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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

  • $53,520

    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 jobs

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Autocad Drafter Career Paths

Autocad Drafter
Project Manager Consultant Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Contractor-Design Engineer
Contract Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Design Checker
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Autocad Designer Design Drafter Mechanical Designer
Lead Mechanical Designer
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Mechanical Engineer
Lead Mechanical Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Mechanical Designer Piping Designer
Lead Piping Designer
12 Yearsyrs
Architectural Drafter Drafter Tool Designer
Machine Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Design Drafter
Senior Design Drafter
8 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Designer
Senior Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Autocad Designer Design Engineer Senior Mechanical Designer
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer Computer Aide
Senior Drafter
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Electrical Designer
Senior Electrical Designer
13 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Mechanical Designer
Senior Mechanical Designer
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Piping Designer
Senior Piping Designer
12 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Design Technician Design Engineer
Senior Project Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Senior Designer
Senior Structural Designer
13 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Drafter 5.0 years
Lead Drafter 4.7 years
Draftsman/Designer 4.4 years
Computer Drafter 4.0 years
Design Drafter 4.0 years
Draftsperson 3.6 years
Autocad Operator 3.5 years
Autocad Designer 3.5 years
Autocad Technician 3.5 years
Computer Aide 3.5 years
Draftsman 3.5 years
Structural Drafter 3.1 years
Autocad Drafter 3.0 years
Drafting Engineer 2.9 years
Electrical Drafter 2.9 years
Autocad Draftsman 2.9 years
Detail Drafter 2.8 years
Drafter 2.8 years
Assistant Drafter 2.3 years
Contract-Drafter 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Drafter 10.6%
Draftsman 4.9%
Internship 4.9%
Designer 2.8%
Manager 2.6%
Top Employers After
Drafter 8.1%
Designer 7.0%

Autocad Drafter Demographics

Gender

Male

69.1%

Female

29.0%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

72.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

2.5%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.9%

French

7.3%

Chinese

6.1%

Russian

4.9%

Turkish

3.7%

Polish

3.7%

Cantonese

3.7%

Portuguese

2.4%

Bulgarian

2.4%

German

2.4%

Ukrainian

2.4%

Mandarin

2.4%

Serbian

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Carrier

2.4%

Croatian

2.4%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Persian

1.2%

Belarusian

1.2%
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Autocad Drafter Education

Schools

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West

7.1%

University of Phoenix

7.1%

San Jose State University

6.1%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

6.1%

National University

5.1%

Universal Technical Institute

5.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.1%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

Miami Dade College

5.1%

Florida International University

5.1%

Purdue University

5.1%

Drexel University

5.1%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

4.1%

Glendale Community College

4.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.1%

Bristol Community College

4.1%

Porter and Chester Institute

4.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.1%

Florida State University

4.1%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

4.1%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

31.2%

Architecture

11.2%

Civil Engineering

9.6%

Mechanical Engineering

6.3%

Interior Design

6.0%

Business

4.7%

Electrical Engineering

4.3%

Computer Science

3.5%

Graphic Design

3.5%

Construction Management

2.5%

Engineering

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

General Studies

1.8%

Information Technology

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Fine Arts

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.5%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.2%

Associate

27.6%

Other

22.8%

Masters

7.0%

Certificate

6.9%

Diploma

1.9%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.2%
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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

EquipmentLayoutAutoCADArchitecturalFloorPlansAs-BuiltDrawingsHvacPDesignProcessConstructionDrawingsConstructionDocumentsAutodeskInventorSitePlansDetailDrawingsRevitEngineeringDrawingsArchitecturalDrawingsAssemblyDrawingsDataEntryDesignDrawingsGISPDF

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Top Autocad Drafter Skills

  1. Equipment Layout
  2. Auto CAD
  3. Architectural Floor Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared/reviewed Mechanical drawings, equipment layouts & Plan layout per project specification, codes and standards.
  • Design products for customers in the oilfield industry with Auto Cad.
  • Create architectural floor plans and elevations of renovations and new projects involving mostly schools, hospitals and churches.
  • Created As-built drawings, AC, Inverters, Utility line, transmission lines, landscaping, piping, sewer.
  • Revised and created Piping, HVAC, Structural & Electrical systems designs & drawing's in building's.

Top Autocad Drafter Employers

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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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