Electronic Drafter Job Description
Electronic drafters use computer aided design and drafting (CADD) software to create technical plans and drawings.
Electronic drafters commonly create circuit board diagrams and wiring diagrams. These drawings are used to manufacture, install, and repair electronic devices including computers, automotive electronics, televisions, and manufacturing equipment.
Common responsibilities for electronic drafter jobs include:
- Drafting assembly and detail drawings of circuitry and design components.
- Consulting with engineers to interpret design concepts.
- Reviewing blueprints to determine customer specifications.
Work Environment and Schedule
Electronic drafters commonly work for engineering firms and manufacturing companies. However, if you’re looking for a career in this field, don’t limit your job search to those those industries. There are many opportunities for electronic drafters in other places as well.
Electronic drafters spend most of their time working in front of a computer. In some cases, this can lead to eye strain and back problems. Regular exercise can help to decrease the chances of injury that can come from extended sitting.
Most electronic drafters work full time. Because the projects that they work on are normally deadline driven, working overtime is often required as deadlines approach.
The amount of overtime you have to work will depend on the specific employer. Those who work at engineering firms may have deadlines every week, while those who work for a single manufacturer may have to work long hours less frequently.
How to Become an Electronic Drafter
To become an electronic drafter, you will need to earn an associate’s degree or certificate in electronic drafting. Many technical schools and community colleges offer programs in this field, and chances are good that you can find a program near you.
Whether you decide to attend a community college or technical school should depend on what your long term goals are.
Community college programs are normally very general. They teach drafting theory, but you won’t get as much hands on experience as you would at a technical school. You will also have to take a lot of general education courses, like history and English. The advantage of attending a community college is that many of the credits you earn will transfer if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four year college or university.
Technical colleges offer very specialized training, and will provide you with a lot of hands on experience. At a technical school, you will learn the fundamentals of electronic drafting, including sketching and the use of CADD software. These programs normally do a better job of preparing you for a career as an electrical drafter, but the credits rarely transfer if you decide to go back to school later on in your career.
If you’re still attending high school and you’re thinking about pursuing a career in electronic drafting, taking advanced math and computer science courses can help prepare you for your drafting program.
Most employers do not require electronic drafters to be certified, but getting a certification demonstrates a certain level of proficiency and may help you stand out versus equally qualified candidates. If you’re interested in pursuing a certification, the American Design Drafting Association offers one that’s widely recognized.
There are currently 33,590 electronic drafters in the United States, with 750 new electronic drafter job openings created each year.
Electronic Drafter jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Electronic Drafter Salaries
Electronic Drafter salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most electronic drafters make between $42,000 – $67,900 per year, or $20.19 – $32.66 per hour.