During graduate school, Chad Smith worked as an Assistant Planner at Urban Vision, an environmental planning firm based in Newport Beach. He left in 1996 to begin work with Koll Telecommunication Services. Within a year, Chad left to work at Marmac Engineering as the Director of Planning for the Telecommunication Division. In 1998, Smith and his partner left Marmac and started Pacific Management Associates (PMA), a telecommunication consulting firm. In 1999, Smith sold PMA to RCC Communications. Also in 1999, Smith became the Director of Real Estate for EZ Lube, an automotive services company. In 2001, Smith decided to leave EZ Lube and started Synergy Fuels, Inc. Synergy Fuels, Inc owned and operated several gas stations in Southern California.
At the same time, he entered into the world of banking and finance and served as a Business Development Officer and Vice President of several small southern California banks. It was at this time that Smith and several partners started a small home building company. After an injury and long recovery, Smith decided to divest his business interests and went back to school to obtain his teaching credentials.
In 2004/2005, Smith began teaching Earth Science at Baldwin Park High School. In 2005, he left Baldwin Park and worked as an Earth Science and Oceanography teacher at Fullerton High School. In 2006 he became an Earth Science teacher and football coach at his Alma Mater, Tustin High School.
Later that year, Chad became the ASB director and continued to coach football, basketball and track at Tustin High. In 2007, Smith became the Assistant Principal of Discipline at THS and in 2008 took over as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, where he was instrumental in the implementation of a 1:1 technology program, STEM program and early college program.
In 2012, Smith left Tustin High to become Principal of South Hills High School. While at South Hills, Smith directed the implementation of the International Baccalaureate and Business Enterprise programs. In 2015, Smith left South Hills High and became the coordinator of Pupil Services in Capistrano Unified School District.