolidWorks course when I was in school. I love to work with CAD. Since I graduated, I could not find any Mechanical job related, so I've been working as an IT Administrator (Network Engineer) for a telecom company.

However, I passion about CAD and working with CAD still there. Should I go back school to take few more courses about Pro/E and Solidworks and do some self-study of Pro/E and Solidworks? SHould I go back to do Mechanical work related? Will the Pro/E salary better than my IT job? Is it easy to find job with Pro/E?

Please give me your opinion. THanks


New member
Hello I'm a pro user. There is plenty of work out there, the problem you have is

experience you will need to try to get in at an entry level position some place.

If you are willing to move you have more chances to get a good entry level position.


New member
Hello Delphi,

You might want to look into getting the student version of Pro/E and/or Solidworks to develop your skills better and retain what you already know (assumimg you can still get it at your school).

I think there are alot more Mechanical CAD jobs vs IT CAD jobs out there. One person from this forum, Ben Loosbi (sp?, apologize Ben), I think is a IT CAD Administator that provides a wealth of knowledge to this forum, maybe you could give a shout out to him.

Good Luck



New member
You should always strive to go to school to improve your potential. I myself have database experience with systems administration. But I want to be more and Mechanical Engineering is where I am majoring. It will take me the next four years of my life but I am doing it. Sometimes you have to put some other things on hold....but yes I feel that by learning Pro-E it will better your chances of a more promising career. I myself have only recently been exposed to the program and I am using it to munipulate some ideas I have for new medical devices. This all take pratice and learning give it a try. You never hurt from trying ...I am even trying to see about introuducing the program into my local Community College. There are a lot of things that you have to overcome and I am doing it you should! GOOD LUCK!


New member
Hello Everybody,

I'm a french mechanical engineer and in france the problem isalmost the same. In most ofcompanies,technicians workwith CAD and engineers work with Word or Excel and manage business.

Until 09/04, I worked as mechanical engineer in design department. I used Pro/E and Pro/Mechanica every days and now I'm unemployment because here it's very difficult to find a job if you want touse CAD system as engineer. The only way is CAD administration.


PS: Excuseme for my grammar, i'm not fluent inenglish


New member
Hi All,

I was running a design office using Pr/E for a number of years and did a study to determine what made a good product designer compared to the average or incompetent. I came up with a list of attributes that a designer must have to be successful.

1. Workshop Experience. Manufacture/Assembly/Processes etc.

2. Theoretical design training: Calculating strengths, deflections etc.

3. Visualisation/Foresight : The ability to see how your part/assembly will be manufactured, assembled, operate and be maintained.

4. Attitude: Wanting the product to be successful, and taking pride in it.

5. Drawing Practice:Drawing standards,drawing control, ambiguity of drawing etc.

6. Generic computer skills: Data translation, Spreadsheets, IT Knowledge etc.

7. CAD skills - This is the last skill that must be aquired, once all the others are in place.

There is a general missconception that if someone knows how to run the CAD software, they are now a Designer. The CAD software is merely a tool to convert design skills into a product. It is like training someone on a word-processor and saying that they arenow a journalist.

Wali Crawford.


New member
First, I like to thank you all for your valuable opinions.

Wali, you have given a lot more thana CAD designer should know. I appreciate it very much.

Right now, I am still employing, but IT jobs are now so saturated and competetive. So I am thinking of doing CAD. For career security, should I consider of putting my effort in pratice, learning Pro/E so I can a better job in CAD than in IT?

I don't have any work experience with Pro/E but I had about one semeter with it while I was in college. so I am thinking of taking Pro/E class again at a community college to learn more, then apply for a Pro/E job. However, most of the jos I looked for Pro/E requires at least 5000 hours worked, I don't have this 5000 hours. Is it difficult to find entry level Pro/E?


New member
Hi Delphi

In my experience there are about 4 levels of Pro/E users.

Starting at the lowest level will be a Detailer, who takes models created by a designer and creates the drawings. Typically someone without much design or practical workshop experience would initially operate in this role.

The next levelis a designer that operates at a module(sub-assembly level).

Finally there is a Integrator or Senior Designer thatis responcible for the project and integrates modules into the final product (The final product being a large assembly).

The Integrator, Designers and Detailers all form part of a design team that operate under the guidence of a project manager, who is responsible for the overall technical integrity of the machine.

Finally there areengineers that use the software part-time, who create concepts, or even final models, but usually hand over the design to detailersto create the drawings.

The above structure willwork in a company that has more than 10 seats.

As a newbie in the design industry, you could probably find a post at the detailer level, and progress will depend on your talent for design. The demand for Pro/E users seems to be universal and international as any manufactured product must start with the design.



New member

Thank you so much. I've learned more from you. So I think I would start out as Detailer then moving up.

Do you think that Pro/E in specific and CAD in general is in demand in the industry now? What industry requires most of CAD design?

Do you know any tutorials, books, resources for a newbie to learn Pro/E? Please let me know.

Thanks and wish you a best New Year


New member
Hi Delphi:

It's always go to know that others want to join the field. Sense you have a degree on your pocket. You just need to learn and develope the software knowledge and skills and you don't need to go back to school if you need to keep a full time job like me. There's many colleges web sites with free down loads and advisers on it. For example go to htt://ptc.servohtt//.com click on the UMASS LOWELL PTC PARTNERSHIP there you will find a variety of softwares and tutorials for to select. Try to reach [email protected] he can help you in your learning prosses. Remember only determination and strength will gide you to succes. Belive me I know how you fill. Like one of the guys told you start from the bottom and learn ansi, etc., standards so can start youspeaking the same language. good luck and don't give up. You are not to far.
Edited by: arroyopr


New member
I have been a Pro-E user for more than 15 years. Since the company I work for is basically a "Job Shop", specializing in electronic enclosures, we also have SolidWorks and AutoCAD for our customers whom do not have Pro-E. I do see more and more customers sending in SolidWorks files, and from what little experience I've had with SolidWorks it does seem like a very user friendly software and I believe more companies (new start-ups more or less) have choosen SolidWorks over Pro-E. When it comes to the job market, and Pro-E vs. SolidWorks, unfortunately I see more companies hiring people with AutoCAD experience. AutoCAD is very inexpensive compared to Pro-E and SolidWorks. I live in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, USA, and usually there are 2-3 jobs openings/week listed in the local newspapers for people with AutoCAD experience. Also, unfortunately, most are for entry level positions. Therefore, my suggestion would be to learn a little more of both Pro-E and SolidWorks, but make sure to also learn AutoCAD. You may have a much better chance at getting a better position.


New member

Speaking from over 30 years in the design field and CAD from the late 70's you need to get over the CAD passion and stay with the IT field. The future of working in the U.S. is offering a service. A lot of CAD jobs are being outsourced to other countries. There is always going to be a need in this country for a network adminstrator located here in the states. This is my own personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. But if I had the option of network adminstrator or CAD Designer, I would definitely choose the NA.



New member
Thank you all for your opinion.

Since I graduated from school with my Mechanical Engineer, I had a difficult time to find job. I think it's because I have little ME expirience. In another hand, I have a very strong background and experience with IT. I have been working as Network Engineer, Network Adminsitrator, SoftwareDeveloper for a long period of time and my salary now is equal or even higher than a guy with Computer Science or Computer Engineer degree.

The reason, I wanted to go back to CAD is because a friend that I met over internet told me that he works for Raytheon and he has been working as a CAD drafter for more than 5 years and his salary is 6 figures already. This makes me anxious about shifting my career to CADwith only reason is $$$ plus a little CAD passion.

I think based on all of your opinion (Mix mode) I think I still want to take 1 or 2 classes about ProE and SOlidWorks part-time while I am still working on IT field for full-time. Once I feel comfortable with CAD then trying to apply for CAD job to see what my opportunities are out there. If I get a CAD job with better offer than my IT then I will jump. Or I just stay with IT field. My only advance is that I can always go back to IT field, because I think it is already in my blood.

Never hurt to try right?I appreciate very much for your sharing.
Edited by: delphi


New member
A friend you met over the internet?............CAD Drafter?.......making 6 figures?........only 5 years experience?.......ARE YOU SURE HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH?????? Take a look at salary surveys in your area (Monster.com has them available onlineI believe). Also check out the annual Pro-E Salary Survey at:

http://www.proecentral.com/portal/salary/default.asp?year=20 03&cat=37

Most peolple making 6 figures have their PHD and have been in the business for alot more than 5 years. I know alot of Engineers that have been with large companies that are not even close to 6 figures. I don't mean to sound arguementative, but 6 figures is high for a CAD Drafter.