Per these Electrical Designs; will the Plans be used as Contract Documents per a Commercial or Industrial Electrical Design - Build Project: "Licensed Electrical Contractor Designer/Installer"
or for As-Built Plans / Record Drawings:"Close-Out / Non-Contract Documents"
If the Plans will be Contract Documents, you will need to verify if your State (Pennsylvania) allows for a Licensed Electrical Contractor to perform _BOTH_ the Design & Engineering of the Contract Documents (Electrical Plans), as well as the actual Installation on a given Project.
This information can be found within the Business and Professions Code ("B&P" Code).
Check on this, and the requirements as well, prior to taking on any Design-Build tasks.
Another item to mention: E&O Coverage!!!
If you will be performing more than 2 or 3 Projects per Year, I suggest purchasing a compatible CAD Application.
If any of the Client's Representatives, Vendors, Architects, or Sub Contractors will exchange Design Development information with you, a CAD Application is definitely needed!
Check around the web for a 1 Seat _NON-STUDENT_ Version of AutoCAD LT, Release 2008 (or 2010 if possible... 2010 would be much better!).
These "LT" Versions are much more "cost friendly" than the Full Packages, and offer nearly everything you could possibly need (3D rendering, extensive customization and scripting is not included with the LT Versions).
I recently purchased a Single Seat (1 License) Version of AutoCAD LT, Release 2010 for $550.00
The nice thing about the 2007 and newer releases is that they contain a "DWG to PDF Plotter" as part of the Application, instead of having to create PDF Plotters via Adobe Acrobat / Distiller.
Speaking of PDF Plot Files, I should mention the following:
Are you able to take a DWG or a PDF from an AutoCAD drawing and than add your electrical design?
Per the use of PDF Overlays (PDF Plot Files):
These will not be editable in a basic CAD Application - they will only be usable for "Base Templates" (AKA "Backgrounds").
You can draw "On Top" of these PDF Base Templates, but not directly "On" them.
Newer, High-End CAD Applications (read: Mega $$$!) have the ability to perform "some" editing on PDF Overlays; or you could edit the PDF Plot Files via Adobe Acrobat Standard (or compatible PDF Compiling Application - Adobe Acrobat Reader cannot be used).
This will be very time consuming, and frustrating at best!
As to the DWG (or DXF) Files, these may be edited within almost any "Advanced" CAD Application - especially DXF!
When you are looking at different CAD Applications, verify if the App' is capable of opening DWG files, performing edits to DWG files, and saving as DWG files.
Note: The ability to open / edit / attach DWG files also becomes a helpful option for using previously built "Blocks".
Blocks are small, stand-alone files, which may be inserted to, and tracked in, CAD drawing files.
Typical Electrical Symbols found in CAD type Electrical Plans, are Blocks.
There are thousands of Blocks available from Freeware sources on the net.
You can edit pre-made Blocks as needed, or build your own.
Instead of redrawing Symbols, Schedules, or other entities, save them as Blocks, and insert to future drawing files.
There are several other things relative to DWG file formats, but those are quite detailed.
If you will not need to submit DWG / DXF CAD Files to anyone, then an App' with PDF Plotting capabilities will be sufficient.
The TurboCAD App', suggested by Electure
, along with a Full Version of Adobe Acrobat Standard Version 9.0 (or newer) for your PDF Plotter, will perform well - as long as the CAD Application allows Wide Format Plotter Configuration.
Verify the App's "Maximum Printable Media Size" is larger than ARCH C (11" x 17"), so you may create Plot Files of size ARCH D (24" x 36"), ARCH E (30" x 42"), and ARCH E1 (36" x 48").
If these Wide Format sizes are not needed, then ARCH C / ANSI C will be fine.
Much more stuff can be covered, so I will stop here and wait for responses.