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Can You Become a Freelance 3D Designer Without an Engineering Background

 |  SelfCAD University

 Can You Become a Freelance 3D Designer Without an Engineering Background?

Many people have an interest in 3D designing, and they would love to create different 3D models. Sometimes this interest transforms into a career, they end up becoming professionals in 3D designing, and they do freelancing work.

You may belong to this category of people who want to build a career in 3D designing, but as a beginner, one question always revolves in the mind, and that is, "can I become a freelance 3D designer without an engineering background?"

This question is essential because if you want to build a career in any field, you should grab every piece of information about that field, like what is necessary for this field and what is not. 

For becoming a freelance 3D designer, you don't need an engineering degree, and you can do this work without a degree.

If you know how to create 3D models, you can sell your services at various freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, and many others

Many people are earning a huge amount of money working as a 3D freelance designer. You can also make money by becoming a professional freelance 3D designer

To become a freelancer, you don't need a degree. Nowadays, even students who are as young as 16 years, are earning money by working as a freelancer.

Although you can become a freelance 3D designer without an engineering degree, there is so much advantage in having an engineering degree in 3D designing. 

It has many benefits, for example, those with college degrees earn more, get a job quickly, and learn more fundamentals of 3D designing while pursuing engineering.

We will illustrate these points later in this article. First, let's talk about the basics of 3D modeling.

What is 3D modeling?

must you have degree to be a 3D modeller?


The term "3D modeling" refers to the process of creating 3D objects using specialized software. A 3D designer creates different models of things already existing in the world or that have not yet been built in real life.

3D modeling has various uses; it has practical use in construction work, movies, cartoons, video games, and commercial advertising.

Engineers and architects use it to plan their work; they plan buildings using architectural visualization. They first create a 3D model of the construction site and then work on it because with the help of 3D models, they gather information about the work. It makes their job easy and also reduces the time.

Game designers rely on 3D modeling to create different game characters and bring actual life experience. The 3D models look like real human beings, and they connect with the human mind more than 2D objects. 3D modeling enables efficient and cost-effective machine control. Using the 3D modeling feature, the machine operator can see the job site on a screen from anywhere. A system of sensors created using 3D modeling guides the machine measurement, and the machines are also equipped with on-board computers.


Movie directors and designers use 3D modeling for special effects. For example, in the Hollywood movie Godzilla vs Kong, they created the fight scenes between the monsters using 3D modeling and VFX.

These are some industries in which 3D modeling has significant use. Many other fields such as UX/UI designing, advertising, and printing use 3D modeling to attract their users.

Importance of Having an Engineering Background

You can become a freelance 3D designer without an engineering background. 

You can also earn money by providing 3D modeling services; then why should you invest your time and money in getting an engineering degree?

Sounds good! Having an engineering degree has a lot of benefits; the first and most important benefit is that you learn a lot of things related to 3D modeling while pursuing an engineering degree. Those things you can't learn from YouTube or Google.

You get to learn about 3D modeling from professionals who have years of experience in 3D modeling and graphic designing. They will teach you daily, and you will also become a professional in 3D design after completing the engineering degree.

Advantages of Having an Engineering Degree

  • You learn the fundamentals and the ins and outs of geometry and how objects are displayed in 3D dimension. It is a practical thing that you can learn in engineering while doing some projects in college. Engineering degrees have a value because they provide practical knowledge that helps us create the design of the real world.
  • Those with a college degree earn more. When you work as a freelancer, clients ask for work portfolios or work samples that you have done before, and when you show them your engineering degree, the chances of getting that work increases a lot, and the client pays you well.
  • They are less likely to lack a job. When you work as a freelancer without a degree, your work is temporary, and getting a permanent job is challenging, but those who have a degree can get a job quickly.
  • Increased marketability because they learn how to market their services in college, and they can also seek help from the professors to understand the marketability skill.
  • When you pursue an engineering degree, you connect with many people such as batch mates, seniors, juniors, professors, and directors. This process increases your network, and you can use this network to get a job or freelancing work.
  • There is high job satisfaction.

These are some benefits of having an engineering degree. You have to invest a lot of time and money in getting an engineering degree because it takes four years to acquire it, but your time and money will pay off because it will help you in the future. 

After completing engineering, you will get a satisfying job and most importantly, you will learn a lot of things during this period.

So if you have time and money, then acquire a 3D designing engineering degree because it will help you a lot. I have mentioned only the important points of having an engineering degree, but there are also so many other benefits that you will get to know of while pursuing engineering.

Must You Have an Engineering Degree to be Good in 3D designing?

We have discussed many advantages of having an engineering degree, and how it's essential to have one, but is it a must have for becoming an excellent 3D designer?

The answer is NO!

You can become a professional 3D designer without being an engineer. There are many sources from which you can learn about 3D modeling and become a professional. You can learn 3D modeling from YouTube, or you can purchase a 3D modeling course from Udemy.

Many freelance 3D designers are doing well in this industry without completing engineering. They have learned this skill from their sources, and you can also become a 3D designer just by learning on your own.

You can learn this skill on your own, but for creating 3D models, you will need a user-friendly, specialized software that can help you with creating 3D designs. To self learn, first you need to choose an easy program to get started with and then learn. An example of such a program is SelfCAD. You don't need to have any prior experience to get started. All you need is a passion for learning, and then putting in the efforts to learn.

SelfCAD is an easy-to-use software; even a beginner with little knowledge of 3D modeling can create 3D models using this software. The interface of the software is straightforward, you can use any tool by just clicking on it, and these features have made 3D designing as simple as drag and drop.

must you have a degree to be a 3d modeller

There are also step by step interactive tutorials that can help anyone, regardless of their experience, get started with much ease.

You can watch these tutorials and learn how to create different 3D models such as toy train, phone, ice cream, forklift, chair, juicer, skateboard, Japanese lantern, etc. As a beginner, you may find it difficult to create 3D designs, but by watching these tutorials, you can make any design with much ease as you will be provided a step-by-step guide for creating unique designs.

Using software like SelfCAD, you can create awesome designs and become a professional in 3D designing without acquiring an engineering degree.

An engineering degree is essential, but sometimes you don't have so much time to complete it, or sometimes you have already completed some degree from another profession. Still, if you want to learn 3D modeling because you have interest in it, then you can use this software to learn it and start creating 3D designs and models.

After learning 3D modeling, use your skill to earn money by working as a freelance 3D designer.

Find clients from various freelancing platforms. You can also find clients from social media like LinkedIn, so use it and deal with your clients effectively. Here are some tips for dealing with clients as a freelance 3D designer.


Now you know the importance of having an engineering degree in 3D designing and how you can become an excellent 3D designer without having a degree. It's up to you which one you want to go for. If you have time and money, then you can get into engineering to get its advantages like more earning, high job satisfaction, networking opportunities, etc.

If you don't have time, you can use software like SelfCAD to learn 3D modeling on your own or take some courses in 3D modeling. You can work as a Freelance 3D designer to earn money and to make a career in 3D modeling. If you have questions and problems related to SelfCAD and 3D modeling, then feel free to ask; we will respond as soon as possible.


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