Many companies struggle with the decision, whether to employ their own CAD Technician or outsource their CAD requirements to a CAD Services. There are many aspects that need to be considered for a decision such as this.  It is not that easy (morally and legally) to just fire someone if it does not work out.

This article will focus on the main aspect everyone will be looking at – the cost in total and at which point is it cost effective to employ vs outsource. I will also calculate the true cost of an employed CAD Technician and compare these costs to the going market rates of a CAD Outsourcing Services. The true cost of an employee is far more than just a salary – more on that later.

This comparison is based on UK Salaries and Outsourcing CAD to a UK CAD Services.


The true cost of an employee

The true cost of an employee is far more than just their annual salary. There is no point making a cost comparison between employing a CAD Technician and CAD outsourcing if the true cost of employment is not known.

The average salary of a CAD Technician is largely dependent on experience and CAD Software. According to Payscale, Totaljobs and Reed the average salary is between £20,428 and £34,089. It should be noted that if a company is looking to employ a single CAD Technician who will be managed by a non-CAD experienced Manager, a highly skilled and experienced CAD Technician will need to be employed.

Avarage CAD Technician - Reedjpg_Page1 Avarage CAD Technician - Payscalejpg_Page1

If a company, which has no CAD expertise,  employees an average or even worse junior CAD Technician –  failure is nearly guaranteed. How can you manage a person if you have no knowledge or experience of the task required?

Experience with the current job market shows that one should be able to employee an experienced CAD Technician (not a designer) for £30,000. With this salary, there should be a sound specific industry understanding, excellent CAD skills and good independent working (minimal management by others).

To determine the true cost of an employed CAD Technician, several factors need to be included in the cost calculation, such as:

  • One-off cost for CAD Software
  • Annual Subsription Fees of CAD Software
  • CAD Workstations (they are far more expensive than an avarage Office PC)
  • Regular Training
  • Share of general overheads such as rent, insurances, administration etc.
  • Holidays, Sick Days, unproductive working etc.

True Cost of a employeed CAD Technician


This image shows that the true cost of an employed CAD Technician is 32.12 per hour.

It should be noted that the unproductive time specified is only 10 min per hour. Surveys have shown that this can be up to 1/3. However, this article will not calculate any unproductive time for the CAD Services, therefore this figure should balance out.

A CAD Services will operate far more efficiently as CAD is their core business and there will be systems in place to maximize efficiency such as libraries, templates and a team to of people to use for knowledge.


Cost of CAD Outsourcing Company

A professional CAD Services will charge approximately between £40-£50/hour. This is very dependent on required turnaround time, software application and industry sector.

There are CAD Services Companies which advertise hourly rates much below this. But as can be seen from the hourly cost of an employee, it is hard to see how these rates are possible. Questions should be asked on how these rates are even possible.

When inquiring for rates at a CAD Services I would always ask which company they use for their CAD Support, Tristan Restoric

Every professional CAD Services will have CAD Support (which is charged on an annual basis and is not cheap) to maintain their CAD Packages. If a company does not have a support scheme it raises questions of why not. Is the CAD Software they use even legit? Is that where they are saving money?


CAD Outsourcing vs Employment

Unsurprisingly the figures show that a full time employed CAD Technician is cheaper than outsourcing.  But this is only the case if the CAD Technician would be working on CAD every single hour of every working day for a full year.

How many hours of CAD does the employee have to do per year for it to be cost effective for a company to employee a full time CAD Technician rather than outsource?


So up to which point is CAD Outsourcing cheaper than employing?

CAD Outsourcing vs Employment

100% Utilization is the equivalent of 253 working days or 2024 working hours.


Conclusion of CAD Technician cost comparison

The graph shows an intersection point at 78% utilization. This basically means that if the employer can guaranty 1579 hours of CAD work per year it will be more cost effective to employ someone –  if not – use a CAD Outsourcing company.

Other aspects to consider CAD Outsourcing


  • A CAD Technician needs to be managed by a CAD Manager, who understands how to translate their costumer requirements into CAD, which CAD processes to use and how to check drawings against industry standards.
  • Increase your existing CAD team on demand allowing to tender for larger contracts
  • No minimum hour requirements
  • Only pay for what you use
  • A professional CAD Services will employ a team of CAD Technicians with a range of industry experience. This results in a vast pool of knowledge, experience and expertise.


Please contact Restoric Design for more information on CAD Outsourcing on 01462 429 707 or

Related Articles

What is historic building information modelling?

Meta Description: Learn about the basics of historic building information modelling and how this technology can help with restoration projects. The preservation of historic buildings and structures is a complex and challenging endeavour. To ensure the long-term...

How to make mechanical shop drawings

Shop drawings are an essential part of the mechanical construction process. They offer an intricate design to follow that can be easily understood and executed using the right dimensions and functions, working almost like a language between two engineers to understand...

How to check fabrication drawings

Fabrication drawings are essential in the fabrication industry as they guide all structural construction processes. Accuracy in the drawings is therefore paramount. This article shows you how to check fabrication drawings to ensure they serve their intended purpose...