Workers in the drafting field create technical drawings that are the basis for the construction of a variety of buildings and various items. These drawings, when completed, show detailed materials, dimensions and procedures along with specific technical details that are used by architects and engineers. They in essence add in the necessary information based on notes, sketches and related information from these other professionals in the field. Drafters, based on their specific field, will have in-depth knowledge of building techniques, manufacturing theory, the elements of design and engineering to do the work. To support them, they also make use of calculators, computers, technical reference books and tables.
Drafting requires in depth knowledge of AutoCAD drafting software. Completion of an AutoCAD course is an excellent introduction to drafting and establishes expertise in the field. Check out the program below which offers free information:
Drafting Job Responsibilities
When using computer technology, drafters utilize a program called Computer Aided Design and Drafting, or CADD. This program gives the drafter the opportunity to create technical drawings on the computer and to share them instantly with other professionals. This makes the drawings easier to print, view or to download into an automatic manufacturing system. Besides having familiarity and knowledge in computer technology, drafters still need to have a firm basis in standard drafting techniques so that they can comprehend and give an explanation of what is involved. Within the field, a drafter can choose to specialize in certain type of work. This can range anywhere from working with electronic diagrams, being a mechanical drafter, working in the civil sector or being an architectural drafter.
These workers do spend at least 40 hours a week at work and mainly deal with computers and highly detailed drawings. The successful drafter will have extensive knowledge in the field they are working in, an eye for detail and be very organized. There is the possibility of eyestrain from long periods in front of computer. being able to draw well and handle extreme detail is very useful for the potential drafter. Any classes that they can take related to construction methods and manufacturing will also put interested individuals at a greater advantage to be employed. Being able to work well with others, whether one-on-one with clients or on a team with other professionals is an essential skill. This job requires everyday collaboration with others in order to make sure that the design in all the details are handled appropriately. This also requires that the individual be good at problem solving and catching small mistakes.
Drafting Training and Education Requirements
Those entering the field are much more employable if they have completed advanced training in drafting at a college, university or technical school. When in high school, the individual looking into this career should take classes in computers, math, science and drafting. After high school, the student can choose to attend a two-year program at a technical college or a four-year program at a university. Within these programs, the student will have intensive training in technical drawing, advanced mathematics, engineering and related courses will prepare them for work in this field. They will also be given specific computer training in CADD, computer graphics and technology.
Once employed, the new drafter will work under the supervision of a more experienced individual. As he or she advances in training, individual will be given more responsibility and will be required to attend continuing education opportunities. Many can find positions in not only the private sector, but also for state and local governments in a variety of capacities. New openings will also be found in some workers retire or leave the field. Those wanting the best chance for employment need to have very strong technical skills and a solid background of experience with CADD software and systems. This program is being ever more widely used within the industry and employers look primarily for workers who have the necessary knowledge and experience with the software.
Drafting Salary and Wages
According to the United States Bureau of Labour statistics, they anticipate a job growth of 4% by the year 2018. The average yearly salary is approximately $44,490. The lowest salary was at or below $28,220, with the highest earnings at or above $67,110 per year. Pay can vary depending upon the skill and experience of the individual and the type of field that they are working in. Jobs in some specialties are dependent to a degree on the level of construction being done in the economy.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Besides obtaining a secondary level degree, individuals can receive certification from the American Design Drafting Association, or ADDA. It is not a requirement that a worker be certified, but obtaining the certification shows that the worker has been found knowledgeable on national standards and practices in drafting. To obtain this, the individual must successfully complete the Drafter Certification Test, which examines basic concepts in drafting.
Drafting Professional Associations
The American Design Drafting Association was established in 1948 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Besides providing opportunities for professional certification, the organization also gives its members opportunities for training and continuing education.