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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
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $46,000

    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 Career Paths

Autocad Drafter
Computer Aided Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Mechanical Designer
Senior Mechanical Designer
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Designer Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Designer Design Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Design Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Project Engineer Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Engineering Technician Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Senior Designer Owner
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Engineering Technician Project Coordinator
Project Architect
7 Yearsyrs
Architectural Designer Architect
Design Architect
5 Yearsyrs
Architectural Designer Project Architect Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Architectural Designer Job Captain Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Senior Designer Senior Mechanical Designer
Lead Mechanical Designer
7 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Project Manager/Design Manager Construction Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Designer Electrical Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Architectural Drafter Drafter
Senior Drafter
6 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 4.3 years
Computer Drafter 4.3 years
Design Drafter 4.0 years
Draftsperson 3.9 years
Draftsman 3.8 years
Autocad Operator 3.8 years
Autocad Designer 3.5 years
Autocad Technician 3.4 years
Structural Drafter 3.4 years
Autocad Draftsman 3.3 years
Cadd Drafter 3.2 years
Drafting Engineer 3.0 years
Autocad Drafter 3.0 years
Electrical Drafter 2.9 years
Drafter 2.8 years
Civil Drafter 2.6 years
Contract-Drafter 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Autocad Drafter
Drafter 12.9%
Draftsman 6.7%
Internship 4.7%
Designer 3.6%
Architect 2.9%
Top Careers After Autocad Drafter
Drafter 9.6%
Designer 7.6%
Consultant 2.9%
Engineer 2.5%

Do you work as an Autocad Drafter?

Average Yearly Salary
$46,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Fluor
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does an Autocad Drafter make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Autocad Drafter in the United States is $46,794 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $68,000.

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. Shop Drawings
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinated with Structural and Architectural documents to produce embed layout drawings.
  • Generated shop drawings for very high-end residential projects, including field measurement and project coordination.
  • Perform layouts in AutoCAD utilizing general math and trigonometry functions to create civil and structural detail drawing packages.
  • Worked with engineers to produce floor plans, elevations, details, sections, notes and made site visits.
  • Developed sub-assembly drawings of Materials TestingEquipment used by laboratories in universities and private enterprise to determine the physical properties of specimens

Autocad Drafter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,928 Autocad Drafter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Autocad Drafter Resume

View Resume Examples

Autocad Drafter Demographics

Gender

Male

63.5%

Female

26.3%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

55.6%

Hispanic or Latino

20.2%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.5%

French

7.1%

Russian

4.0%

Chinese

4.0%

Bulgarian

3.0%

Carrier

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

German

3.0%

Croatian

3.0%

Polish

3.0%

Arabic

3.0%

Turkish

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Serbian

2.0%

Persian

2.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Bosnian

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%
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Autocad Drafter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

7.1%

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West

7.1%

Houston Community College

6.6%

University of Houston

6.6%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

5.5%

More Tech Institute

5.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.5%

Florida International University

5.5%

Texas A&M University

4.9%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

4.4%

Universal Technical Institute

4.4%

Glendale Community College

3.8%

Porter and Chester Institute

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.8%

Miami Dade College

3.8%

Purdue University

3.8%

Liberty University

3.8%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.3%

California State University - Fullerton

3.3%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

31.4%

Architecture

12.4%

Civil Engineering

8.8%

Mechanical Engineering

6.3%

Interior Design

5.9%

Business

5.1%

Electrical Engineering

4.1%

Computer Science

3.3%

Graphic Design

3.1%

Construction Management

3.0%

Engineering

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Architectural Technology

1.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.6%

Environmental Design

1.5%

Industrial Engineering

1.4%

Information Technology

1.4%

Fine Arts

1.3%

Project Management

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.9%

Associate

27.7%

Other

21.6%

Masters

7.6%

Certificate

6.8%

Diploma

2.0%

License

0.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Autocad Drafter Videos

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