What is technical drafting?
Technical drafting is also referred to as technical drawing. It’s a drawing that is used to represent an idea or plan detailing the process of how to carry it out. Like technical writing, technical drafting leaves no room for imagination; it visually spells things out the way the process needs to be completed through clear and concise drawings.
Technical drafting is used throughout careers like architecture, engineering, interior and product design, and construction, to name a handful. Programmers and app designers also use a form of technical drafting. It is a skill that is usually obtained through certificate or associate’s degree programs, as well as an architecture bachelor’s degree program.
What’s the difference between drafting and CAD?
Hand drafting has been around since forever. On the other hand, computer-aided design or computer-aided drafting (CAD) is a relatively new drafting process which uses a computer program to create exceptionally precise renditions of technical drawings. Sure, drafting and all its tools are less expensive, but using CAD cuts down on the percentage of errors, which could potentially save thousands of dollars. CAD is a more flexible and efficient way to create drafting drawings. CAD drafting also takes up far less room because you don’t need all the essential drafting tools, like a bulky desk, in order to use it. Despite all the benefits of CAD, it’s still universally important that drafting students are exposed to techniques of hand drawing because it just makes them that much better at using the CAD.
What is a drafter or draftsman?
A drafter is the person who does the drafting across multiple industries. Of course, you can choose your specialty, but traditionally, a drafter works within the construction or manufacturing fields, and he or she is similar to an architect. Your specialization options are broad, though.
To work as a drafter, you’ll need to:
- Take all the math, science, computer tech, design, and any drafting-related classes offered in your high school.
- Get your high school diploma or GED.
- Enroll in and attend either a drafting program, either certificate or associate’s degree.
- Get an internship.
- After you get your diploma or degree, consider going after voluntary certifications related to the field.
- The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers a variety of certifications which will make you more impressive to employers.
- Certifications are in drafting are available for architecture, civil, and mechanical drawing.
- You do not need to be licensed.
- Consider continuing on for your four-year degree in a field related to what you’ve been doing.
How much will l make as a drafter?
When you first start our working as a drafter, your entry-level salary will be around $34K, but you might soon reach the median salary of $53K. The median salary is the middle point where half of those in your profession earn more, and the other half earns less. However, salary is dependent on which industry you’re in, the state you’re in, and your experience level. In other words, your actual salary may be more, or it may be less. The top-paying industry is in electrical, with mechanical and architectural following closely behind.
What’s the drafting job outlook like?
The job outlook for drafting is more industry related. On a whole, the profession will see average employment growth, with 14,600 jobs available through 2026. Architectural and civil drafting will have the bulk of the job availability with an expected 8,100 total positions opening. Mechanical drafters will have 3,400 jobs available. Electrical and electronics drafters will have 1,900 job openings. All other types of drafter jobs will see 1,300 new faces.