If you’re a problem-solver with a creative streak, here’s a career path to consider. Architectural drafters use computer-aided design (CAD) software to transform designs into technical drawings. They work with architects and engineers and generally specialize in architectural, civil or mechanical drafting.
Drafters, also sometimes called CAD operators, create technical drawings that pull together all the needed information about how to build a structure or machine. Some use building information modeling (BIM) software that creates 3D models.
- Design plans using traditional drafting methods or computer-aided design (CAD)
- Translate specifications created by engineers and architects into a plan
- Add details based on knowledge of building techniques, building codes and site requirements
- Spell out type and amount of needed materials
- Prepare cost estimates
High school graduates who want to be architectural drafters typically earn an associate of applied science in drafting or a related degree from a community college or technical school. Others go through a certificate program. Both programs include instruction in design fundamentals, sketching and CAD software. An associate degree generally requires about two years of full-time education. Certificate programs vary in length but generally require less time to complete than an associate degree. Students frequently specialize in a particular type of drafting, such as mechanical, civil or architectural drafting.
- Are creative
- Are detail-oriented
- Have excellent interpersonal skills
- Are good at math
- Have strong computer skills
- Work well on a deadline