CAD/CAM Technical Designer
GACC Pittsburgh Chapter Apprenticeship - CAD CAM Designer

CAD/CAM Technical Designer

Technical Designers are at the start of all product design and advanced manufacturing processes today. They have extensive knowledge of software programs to produce complex, detailed digital assets, surface and solid models and more.

up to ~5,000 hours of On-the-Job Training

500 Hours of Related Technical Instruction in:
Technical Design, 2D, 3D, Prototyping, Computer Design Software, AutoCAD, Solidworks

Credentials Earned:

  • Associates Degree ub Computer-aided Drafting & Design Technology (A.S.)
  • Journeyman certification issued by the Department of Labor
  • Globally-Recognized German DiHK Certification

Enrolling Now
last updated Oct 16, 2023


CAD / CAM Technical Designers utilize their extensive software knowledge to produce complex projects involving 2D images (surface modeling) and 3D images (solid modeling). They are able to analyze a problem using their mathematical and engineering background and come up with a creative solution. CAD/CAM Technical Designers are working closely with the Engineering team and customers on a variety of projects.


  • Drafting
    Read and interpret blueprints, sketches, drawings, routing instructions, manuals, and specifications.
  • Engineering
    Use innovation to design and build projects using professional software.
  • Math & Technical Classes
    Students will be taught about mathematical and technical concepts and procedures related to the role of a CAD/CAM Technical Designer.
  • Production Management
    Learn the process of managing the activities of a business to produce desired outcomes for products and services.
  • Fundamental Skills in Manufacturing
    Find out all the basic skills you need to know in order to be successful in manufacturing.


  • Read and interpret blueprints, sketches, drawings, routing instructions, manuals, and specifications.
  • Understand GD&T and apply it during the programming process.
  • Use of CAD to create part models and geometry as needed.
  • Use of CAM programming on multi-axis mill-turn machines. *company dependent, where applicable*
  • Determine optimal tooling and cutting parameters based on material and setup.
  • Understand and implement work holding for manufacturing processes.
  • Plan and execute manufacturing processes individually or as a team.
  • Provide Engineering and Management information that affects part quality or schedule.
  • Maintain revision and quality control on programs, tool sheets, and setup documentation.
  • Machining - Lathes, Drill Press/Radial Drill, Mills, Misc. Grinders, Bench Work, Layout & Fabrication *company dependent, where applicable*
  • Machines - Troubleshooting, repairing, preventive maintenance of machines *company dependent, where applicable*
  • Generate accurate CAD/CAM drawings of parts using supplied print or sketch.
  • Create and maintain the part manufacturing processes
  • Needs to be proficient creating/designing, editing, maintaining Microsoft Office programs
  • General and practical knowledge of measuring tools, equipment, and concepts.
  • Excellent working knowledge of geometric tolerancing and dimensioning

CAD/CAM Technical Designers are needed in all kind of industries where a highly technical product gets designed and/or manufactured. We currently have opening at Hennecke Inc. and Veka Inc. They produce and sell various products such as:
  • Machines that produce polyurethane plastics that are used in a vast variety of products like car seats. Graduates would work as Mechanical Design Engineers.
  • Custom vinyl window frames and vinyl decking. Graduates would wokr as CAD/CAM Designer.

Apprentices will attend community college courses that are integrated with the On the Job training. The coursework will be an Associate’s Degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing and (or also knowns as Computer Aided Design Technology). Courses include Technical Drafting, Introduction to Design, Materials, and Processes, Math for Technologies, Computer Numerical Control, 3D Solid Modeling, Materials, Machining, Technical Communication.

Additional certification that is provided during the pre-apprenticeship program and/or during the apprenticeship program’s curriculum may be delivered in a classroom format or online over a robust enterprise platform that enables 24/7 access to training content and tracks skill gain against competency models. The curriculum includes classes in basic electrical and their components, motor control, wiring, power distribution, hydraulics, pneumatics and robotics. For example, in Mechatronics Industrial Processes, apprentices learn how engineering materials are gathered and processed for use. The course covers principles of production planning, inventory management and the operating and troubleshooting of industrial equipment. Students who successfully pass the course will sit for the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council's (MSSC) Processes and Production and Maintenance Awareness exams towards achievement of the Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential.

GACC Pittsburgh Chapter Turbine Workforce course catalog view
online course turbine workforce

Upon completion the CAD/CAM Technical Designer Apprentices receive:

  • Journeyman papers by the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry (issued by the GACC Pittsburgh Chapter)
  • Associates degree from a partnering community college
  • Apprenticeship Certificate from the DIHK