Architects and engineers make plans, drawings, and documentations for construction of a building, but it is drafter’s job to prepare the final design plans. These include detailed diagrams that show dimensions and other crucial structural details. Without the work architectural drafter do, construction work cannot start. Their job is crucial to the successful construction of any building.
Nowadays, drafters mostly make designs using computer programs, also known as CAD [computer aided design] software. Computer programs allow drafters to make diagrams that contain all the required technical specifications. They can also create 3D model of the whole building or parts of it.
Drafters work closely with engineers and architects. Their job requires them to remain in contact with other technical team members. The use of digital drawing allows them to create accurate design plans.
Architectural drafters spend most of their time in designing plans, which they do on computers; hence, they spend most of their time inside offices. Occasionally, they might need to visit constructions sites.
Other than spending time on computer, their job requires them to collaborate with architects, engineers, and in some cases, with construction workers too.
You need a diploma, certificate, or degree in drafting from a technical institute. There are different kinds of technical programs; most of them require you to study for two years.
American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offer different kinds of certifications. If you are ADDA certified, that will help you land a better job.
Some personal skills can also help you in getting a better job and do your work effectively. For instance, creativity can help you make better designs. To succeed in this field, you must use creativity to make designs/plans that meet all the requirements of the client. Your design needs to match the ideas given by architects, engineers, and the client.
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Unfortunately, the number of architectural drafter jobs is projected to reduce by seven percent from 2014 to 2024. This is mainly because architects and engineers are using computer programs themselves to do drafter’s work. The ease of using computer based programs is enabling others to do drafters work. However, there are still complicated designs that non-drafters will find hard to build. The need for drafters will remain in future, but we are going to see a small decline in the overall demand for them.
Drafters make a reasonable amount of money. Median annual pay is around $50,000. The lowest paying architectural drafting jobs pay around $33,500. Overall, drafters make a satisfactory living. Drafting is full-time employment.