Helping People to Work At Home and Earn Livelihood
Work Online as AutoCAD Engineer (Updated)
As a freelance AutoCAD engineer, working online offers numerous opportunities and benefits. COVID has changed the way businesses used to operate, now remote work opportunities are on the rise. With the advancements in technology, it is now possible to leverage your AutoCAD skills from the comfort of your home. You can now work from anywhere in the world.
In this article, I will guide you on how to work online as an AutoCAD engineer. I will be covering all the necessary steps, tools, and strategies to help you become a successful remote CAD engineer.
1. How to Setup Your Workspace for Remote Work
You will need a conducive workspace to efficiently work online as a freelance AutoCAD engineer. Here are a few steps you will need to do:
1.1. Arrangement of necessary hardware and software:
Get a reliable laptop or preferably a desktop PC with enough processing power to run AutoCAD and all related tools.
Install the latest available version of AutoCAD or you can also use cloud-based AutoCAD alternatives. By the way, there is a free version of AutoCAD available for students but it is not for professional use so you may need to buy AutoCAD.
You will also need a webcam and mic to attend remote meetings with your clients. Laptops come with a built-in mic and webcam but PC don’t. Make sure you have them before you start your work.
1.2. Setting up a comfortable workspace to work:
Choose an area that is quiet so that you can concentrate on your work.
There should be enough lighting in the room to avoid eyestrain.
It is wise to Invest in an ergonomic chair and adjustable desk. It will make you comfortable and look good.
The wall behind your back should be furnished with any certificates you have or any CAD-related stuff. The area behind you will be visible to clients during your online meetings and in my opinion, these little details put a very good impression on your clients.
Securing a stable internet connection is extremely important. The last thing you want is to get disconnected from the internet during an important meeting. You most likely lose your clients if this happens too often. Therefore, arrange a high-speed internet connection to ensure smooth collaboration and file sharing.
2. How to Find Online AutoCAD Projects
Finding suitable online AutoCAD engineering projects is necessary to build a successful online career. You need to consider these steps:
2.1. Explore reputable freelancing platforms:
Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr have a lot of AutoCAD projects posted on them on daily basis. They connect clients who need AutoCAD engineers with freelance AutoCAD engineers. In my opinion, Fiverr should be the first marketplace you should use to find your first AutoCAD project.
Create an attractive and compelling profile highlighting your AutoCAD skills and experience.
Lower your demand for your first few projects, especially you first project. You should not look for earning first, instead get good feedbacks first even if you have to work in the lowest possible amount.
Achieve a target of 10 good 5 star feedbacks and then slowly start to increase your demand. The more good feedbacks you have, the more money can you demand for every next project.
2.2. Network within the CAD industry:
Actively attend virtual conferences and webinars to gain potential clients that participate in them.
Join online CAD related forums and answer questions asked by forum members.
Join professional social media groups on Facebook, Linkedin, Redit etc and actively participate in conversations.
WhatsApp groups and Classifieds websites can also help you in reaching new clients
2.3. Reach out to architectural and engineering companies and firms:
Send personalized emails to businesses and firms that specialize in AutoCAD projects. Usually, well known engineering firms always have some work in the queue which they can outsource to good AutoCAD engineers. But make sure your emails dont fall into spam category and respect your local laws.
You can use Ad campaigns to get new clients. You should have a very professional looking website in order to convert your Ads traffic into clients.
3. How to Effectively Communicate and Collaborate
Successful collaboration and communication are vital for remote AutoCAD engineers. Here are a few tips that can help you in client communication.
3.1. Schedule regular online meetings with your clients:
When you work remotely, your client has no other means to assess the work progress therefore you need to keep your client well informed. Otherwise, no mater how much effort you put into the project, the client wont know anything. You can use video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to facilitate discussions.
Ensure to clarify project requirements before you start the project to avoid conflicts with the clients.
3.2 Recommended collaboration tools:
I highly recommend you to use project management tools such as Asana and Trello. These tools can help you in keeping a track of project updates.
You can use cloud-based platforms like Autodesk BIM 360, Dropbox, or Google Drive for file sharing purpose.
3.3. Maintain a professional tone in written communication:
Use clear and concise language in emails and online chats.
Don’t do spell mistakes and avoid slang words.
Respond promptly to the messages.
Stay formal and never get personal.
4. How to Stay Productive and Manage your Time
Working online requires effective time management and productivity techniques. Following the strategies below:
4.1. Create a project schedule and stick to it:
Break the projects into smaller tasks and and complete them one by one.
Create a time table for your work and establish a routine.
Preassign a completion date for your project so that you can increase the works hours accordingly if project deadline is not meetable at current pace.
4.2. Minimize distractions:
Turn off notifications from Facebook, Twitter and any other social media. All applications that are not related to your work should be closed during work hours.
All the meetings should be scheduled before hand so that work is not affected.
4.3. Take regular breaks:
Take regular breaks after every couple of hours. This will recharge you and your will feel less tired.
A lunch break and a Coffee break is proved to be necessary to stay productive.
You should engage in physical activities or relaxation exercises during breaks.
5. How to Build a Strong Online Presence
You have a lot of competition. So, to stand out in the online market, you need to effectively showcase your AutoCAD skills. You can do so by building a strong online presence being doing the following:
5.1. Build an impressive portfolio:
Compile a list of your best AutoCAD projects and present it into a visually appealing way in your portfolio.
Show your clients feedbacks in your portfolio to gain the trust of the clients.
Mention any famous clients and firms you have worked for.
Mention your work experience.
5.2. Create a professional website or blog:
Make a website or blog to showcase your work, expertise, and services.
Regularly update your website with new projects and valuable content related to AutoCAD engineering.
5.3. Engage in social media promotion:
Sign up on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to share your work.
Join AutoCAD or engineering related communities and contribute to discussions.
6. How to Utilizing Online Resources and Communities
You need to leverage the power of online resources to become a successful AutoCAD engineer,. Here is how you can do that:
6.1. Online learning platforms:
Use websites like Udemy, Coursera, or LinkedIn to Learning more and polish your AutoCAD skills.
You should also take advantage of online courses and tutorials available in video format on Youtube and other video sharing websites. It is important to stay updated with the latest AutoCAD features to get more projects.
6.2. Online forums and communities:
Forums are considered old but you can still get a lot from AutoCAD related forums and communities.
A good way to get knowledge from forums and communities is to seek advice whenever you need it.
6.3. Industry publications and newsletters:
Subscribe to industry publications and newsletters to stay informed about the latest trends, technologies, and job opportunities.
Engage in CAD related discussions and contribute articles if possible to establish yourself as an expert in the field.
7. My Advice
Never lose patience, just keep trying, You will be successful! I am a freelancer and and I wrote this article to help you on the journey to the freelance world. Remember, consistency, professionalism, and a proactive approach are keys to establishing yourself and thriving in the engineering industry. Good luck on your journey to becoming a successful online AutoCAD engineer!