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Become An Architectural Technician

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Working As An Architectural Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Architectural Technician Do

Drafters use software to convert the designs of architects and engineers into technical drawings. Most workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.

Duties

Drafters typically do the following:

  • Design plans using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Work from rough sketches and specifications created by engineers and architects
  • Design products with engineering and manufacturing techniques
  • Add details to architectural plans from their knowledge of building techniques
  • Specify dimensions, materials, and procedures for new products
  • Work under the supervision of engineers or architects

Many drafters are referred to as CAD operators. Using CAD systems, drafters create and store technical drawings digitally. These drawings contain information on how to build a structure or machine, the dimensions of the project, and what materials are needed to complete the project.

Drafters work with CAD so they can create schematics that can be viewed, printed, or programmed directly into building information modeling (BIM) systems. These systems allow drafters, architects, construction managers, and engineers to create and collaborate on digital models of physical buildings and machines. Through three-dimensional rendering, BIM software allows designers and engineers to see how different elements in their projects work together.

Architectural drafters draw architectural and structural features of buildings for construction projects. These workers may specialize in a type of building, such as residential or commercial. They may also specialize by the materials used, such as steel, wood, or reinforced concrete.

Civil drafters prepare topographical maps used in construction and civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, and flood-control projects.

Electrical drafters prepare wiring diagrams that other construction workers use to install and repair electrical equipment and wiring in power plants, electrical distribution systems, and residential and commercial buildings.

Electronics drafters produce wiring diagrams, assembly diagrams for circuit boards, and layout drawings used in manufacturing and in installing and repairing electronic devices and components.

Mechanical drafters prepare layouts that show the details for a wide variety of machinery and mechanical tools and devices, such as medical equipment. These layouts indicate dimensions, fastening methods, and other requirements needed for assembly. Mechanical drafters sometimes create production molds.

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How To Become An Architectural Technician

Drafters typically need specialized training, which can be accomplished through a technical program that leads to a certificate or an associate’s degree in drafting.

Education

Drafters generally need to complete postsecondary education in drafting. This is typically done through a 2-year associate’s degree from a technical institute or community college.

Technical institutes offer instruction in design fundamentals, sketching, and CAD (computer-aided design) software and award certificates or diplomas upon completion. Programs vary in length but are generally 2 years of full-time education. The types of courses offered will also vary by institution. Some institutions may specialize in only one type of drafting, such as mechanical or architectural drafting.

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes that lead to an associate of applied science in drafting or related degree. After completing an associate’s degree program, graduates may get jobs as drafters or continue their education in a related field at a 4-year college. Most 4-year colleges do not offer training in drafting, but they do offer classes in engineering, architecture, and mathematics.

To prepare for postsecondary education, high school students who take courses in mathematics, science, computer technology, design, computer graphics, and where available, drafting, may find such classes useful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers certification for drafters. Although not mandatory, certification demonstrates competence and knowledge of nationally recognized practices. Certifications are offered for several specialties, including architectural, civil, and mechanical drafting.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Drafters must be able to turn plans and ideas into technical drawings that will guide the creation of real buildings, tools, and systems.

Detail oriented. Drafters must pay close attention to details so that the plans they convert are technically accurate according to the outlined specifications.

Interpersonal skills. Drafters work closely with architects, engineers, and other designers to make sure that final plans are accurate. This requires the ability to take advice and constructive criticism, as well as to offer it.

Math skills. Drafters work on technical drawings. They may be required to solve mathematical calculations involving factors such as angles, weights, and costs.

Technical skills. Drafters in all specialties must be able to use computer software, such as CAD, and work with database tools, such as BIM (building information modeling).

Time-management skills. Drafters often work under strict deadlines. As a result, they must work efficiently in order to produce the required output according to set schedules.

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Architectural Technician Career Paths

Architectural Technician
Architect Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Architect Project Manager Owner/Operator
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Architect Project Manager Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Architectural Designer Project Architect Senior Project Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Architectural Designer Project Architect Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Architectural Designer Designer Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Engineer Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Analyst Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Project Architect Construction Manager
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Job Captain Project Manager/Design Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Job Captain Senior Project Manager Project Director
Manager, Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Job Captain Project Designer
Project Architect
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Interior Designer
Design Architect
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Project Engineer Assistant Project Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Senior Designer Project Manager/Design Manager
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Mechanical Designer Structural Designer
Senior Architectural Designer
9 Yearsyrs
Planner Estimator Senior Estimator
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Architectural Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Deloitte
Highest Paying City
Chanhassen, MN
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does an Architectural Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Architectural Technician in the United States is $76,659 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $42,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $139,000.

Real Architectural Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager, Technology, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Business Management Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA Apr 13, 2016 $154,566 -
$184,000
Manager, Tech, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Strategy & Effectiveness Deloitte Consulting LLP San Francisco, CA Sep 21, 2015 $150,389 -
$184,000
Manager, Tech, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Strategy & Effectiveness Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA Nov 20, 2015 $149,761 -
$184,000
Wealth Management Technology-SMA & Architecture Kurt Salmon Us Inc. New York, NY Jul 13, 2012 $144,000
Manager, Tech, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Business Management Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Oct 15, 2015 $142,502 -
$184,000
Manager, Tech, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Strategy & EFF Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Feb 22, 2016 $142,502 -
$184,000
Enterprise Architecture-IT Davita, Inc. Denver, CO Dec 25, 2015 $135,000
Manager, Technology, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Business Mngmnt Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Sep 22, 2016 $128,948 -
$218,500
Manager, Technology, Tech Strategy & Architecture-It M&A Deloitte Consulting LLP Seattle, WA Nov 12, 2015 $122,000 -
$184,000
Manager, Tech, Technology Strategy & Architecture-IT M&A Deloitte Consulting LLP Dallas, TX Apr 22, 2016 $122,000 -
$184,000
Manager, Tech, Tech Strategy & Architecture, IT Strategy & Effectiveness Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Feb 05, 2015 $121,763 -
$180,000
Architecture Tech Lead Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. McLean, VA Apr 07, 2013 $119,100 -
$172,500
Architecture Tech Lead Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation McLean, VA Dec 01, 2012 $115,600 -
$172,500
Architectural Technician VOA Associates Incorporated New York, NY Jul 09, 2016 $77,500
Architectural Technical Staff Mahlum Architects Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 14, 2016 $63,939 -
$65,000
Architectural Technician D Form A, LLC New York, NY Oct 20, 2014 $60,000
Architectural Technician Stephen Wang & Associates PLLC New York, NY Mar 23, 2015 $52,000
Architectural Technical Staff Orcutt Winslow Limited Liability Limited Partnersh Phoenix, AZ Jun 01, 2013 $52,000
Architecture Technical I Solomon Cordwell Buenz Chicago, IL Sep 18, 2012 $50,190 -
$52,500
Architectural Technician Partners By Design Chicago, IL Aug 22, 2015 $50,000
Architectural Technician Inc. Architecture & Design PLLC New York, NY Apr 01, 2013 $50,000
Architectural Technical Staff III Mahlum Architects Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 14, 2013 $50,000 -
$65,000
Architectural Technician I VOA Associates Incorporated New York, NY May 12, 2014 $49,358 -
$80,000

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Top Skills for An Architectural Technician

  1. Shop Drawings
  2. Freelance CAD
  3. Construction Document Phase
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported engineers with drafting and technical design assistance in fabrication of architectural precast concrete shop drawings.
  • Coordinated Underground parking garage Implemented 3D rendering & Revit model Development
  • Prepared documentation for schematic design, design development and construction documents phases using CAD and traditional drafting.
  • Developed Construction Documents for residential and commercial projects including design options, floor plans, elevation options and schedules.
  • Assisted Project Manager in construction administration and field inspection.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Architectural Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Washington
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Oregon
  5. California
  6. North Dakota
  7. Connecticut
  8. Minnesota
  9. Illinois
  10. Maine
  • (4 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)

Architectural Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

65.6%

Female

20.5%

Unknown

13.9%
Ethnicity

White

58.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.0%

Danish

5.0%

Turkish

5.0%

German

5.0%

Albanian

5.0%

French

5.0%

Czech

5.0%

Tagalog

5.0%

Cantonese

5.0%

Mandarin

5.0%

Polish

5.0%

Korean

5.0%

Italian

5.0%

Croatian

5.0%
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Architectural Technician Education

Schools

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

8.3%

Lawrence Technological University

8.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

6.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

6.7%

Pratt Institute-Main

6.7%

Saint Louis Community College

5.0%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

University of Washington

5.0%

Morgan State University

5.0%

Community College of the Air Force

5.0%

Philadelphia University

5.0%

Southern Polytechnic State University

5.0%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.0%

Campbell University

3.3%

State University of New York College of Technology at Canton

3.3%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.3%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3.3%

Texas Tech University

3.3%

University of South Florida

3.3%

Lincoln Technical Institute

3.3%
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Majors

Architecture

38.5%

Architectural Technology

10.3%

Drafting And Design

8.4%

Business

7.0%

Construction Management

4.4%

Interior Design

3.7%

Computer Science

2.9%

Urban Planning

2.9%

Environmental Design

2.9%

Architectural Engineering

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Civil Engineering

2.2%

Project Management

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.8%

Architectural Engineering Technology

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Landscape Architecture

1.5%

Mechanical Engineering

1.5%

Construction Engineering Technologies

1.5%

Fire Science And Protection

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.1%

Masters

19.8%

Other

19.5%

Associate

17.0%

Certificate

6.0%

Diploma

3.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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