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Become An Autocad Drafter

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Working As An Autocad Drafter

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

  • Repetitive

  • $49,614

    Average Salary

What Does An Autocad Drafter 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 Autocad Drafter

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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Autocad Drafter Videos

AutoCAD 2013 - 2D Drafting Basics - Part 1 - The User Interface - Brooke Godfrey

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

Autocad Drafter Jobs

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Autocad Drafter Career Paths

Autocad Drafter
Engineering Technician Engineer Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Autocad Draftsman Draftsman/Designer Project Architect
Assistant Construction Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Property Manager General Contractor
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Mechanical Designer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Administrator Document Controller
Document Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Mechanical Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Designer Project Engineer
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Operations Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Designer Mechanical Designer
Lead Mechanical Designer
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer Mechanical Engineering Manager
Mechanical Engineering Director
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Designer Design Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Interior Designer
Project Manager/Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Design Manager Project Manager/Design Manager
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Engineering Technician Surveyor
Survey Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Drafter 4.9 years
Lead Drafter 4.7 years
Draftsman/Designer 4.2 years
Design Drafter 3.9 years
Draftsperson 3.7 years
Draftsman 3.7 years
Autocad Operator 3.5 years
Autocad Designer 3.4 years
Autocad Technician 3.4 years
Structural Drafter 3.1 years
Autocad Drafter 3.0 years
Autocad Draftsman 3.0 years
Detail Drafter 2.9 years
Drafter 2.8 years
Civil Drafter 2.7 years
Electrical Drafter 2.7 years
Cadd Drafter 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Autocad Drafter
Drafter 11.6%
Draftsman 5.7%
Internship 4.2%
Designer 3.7%
Manager 2.9%
Top Careers After Autocad Drafter
Drafter 9.0%
Designer 7.2%
Technician 2.5%

Do you work as an Autocad Drafter?

Autocad Drafter Demographics

Gender

Male

69.8%

Female

28.5%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

56.0%

Hispanic or Latino

19.6%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

9.7%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.1%

French

7.4%

Chinese

4.4%

Carrier

4.4%

Russian

4.4%

Polish

4.4%

Turkish

2.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

Bulgarian

2.9%

German

2.9%

Serbian

2.9%

Cantonese

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Croatian

2.9%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Ukrainian

1.5%

Persian

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Hebrew

1.5%
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Autocad Drafter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.1%

San Jose State University

6.1%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

6.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.1%

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West

6.1%

National University

5.1%

Universal Technical Institute

5.1%

Porter and Chester Institute

5.1%

Miami Dade College

5.1%

University of Houston

5.1%

Florida International University

5.1%

Purdue University

5.1%

Drexel University

5.1%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

4.0%

Glendale Community College

4.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.0%

Houston Community College

4.0%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.0%

Florida State University

4.0%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

32.2%

Architecture

10.9%

Civil Engineering

9.5%

Mechanical Engineering

6.1%

Interior Design

5.0%

Business

4.7%

Electrical Engineering

4.4%

Graphic Design

3.7%

Computer Science

3.3%

Construction Management

3.1%

Engineering

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%

Information Technology

1.9%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

General Studies

1.6%

Computer Applications

1.6%

Fine Arts

1.4%

Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.0%

Associate

28.1%

Other

22.6%

Certificate

7.2%

Masters

6.8%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Autocad Drafter Videos

AutoCAD 2013 - 2D Drafting Basics - Part 1 - The User Interface - Brooke Godfrey

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

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Internship
Temporary

Real Autocad Drafter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Autocad Drafter Edge Renovation LLC New York, NY Dec 23, 2016 $38,584
Autocad Drafter/Project Manager PDT International, LLC Fort Lauderdale, FL May 21, 2012 $38,000
Autocad Drafter/Project Manager PDT International, LLC Fort Lauderdale, FL May 24, 2012 $38,000
Autocad Drafter Eli Industries Inc. CA Sep 27, 2012 $37,898

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Top Skills for An Autocad Drafter

  1. Layout Drawings
  2. CAD
  3. Sequence Diagrams
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared and maintained 2-D layout drawings, schematics, and documentation for plant infrastructure projects.
  • Operated AutoCAD for architectural and engineering specifications and uses.
  • Created detailed interior and exterior elevations in AutoCAD.
  • Operated AutoCAD drafts for architectural drawings link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dekor-Reklama-Derex/332144360146991?sk=timeline&ref=page_internal
  • Drafted as-built drawings of campus buildings-Helped develop construction documents-Met with clients and sales reps to discuss design options

How Would You Rate Working As an Autocad Drafter?

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Autocad Drafter Videos

AutoCAD 2013 - 2D Drafting Basics - Part 1 - The User Interface - Brooke Godfrey

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

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