dcsimg

Drafter

Job Duties

Drafters prepare the plans and drawings that construction and production workers to build a wide array of products, such as toasters, toys, spacecraft, office buildings, and gas pipelines. Their drawings communicate the technical details, provide the visual guidelines, and identify dimensions, materials, and procedures. They use calculations previously made by engineers, surveyors, architects, or scientists, filling in the details based on drawings and rough sketches. Some have technical knowledge in engineering and manufacturing, which they use to design machine parts. To accurately complete their work, they use handbooks, tables, calculators, and computers.

Most drafters today no longer use drawing boards, pencils, and protractors, but instead rely on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) systems. CADD systems create drawings on video screens and store them electronically. The systems enable drafters to prepare many variations of one design quickly. Although drafters rely on CADD to complete their work efficiently, they still need to have the same knowledge as traditional drafters. In fact, in some applications, manual drafting is still used. Drafters may specialize in aeronautical, architectural, civil, electrical, electronics, mechanical, process, or pipeline drafting.

Job Skills

Drafters need to have mechanical and visual aptitude. They must be able to draw well and maintain a high level of detail and accuracy in their work. Knowledge of manufacturing and construction methods, as well as artistic ability, can be very beneficial, depending on the specialized field. Because they work so closely with engineers, surveyors, architects, other professionals, and sometimes, customers, they need to have well developed interpersonal and communication skills.

Income

The income of drafters varies by specialty. In 2002, architectural and civil drafters earned a median annual salary of $37,330. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $24,570, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $52,260.

In 2002, mechanical drafters earned a median annual salary of $40,730. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $25,950, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $64,780.

In 2002, electrical and electronics drafters earned a median annual salary of $41,090. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $25,710, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $68,000.

Training and Education

Most employers prefer to hire candidates who have postsecondary training in drafting from a technical institute, community college, or a 4-year college or university. They skills employers look for are drafting and mechanical-drawing skills; knowledge of drafting standards, mathematics, science, and engineering technology; and a background in computer-aided design and drafting techniques. All training courses start with math and communication skills and then branch out into a specialized training area.. Many drafting programs are offered from a variety of institutions. Their quality can vary considerably, so students should be very careful when selecting a program. One very effective technique is to contact employers and ask which programs they prefer to hire from. Technical offer more practical-based training, and junior and community colleges offer more general education courses.

Although employers usually do not require drafters to be certified, certification by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) can demonstrate a higher level of competency to employers. In order to become certified by ADDA, candidates must pass the Drafter Certification Test, which tests knowledge of drafting concepts, such as geometric construction, working drawings, and architectural terms and standards.

Employment

In 2002, drafters held about 216,000 jobs. Half were held by architectural and civil drafters, and a third where held by mechanical drafters.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of drafters is expected to increase more slowly than the average. Growth will result from more complex design problems, and drafters are beginning to take on some of the work traditionally done by engineers and architects. However, growth will be limited by the increased use of CADD equipment, which increases the productivity of drafters. Opportunities will be best for candidates with at least 2 years of postsecondary training in a well-respected drafting program.

For more information on a career as a draftsman, please see our directory of schools offering Computer Drafting Training


Drafter Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            AutoCAD
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Drafting Technology & Design (AS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Electrical Technician

            Why Brightwood?

            Real-World Training

            We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

            BS in Aeronautics
            • Liberty University's online programs ranked in the top 5 of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level**
            • No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements
            • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program
            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Industrial Maintenance and Automated Technology
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Electrician
            Milan Institute , Bakersfield
            • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
            • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
            • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
            • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Master of Science in Engineering Technology

            Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math.

            • Online Courses
            M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
            • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
            • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
            • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
            • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
            • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
            • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MS Organizational Leadership - Project Management
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits