7 Trends for CAD Designers & Freelance Engineers

Trends for CAD Designers and Freelance Engineers

Thanks to recent advances in technology as well as the country’s transition into becoming a gig economy, a growing number of CAD designers and engineers have begun to look into freelance work. Freelancing has become so popular that, by 2020, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of freelancers.

Contributing to this trend is the shift in the mentality regarding the way young workers want to make a living. They aren’t interested in the 9-5 jobs that their parents and grandparents stayed in until they retired. Instead, they want to have the chance to be their own boss and have control over their schedules.

Due to the growing number of employees switching to freelancing, services designed to help these new freelancers launch their businesses have begun to pop up. Part of the reason why other CAD designers and freelance engineering services can make the switch to freelance work is because of the rise of these easily-accessible programs.

If you are thinking about transitioning into freelance work, then check out these trends impacting freelance CAD designers and engineers that are likely going to continue to rise as we move toward 2020.

Rising Trends for Freelance CAD Designers and Engineers for 2020

1. Coworking Spaces are Beginning to Gain Traction

Co-working space

It can be hard to stay motivated at home, especially if your workspace is only several feet from your bed. Crowded areas such as coffee shops and restaurants can quickly become distracting as well.

You could try to rent an office for yourself, but that wouldn’t make any practical or economic sense. Not only would you be preoccupied with organizing your freelance work, but you would also have to spend time managing overhead expenses for your office. Plus, you would probably get a little lonely if you were stuck inside an office by yourself all day.

Luckily, a variety of companies that offer “coworking spaces” are beginning to pop up and flourish in big cities across the country. You can rent out everything from tablespace in an open-plan area to your own corner office. Most coworking spaces provide typical office amenities such as a kitchen or break room. You can even reserve your own rooms for meetings.

Not only do these coworking spaces offer a calm and relaxed work environment, but they also provide a space where you can network and meet people who work in a similar area of business as you, just like you would be able to do in a regular office. Networking is a vital tool for CAD services. You never know when you will meet a future business partner or investor.

2. A Rising Number of Freelancers Are Starting to Form and Join Associations


Speaking of networking, there has also been an increase in demand for community-based platforms for freelancers.

Communities such as the VNO Virtual Networking Organization and the Hoxsby Collective provide workers with a strong and cohesive community of freelancers to network with. Because freelancers do not usually work for a single, unified corporation, it is essential that they find formal groups to be a part of. That’s where freelancer associations come in.

These organizations will come in handy when it comes to obtaining advice and guidance on navigating the freelance world. Some professional groups even offer access to online training and professional speakers.

Small business partnerships have also arisen from these groups in the past, so it will be interesting to see how these organizations continue to grow and expand over the years.

3. Companies and Freelancers are Turning to Management Systems to Help Them Keep Track of Projects

Freelancer using Slack

If a company is unable to properly manage their freelancers, they will begin to lose money from incomplete or late projects as well as valuable workers that begin to grow dissatisfied with them.

Most large companies that have a pool of 100 or more freelancers have begun to realize that they need sophisticated management systems to keep track of their freelancers’ profiles, assignments, invoices, and payments.

With a growing number of companies integrating cloud-based management systems, freelancers now have a lower chance of receiving a late invoice or check than they did in the past.

Management systems for freelancers have also grown in popularity. Freelance CAD designers and engineers will also lose money and clients if they continually miss their deadlines or submit unsatisfactory work.

Free programs such as Asana, Slack, and Trello help users organize tasks and monitor assignments. The number of available management programs similar to Asana, Slack, and Trello is likely to grow in the upcoming year due to the increasing number of employees switching to freelance work.

4. Freelance CAD Designers and Engineers are Starting to Look into CAD Mobile Apps

Freelancer working on smartphone

A recent survey found that around 30% of CAD designers access their data via a mobile platform. This number is expected to rise by about 8 to 10 percent each year. As a result, the demand for sophisticated and advanced CAD mobile apps will most likely continue to grow into 2020.

Freelance CAD designers and engineers need flexibility when it comes to their ability to work off-site or out of the office. They may not always have a computer or laptop on hand, or they may not be in an area where it is possible to even work on one.

For instance, if they are out on a work site or they need to make a quick change to a design during their morning commute on the bus, they need a tool that gives them access to their files and allows them to make the necessary changes to it. That’s where CAD design mobile apps come in.

With the rise of apps for CAD designing as well as the increase in sophisticated tablets available on the market, designers can work from almost everywhere.

AutoCAD360 and CAD Touch are two examples of apps that are used for creating, editing, and viewing CAD drawings from any location. The companies that own these apps can expect a significant increase in downloads and usage as CAD freelancing continues to grow in popularity.

5. Companies are Decreasing Outsourcing in Favor of Hiring Freelancers


Outsourcing, which is the act of hiring off-shore employees for projects, has decreased over the years due to the backlash and controversy that often accompanies it. The criticism usually revolves around the fact that the off-shore employees are paid much less than their domestic counterparts. As a result, the overseas employees end up being exploited for their efforts.

This, along with the fact that outsourcing isn’t that cost-effective, has caused most companies to stop the practice. As a result, freelance CAD design services and engineers are more in-demand than ever now. Freelancing is no longer a pipe dream for workers tired of their office jobs, but rather a tangible transition that they can quickly move toward.

6. Freelancers are Beginning to Demand Expanded Insurance Options


Finding affordable health insurance as a freelancer can be difficult and freelancers who become sick and unable to work are usually forced to pay their medical bills out-of-pocket while being forced to contend with a lack of income.

Most freelancers in the past have enrolled for health insurance as an individual, joined their spouse’s insurance plan, or converted their current group insurance into an individual plan.

But if you don’t have a fully-insured spouse or you are worried about paying a high price for insurance, you don’t have many options to choose from. The growing number of freelance workers who want better insurance options have begun to put pressure on companies to provide more comprehensive and affordable plans for them.

7. Hiring Platforms for Freelancers are Becoming More Sophisticated

Freelance engineer

Freelancers are always looking for ways to find work. While some people can freelance for their current company or find referrals through friends and coworkers, most beginner freelancers need a little extra help starting out. They are looking for companies who are willing to help them grow and expand their new business.

Luckily, there are a variety of platforms and businesses whose chief objectives are to do just that. A growing number of platforms also offer community support for freelancers where they can meet like-minded people in their profession.

How Cad Crowd Can Help Your Freelance Career Flourish and Grow

Starting a freelance career in CAD design and engineering can seem daunting, especially if you’re thinking about switching from a cushiony office job to remote work with unpredictable hours. But with the trends observed so far in the industry, it is clear that now is one of the best times to go into freelancing. There are a variety of resources out there to help you get started, and they will only continue to grow into the upcoming 2020 year.

Cad Crowd, a company that matches freelancers with companies looking for CAD designers and engineers, is a prime resource for designers looking to expand their client list. In fact, it currently manages the largest freelance CAD community on the web. Over the years, Cad Crowd has successfully connected companies with freelance CAD designers and engineers for confidential work on demand.

For more information on how Cad Crowd can help you or your business grow, see how it works or contact one of our team members today.