Freelance Cad Drafting Advise
Q: I have been workining with CAD for over 18 years know. I've had my share of being laid off and also having to change disciplines to survive. I know work for a small company that urges me to take of side work and even use their equipment. I am doing Construction Cost Estimating and some drawing for a Tile and Stone contractor. I'm on salary now something i'm not quit use too. I have Mechanical, Instrument & Electrical, Civil/Structural, Mapping and Architectural experience as a designer/draftsman using Microstation, Autocad, Solidworks, PDS, etc. What is the best way to start a freelance cad service? I have a good idea how to start, but don't want to get in over my head. I would appreciate any constructive advice.
A: -go door to door at small engineering or architectural offices & ask them if they sub out drafting & see if they will give you a shot when they get busy. -GO to your local Board of Education and see if they might need their old school building transferred to CAD. Many Schools are doing KET computer upgrades and can save money by paying someone other than the engineer to draw them. -I have been a freelance CAD 'contractor' for the same length of time, and ALL my work has been through agencies - I have never had to cold-call or anything like that! Just register with a technical recruitment agency, and they will supply you to their clients. Some contracts I have had have been for a few weeks, others have lasted years. It keeps you up-to-date with CAD, office practices, and engineering developments - it is varied and it has built-in networking/schmoosing. You make a name for yourself and then clients want to back (so ask the agent for you by name), your CV looks impressive and you become more of an asset than 'just doing CAD' - you can offer much more for companies open and willing enough to adapt to stay ahead.