Recently I attended an ANSYS class and held an informal poll of the engineers attending on this topic. They were all from oilfield services companies and the answers fell in two categories: pure draftsmen and designers. The overwhelming majority of responses fell in the draftsmen category. Even the respondants who said they utilized CAD users as designers were more heavily weighted to draftsmen in theirranks. As the need for engineers continues to increase, and the graduation rate does not I think that a clear delineation in these roles, and their compensation, should be made. The shortage of true designers in many cases stem from a few factors: 1. Education. The two year technical programs required to work in the field build draftsmen, not designers. An emphasis on design calculation and capstone projects is a must to create designers instead. 2. Mindset. There are some people who diminish the ability of a person with a two year degree to be trusted with "real" engineering. This mindset has to change before designers can be leveraged to the fullest degree. 3. Training. Typically companies do not invest as heavily in training designers as they do young engineers. Of course they aren't capable of performing the same tasks. 4. Inertia. Changing the status quo is difficult and fraught with risk. This is perhaps the greatest stumbling block to increasing designer utilization. How does your company utilize its CAD users and how could it improve. Authors note: Thank heavens I have a boss that is title-blind, or I would never have attended the Ansys class where I was the only designer.