CAD Technician, Design Technician, Drafting Technician, Technical Illustrator, Engineering Technician, Architectural Drafter, Mechanical Drafter, Electrical Drafter, Civil Drafter, Structural Drafter
Have you ever looked at a building or product and wondered how it was made? There are countless people involved in creating the structures we live in and the objects we interact with. But when it comes to preliminary design stages for these things, most people think of architects or engineers and forget about Drafters!
Drafters take the concepts of architects or product designers and the technical ideas of engineers and turn them into detailed schematics. These schematics, created with computer-aided drafting tools, can be programmed into building information modeling systems and other software so that construction managers, manufacturers, engineers, and others can review 3D representations.
The drafting career field can be broken into various areas of specialization. These include:
- Aeronautical drafting (for aircraft)
- Architectural drafting (for buildings)
- Civil drafting (for topographical maps)
- Electrical drafting (for electrical equipment)
- Electronics drafting (for wiring diagrams, circuit boards, etc.)
- Mechanical drafting (for machinery and mechanical equipment)
- Pipeline drafting (for distribution of oil, gas, etc.)
Clearly, Drafters can find all sorts of work with the right skills and education!
- Playing an integral part in the design stages of construction and manufacturing projects
- Helping potentially hundreds or thousands of employees earn a living working on large-scale projects
- Being part of the creation of buildings that people live and work in, or otherwise use; or in the creation of products or parts needed by consumers
Drafters have typical full-time schedules, with overtime necessary depending on project goals and timeframes. Work is usually indoors, with some travel needed from time to time.
- Review sketches, illustrations, paintings, or other visual materials related to the building or product being designed
- Review technical drawings, schematics, blueprints, written objectives, specifications, and other data
- Consider topographic surveys, well logs, and other reports, as applicable
- Meet with clients, managers, project team members (architects, engineers, additional Drafters), and other stakeholders to discuss desired mediums, deliverables, budgets, and timeframes
- Design building, electronic, mechanical, or product plans utilizing computer-aided design tools and engineering and manufacturing principles
- Layout specific rooms for building projects
- Work closely with and take guidance from applicable team members, as needed
- Add pertinent details, including dimensions, suggested materials, costs, quantities, features, and other notes
- Verify the accuracy of details by cross-checking against documentation
- Make changes or corrections, as directed
- Explain diagrams, graphs, and other visuals to clients
- Calculate excavation tonnage, heat loss or gain, and other factors relevant to construction
- Visit job sites, when necessary, for field surveys or inspections
- Save, organize, manage, and protect digital files throughout their lifecycle
- Stay up-to-date by reading drafting publications
- Advertise services to attract new clients, as needed
- Train and mentor new Drafters, technologists, and technicians
- 규정 준수 지향
- 비판적 사고
- 디테일 지향
- 계획 및 조직
- 문제 해결 능력
- 건전한 판단
- 강력한 의사 소통 기술
- 시간 관리
- Analytical/scientific software such as MathWorks MATLAB
- Basic mathematics, algebra, Cartesian math, geometry, and trigonometry
- Building information modeling systems (BIM)
- Computer-aided design programs like AutoCAD
- Computer-aided manufacturing
- Database user interfaces
- 개발 환경 소프트웨어
- 문서 관리
- 엔터프라이즈 자원 계획
- 지리 정보 시스템
- Industrial control software such as SCADA
- 지도 생성 소프트웨어
- Presentation tools
- Process mapping and design like MS Visio
- 프로젝트 관리
- Knowledge of technical drawing and associated tools, such as scales, triangles, curves, protractors, T-squares, drafting tape and tubes, templates, reference tables, boards, blueprint measuring tools, lettering pens, etc.
- Architectural and civil drafter services
- Construction industry
- Electronics makers
- Mechanical drafting services
- Waste management
Drafters need to pay extremely close attention to detail as they work, to ensure their output is accurate and thorough. They must draw information from multiple sources while trying to form a cohesive picture that meets everyone’s criteria. Sometimes there might be conflicting desires from various stakeholders or team members, but the Drafter has to try and get everyone on the same page.
In addition, they’ll have to keep up with changes in technology as advances in CAD and BIM transform the field. Some of these changes may impact the long-term job outlook of Drafters, so it may be necessary to specialize in areas with more future opportunities. For example, the job outlook for mechanical drafters indicates a projected employment decrease of 9%, whereas architectural and civil drafts have only a projected 1% decrease.
There are several innovations and trends running across multiple areas of drafting. Many are related to the incredible advances in technologies such as CAD, BIM, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence automation, 3D printing, robotics, and the cloud. There’s also a massive shift toward renewable energy drafting. Architectural drafting, for instance, has been affected by the push for more green, environmentally-friendly buildings and products that rely on sustainable materials.
Drafters often have a unique combination of imagination and technical skills, which allows them to create highly-detailed representations of proposed structures, products, and electrical or mechanical objects. They may have loved both math and art (with a focus on photorealism, detail, and accurate perspectives). Because drafting requires so much work with computers and software, they were likely very comfortable using the latest technologies to bring their visions to life.
- After high school, Drafters usually finish a drafting associate’s degree or certificate program at a technical school or community college. Some go on to complete a bachelor’s or master’s, but that isn’t usually needed for entry-level roles
- Common associate-level courses include drawing, sketching, computer-aided design, design fundamentals, science, and math
- In addition, Drafters usually specialize in one area, such as mechanical drafting, and thus need to customize their degree with applicable electives
- Some Drafters apply for paid apprenticeship programs. Per Zippia, having some college education can make you a more competitive applicant for apprenticeships, though many learn the prerequisite skills on their own
- Drafters often complete optional certifications during their careers. These demonstrate competence to employers and may qualify you for raises or promotions
- Certification options vary by specialty. A few of the numerous certifying organizations are American Design Drafting Association and Autodesk
Specialized certs are offered in:
- Architectural drafting -
- Electrical drafting -
- Mechanical drafting -
- Decide if you want to complete a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s before choosing your school. A technical school or community college should be far less expensive than a four-year institution
- 수업료, 할인 및 지역 장학금 기회 비용을 고려하십시오 (연방 지원 이외에)
- 캠퍼스 내, 온라인 또는 하이브리드 프로그램에 등록할지 여부를 결정할 때 일정과 유연성에 대해 생각하십시오.
- 프로그램의 교수진 상과 업적을 확인하여 그들이 무엇을 했는지 확인하십시오.
- 취업 알선 통계 및 프로그램의 동문 네트워크에 대한 세부 정보를 검토하십시오.
- Sign up for plenty of mathematics, science, design, drafting, and computer graphics courses in high school, to help prepare you for college-level courses
- Consider building a portfolio to show schools and prospective employers
- Get some real-world job experience via part-time jobs related to drafting
- Volunteer for student activities where you can manage projects and learn practical soft skills
- Learn about the various areas of specialization, such as aeronautics, architecture, electronics, and pipelines, or civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting
- Tailor your education accordingly
- Take ad hoc classes online, from 코스라, 우데미, or other sites
- Coursera has a ton of CAD-related classes and programs, including official ones from Autodesk
- Note, many courses will require access to software that you might have to purchase or subscribe to, such as Autodesk Fusion 360
- 채용 공고를 미리 검토하여 평균 요구 사항이 무엇인지 확인하십시오.
- Request to do an informational interview with a working Drafter to learn about their job
- Seek out internships to get some hands-on experience
- 향후 작업 참조 역할을 할 수 있는 연락처 추적
- Study books, articles, and video tutorials related to different types of Drafting and the applicable tools and technologies
- Engage in online forums to ask questions and learn from seasoned pros
- 전문 조직과 협력하여 배우고, 공유하고, 친구를 사귀고, 네트워크를 성장시키십시오(리소스 > 웹사이트 목록 참조).
- 이력서 작성을 일찍 시작하십시오. 진행하면서 계속 추가하여 아무것도 놓치지 않도록하십시오.
- There are different types of Drafters, so look for postings that match your background and qualifications
- Let your LinkedIn network know you’re looking for openings
- 그들이 당신을 추천하거나 참조 편지를 쓸 의향이 있는지 문의하기 위해 참조 문의에 문의하십시오.
- Create a drafting portfolio to showcase your work
- Get some practical work experience under your belt before applying, if possible
- A degree isn’t always needed to get started working in this field but may put you ahead of the competition
- Check out job portals such as Indeed, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor, as well as the career pages of companies you are interested in working for
- Screen ads carefully and only apply if you’re fully qualified
- Drafting-related apprenticeships can help get your foot in the door. They look great on resumes plus may yield some personal references for later
- Ask working Drafters for job-seeking tips
- Move to where the most job opportunities are! Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Drafters page for links to data maps
- Employers often recruit grads from drafting programs, so ask your technical school or college’s career center for help connecting with recruiters and job fairs
- Career centers also offer assistance with resume writing and mock interviewing!
- Check out Drafter resume templates to get ideas
- Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for, versus sending out the same resume to every employer
- Review Drafter job interview questions
- Dress appropriately for job interview success!
- Expect to start out in entry-level roles then work your way up to positions of greater responsibility
- Let your supervisor know when you’re ready to tackle more or larger projects
- Knock out relevant certifications to bolster credentials and make you more competitive
- If you don’t have a bachelor’s, consider pursuing one. If you have one, think about doing a master’s if it’ll help qualify you for advancement
- Utilize the most up-to-date programs and techniques
- Never stop seeking creative inspiration. Study the work of more advanced Drafting professionals
- Learn as much as you can about the various aspects of Drafting while specializing in your chosen field
- Turn in high-quality work by due dates. If there’s a problem, offer solutions to help address it
- Collaborate effectively on teams, stay focused and realistic, and demonstrate leadership
- Grow your network by participating in professional organizations
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
- American Design Drafting Association
- 미국 공공 사업 협회
- 미국 난방, 냉장 및 공조 엔지니어 협회
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers International
- 미국 배관 엔지니어 협회
- Association for Career and Technical Education
- 에너지 엔지니어 협회
- Autodesk User Group International
- 건축 산업 컨설팅 서비스 국제
- 그린 비즈니스 인증 주식 회사
- 국제 코드 위원회
- 전국 주택 건축업자 협회
- National Council of Building Design Certification
- National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation
- National Kitchen & Bath Association
- 미국 전문 측량사 협회
- North American Electric Reliability Corporation
- 제조 엔지니어 협회
- Architectural Drafting For Beginners: A Primer For The Novice Drafter, by Michael O’Rourke
- AutoCAD in 20 Hours: No Experience Required in Drafting or CAD, by James Beebe
- Exploring Drafting, by John R. Walker, Bernard D. Mathis, et al.
Drafting can be a dynamic profession but there are times when work is stressful or cumbersome. If you’re curious about related occupations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the following options:
- Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians
- 전기 및 전자 엔지니어
- 산업 디자이너
- 조경 건축가
- Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
- 기계 엔지니어
- 측량 및 매핑 기술자