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Drafting & Design Technology Major

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Drafting & Design Technology

1,585 Associates's Degrees Annually
123 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#27 in Popularity (Associate's)
$56,700 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Drafting & Design Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general drafting and design technology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 2,123
Associate’s Degree 1,596
Undergraduate Certificate 1,405
Bachelor’s Degree 123

What Drafting & Design Technology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to general drafting and design tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for General Drafting & Design Tech Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for General Drafting & Design Tech Majors

A major in general drafting and design tech prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for General Drafting & Design Tech Majors

As you progress with your general drafting and design tech degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Drafting & Design Technology Major?

People with a general drafting and design tech degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural Drafters 8.1% $54,920
Civil Drafters 8.1% $54,920
Drafters 8.2% $51,850
Electrical Drafters 6.9% $60,070
Electronic Drafters 6.9% $60,070
Mechanical Drafters 5.2% $55,920

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Drafting & Design Technology?

1,596 Associate's Degrees Annually
24% Percent Women
35% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 76% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of general drafting and design tech majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of General Drafting & Design Tech Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 74
Black or African American 110
Hispanic or Latino 338
White 960
International Students 32
Other Races/Ethnicities 82

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in General Drafting & Design Tech, too. About 2.0% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Drafting & Design Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $54,240 to $59,010 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to general drafting and design tech. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Drafting & Design Technology Major  ( 54240 to 59010 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with general drafting and design tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to general drafting and design tech have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 5.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 20.3%
Some College Courses 9.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 36.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 23.1%
Master’s Degree 4.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.0%

Online Drafting & Design Technology Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 344 schools offered some type of general drafting and design technology program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 180 8
Certificate (1-2 years) 194 11
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 1
Associate’s Degree 232 5
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 180 8
Master’s Degree 2 1
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Drafting & Design Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a general drafting and design tech grad is $56,700 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 42% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $336,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to general drafting and design tech.

Major Number of Grads
CAD/CADD Drafting &/or Design Technology/Technician 2,518
Architectural Drafting & Architectural CAD/CADD 1,266
Mechanical Drafting & Mechanical Drafting CAD/CADD 1,255
Other Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians 140
Civil Drafting & Civil Engineering CAD/CADD 92
Electrical/Electronics Drafting & Electrical/Electronics CAD/CADD 60

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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