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Architectural Drafter

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What Does it Take to Be an Architectural Drafter?

Occupation Description Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

List of Architectural Drafter Job Duties

  • Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to lists of materials.
  • Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings, and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets, and other data.
  • Analyze technical implications of architect’s design concept, calculating weights, volumes, and stress factors.
  • Reproduce drawings on copy machines or trace copies of plans and drawings, using transparent paper or cloth, ink, pencil, and standard drafting instruments.
  • Lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software.

Skills Needed to be an Architectural Drafter

These are the skills Architectural Drafters say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Other Architectural Drafter Job Titles

  • Architectural Designer
  • Architect
  • Architectural Technologist
  • CADD Drafter (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Drafter)
  • Architecture Technician

Job Demand for Architectural Drafters

There were about 99,600 jobs for Architectural Drafter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,100 new jobs for Architectural Drafter by 2026. The BLS estimates 9,500 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Architectural Drafter are Utah, Nevada, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Architectural Drafters Salary

The average yearly salary of an Architectural Drafter ranges between $35,020 and $80,880.

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Architectural Drafters who work in District of Columbia, Illinois, or California, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Architectural Drafters in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $52,740
Alaska $60,200
Arizona $58,700
Arkansas $45,500
California $63,320
Colorado $59,560
Connecticut $64,390
Delaware $52,830
District of Columbia $68,330
Florida $53,270
Georgia $57,280
Hawaii $54,520
Idaho $48,710
Illinois $64,720
Indiana $54,080
Iowa $55,490
Kansas $50,500
Kentucky $51,330
Louisiana $56,390
Maine $51,380
Maryland $64,560
Massachusetts $59,740
Michigan $51,760
Minnesota $54,300
Mississippi $48,980
Missouri $55,000
Montana $46,020
Nebraska $50,270
Nevada $49,510
New Hampshire $53,540
New Jersey $58,840
New Mexico $51,200
New York $59,770
North Carolina $53,160
North Dakota $57,230
Ohio $53,720
Oklahoma $54,840
Oregon $58,480
Pennsylvania $52,320
Rhode Island $58,190
South Carolina $51,820
South Dakota $43,090
Tennessee $54,360
Texas $56,120
Utah $51,640
Vermont $45,310
Virginia $54,390
Washington $58,170
West Virginia $56,320
Wisconsin $53,450
Wyoming $53,050

What Tools do Architectural Drafters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Architectural Drafters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Database software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • C
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • SAP software

Becoming an Architectural Drafter

Learn what Architectural Drafter education requirements there are.

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Architectural Drafter?

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Who Employs Architectural Drafters?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming an Architectural Drafter might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Architectural Drafter in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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