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Become A Draftsman

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Working As A Draftsman

  • 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

  • $44,762

    Average Salary

What Does A Draftsman Do

Draftsmen, also known as Drafters, help design products using engineering and manufacturing techniques. They work in a wide range of fields, such as architecture, aeronautics, civil engineering, and electronics.

How To Become A Draftsman

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.


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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Draftsman jobs

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Draftsman Career Paths

Architect Architectural Designer
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Estimator Estimator Project Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Senior Designer Art Director
Contract Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Design Checker
13 Yearsyrs
Computer Aide Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Designer Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Assistant Project Manager Estimator
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Architect Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Draftsman/Designer Mechanical Designer
Lead Mechanical Designer
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Project Superintendent
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Drafter Design Drafter
Senior Design Drafter
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Aide Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Senior Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Senior Designer
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Drafter
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Electrical Designer
Senior Electrical Designer
13 Yearsyrs
Designer Mechanical Designer
Senior Mechanical Designer
11 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Structural Designer
Senior Structural Designer
13 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Structures Engineer
Senior Structural Engineer
13 Yearsyrs
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Draftsman Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Russian

  • Carrier

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Cantonese

  • Arabic

  • Vietnamese

  • Korean

  • Indonesian

  • Armenian

  • Italian

  • Polish

  • Ukrainian

  • Kiribati

  • Navajo

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Draftsman Education


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Real Draftsman Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
America's Cup Draftsman Artemis Racing USA, Inc. Alameda, CA Jan 07, 2015 $90,000
Draftsman Welkin Mechanical, LLC NY Sep 24, 2016 $63,752
Draftsman Welkin Mechanical, LLC NY Jan 10, 2016 $63,752
Draftsman Portland Services, LLC Miami, FL Jun 20, 2011 $57,096
BIM Technician/Draftsman McCool Carlson Green Anchorage, AK Oct 11, 2016 $57,000
E.I.T./Draftsman The Holt Group, Inc. El Centro, CA Sep 11, 2014 $55,000
Chief Structural Draftsman American Structural Engineers of Nevada Inc. Las Vegas, NV Sep 10, 2012 $52,624
Chief Structural Draftsman American Structural Engineers Las Vegas, NV Sep 10, 2011 $44,866
Chief Structural Draftsman American Structural Engineers of Nevada Inc. Las Vegas, NV Sep 10, 2011 $44,866
Marine Draftsman Bennett & Associates, L.L.C. New Orleans, LA Sep 13, 2011 $44,762
Draftsman Lee and Sakahara Architects, Inc. Irvine, CA Jun 01, 2015 $42,000
Structural Draftsman Uzun and Case Engineers, LLC Atlanta, GA Sep 20, 2014 $42,000
Draftsman Thomas & Sons Builders, (D/B/A T&S Builders) New Milford, NJ Aug 02, 2016 $40,643
Hvac Draftsman South Seminole Sheet Metal Apopka, FL May 17, 2010 $35,500
Draftsman Building Solution Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 24, 2010 $33,100

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Top Skills for A Draftsman


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Top Draftsman Skills

  1. Autocad LT
  2. Layout Drawings
  3. Auto CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create and print structural designs for new house construction sites using AutoCAD LT 2011..
  • Aided in producing layout drawings for Nuclear Power Plant electrical power, multiplexing control, and sensor cable conduit routing.
  • Created assembly drawings using auto cad release 9 & 10 to create new company catalogs
  • Coordinated plans between engineering department and shop application.
  • Prepared Shop Drawings and Shop tickets for Precast plant

Top Draftsman Employers

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Draftsman Videos

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

Designer/Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org

Mechanical Design Draftsman, Career Video from drkit.org