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What Does an Architectural Drafter Do?

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.

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Median Salary $
59,000
Jobs Available
7,000+
An architectural drafter uses computer-aided drafting (CAD) software to review drawings
An architectural drafter uses computer-aided drafting (CAD) software to create the drawings that make an architect’s vision a reality. (Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • 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
Education + Training

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.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Are creative
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Are good at math
  • Have strong computer skills
  • Work well on a deadline

Architectural Drafter training in your area

Coordinates

Engineering Technology, A.A.S.

Wallace State Community College
Hanceville (0.0 Miles)

Drafting Technology Diploma

Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta (0.0 Miles)

Computer Aided Design II Certificate

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College
Orangeburg (0.0 Miles)

Computer Aided Design and Drafting Mechanical Design Technology Certificate of Achievement

Joliet Junior College
Joliet (0.0 Miles)
Triton College

Architecture, A.A.S.

Triton College
River Grove (0.0 Miles)

Drafting and Design Technology TD

South Louisiana Community College
Lafayette (0.0 Miles)

CAD Mechanical Design Certificate

NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Bentonville (0.0 Miles)

CADD/CAM Certificate

Mott Community College
Flint (0.0 Miles)

Computer Aided Drafting and Design Specialty: Autodesk Training and Certification Short Certificate

Lawson State Community College
Birmingham (0.0 Miles)

AutoCAD Occupational Skills Award

Collin College
McKinney (0.0 Miles)

Advanced Manufacturing, A.A.S.

Richland College
Dallas (0.0 Miles)

Architecture, A.A.S.

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)
Image
Coby Godfrey, architectural drafter, stands in front of a mantle
Meet Ambassador Coby Godfrey

Coby Godfrey always had an appreciation for architecture. 

"I had a desire to be a fully licensed architect but started college in my 30s so the full architecture program wasn’t in the cards." Instead, he got an associate degree, and that turned out to be a great move.

The residential design and draftsman stays busy. Because the company he works for is small, team members wear many hats in a given day, from drafting to on-site measurements to drawing contracts. It's a role that is ever-changing yet still fulfilling.

"I don’t just design buildings," says Coby. "I design places where people will live their lives and raise their children — and that matters to me."
 

Job Type Jobs

Find Architectural Drafter Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Architectural Job Captain

U-Haul
Phoenix ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Technical Drawing Administrator

TD Garden
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Architectural Site Surveyor-Miami, FL

Menemsha Solutions
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Architectural Plans Coordinato

D.R. Horton, Inc.
Englewood ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Truss Designer

Carter Lumber Inc
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Architectural Drafting - AutoCAD Technician - Residential

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Intern - CAD Design

Aerojet Rocketdyne
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Assistant Technical Designer (Part Time)

Perry Ellis International Inc.
New York ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 1 week ago