Taking Up a Career in Drafting

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Drafting careers are technical and specific in nature, requiring a good deal of knowledge and experience. When it comes to advancement and expertise, the job of the drafter is very flexible. Some of the most common areas which require drafters are architecture, engineering, manufacturing, construction, utilities and production.

A drafter has several types of jobs to choose from including civil drafting, mechanical drafting, structural drafting and conceptual drafting. One can choose the job of a civil drafter who is required to work closely with engineers, drawing plans for sites and maps. There are also mechanical drafters who draw diagrams of machines and drafts, and convert them to readable and build-able plans. The job of the structural drafter is also interesting as he breaks down a plan into inner components so that the engineer understands the types of materials required to make the building safe and stable. An artistic person can be a conceptual drafter who takes innovative and new ideas from others and draws them on computers.

Job Profile / Description / Responsibilities

The main responsibility of a computer drafter is to do research, prepare computer and on-board drawings, as well as look into consulting, calculations and budgeting. The probable duties of the drafter will depend upon the weekly work and requirement and industry type. The drafters should work in different areas like architecture, engineering, manufacturing, construction, utilities and production. They also coordinate with designers and machinists in order to make diagrams and other plans of machinery, plans regarding the site, as well as prepare drafts for homes and cities.

Drafters may have to work around forty hours in a week, with the help of computer aided drafting programs such as Auto Cad. They create and form designs based on the requirements of clients. The drafters create designs for things like toys and houses. If the job aspirant is dedicated to the work, drafting can be a very rewarding career.



In order to be a mechanical, civil, structural or conceptual draftsman, the aspirant should take a degree in a particular specialized drafting technology. Even though passing a certification exam is an added benefit, it is not a compulsory requirement. Some employers prefer a two year technical degree from any of the technical schools. To have advancement in the specialized area, the aspirant should take a four year degree course from an accredited university which helps candidates to have in-depth knowledge and concentrated training in their particular area.

Skill Sets

Other than the educational qualifications, a prospective drafter should be proficient in mathematics, science and drawing. All draftsmen should be detail oriented, and logical, with mathematical abilities, as well as imaginative and inventive.


Job aspirants get adequate training and education through several ways. There are plenty of technical colleges which offer two year courses in Auto Cad programs and schools which provide excellent technical and manual training; general education and training is provided in community colleges. For specialized training, the job aspirant can undertake a four year college education.

Prior Experience

It is essential for the draftsmen to have a work experience. They can also work as a trainee under an expert. With a little amount of experience, CADD specialists may move on to taking on supervisory functions like becoming drafting supervisors in companies that have large drafting departments.

Employment Outlook

Career Prospects

The outlook for careers in drafting is less than average. Around 2016, the job options for the drafters are expected to increase by around six percent. There are several job options available for the drafters. Some of them get hired as full time employees in manufacturing and architectural firms.


The average starting salary of a computer drafter will be about $30, 000 US dollars annually. A drafter who has five to ten years of experience can expect around $48,000 US dollars and candidates who have twenty years of experience can claim about 60,000 US dollars. The salary has several deciding factors such as types of drafting done. The architectural drafter will get about $40,000 US dollars while a civil drafter will be able to get 48,000 US dollars annually. Structural drafters would receive $48,000 US dollars while conceptual drafters will get around 68 000 US dollars.

A career in drafting is fruitful as skilled and highly talented draftsmen are always in high demand. A drafter's profession is very flexible as far as career advancement is concerned with several options before them to pursue. Drafters are required to work for long hours, sitting before computer terminals to meet project deadlines.
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