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Become An Electrical Drafter

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Working As An Electrical Drafter

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $62,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical 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 Electrical 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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Electrical Drafter Career Paths

Electrical Drafter
Electrical Designer Electrical Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Electrical Designer Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineer Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Designer Electrical Engineer Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Designer Mechanical Designer
Senior Mechanical Designer
11 Yearsyrs
Designer Piping Designer
Senior Piping Designer
12 Yearsyrs
Designer Piping Designer Senior Piping Designer
Lead Piping Designer
12 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Project Engineer Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Mechanical Designer
Lead Mechanical Designer
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Senior Designer
Contract Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Electrical & Instrumentation Designer Senior Electrical Designer Senior Designer
Design Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Electrical & Instrumentation Designer Controls Designer
Senior Electrical Designer
14 Yearsyrs
Electrical & Instrumentation Designer Senior Designer Senior Mechanical Designer
Design Checker
11 Yearsyrs
Piping Designer Project Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Manager Of Electrical Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Controls Designer Controls Engineer Lead Engineer
Senior Engineering Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Controls Designer Controls Engineer Instrumentation Engineer
Senior Instrumentation Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Designer Project Manager Project Director
Manager, Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Designer Senior Electrical Engineer Construction Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer Senior Product Engineer
Lead Product Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Electrical Design Engineer System Design Engineer Mechanical Designer
Senior Drafter
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Electrical Design Engineer
Avionics Engineer
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
Draftsman/Designer 4.3 years
Lead Drafter 4.3 years
Structural Drafter 3.4 years
Autocad Drafter 3.2 years
Electrical Drafter 3.0 years
Drafter 2.8 years
Civil Drafter 2.6 years
Contract-Drafter 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Electrical Drafter
Drafter 19.6%
Designer 4.0%
Draftsman 2.9%
Cashier 1.8%
Top Careers After Electrical Drafter
Drafter 9.6%
Designer 7.0%

Do you work as an Electrical Drafter?

Average Yearly Salary
$62,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$40,000
Min 10%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Lockheed Martin
Highest Paying City
Walnut Creek, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does an Electrical Drafter make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Electrical Drafter in the United States is $62,704 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $40,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $97,000.

Real Electrical Drafter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Electrical Drafter JVP Engineers P.C. Washington, DC Aug 01, 2012 $57,907
Electrical Engineering Drafter SNC-Lavalin Constructors Inc. Rochester, NY Dec 23, 2011 $56,500
Electrical Engineering Drafter SNC-Lavalin Constructors Inc. Binghamton, NY Dec 23, 2011 $56,500
Electrical Engineering Drafter Rudell & Associates, Inc. Islandia, NY Feb 02, 2010 $55,120
Electrical Engineering Drafter Rudell & Associates, Inc. Islandia, NY Jul 24, 2010 $55,120
Electrical Drafter Altran Solutions Corp. Cranbury, NJ Sep 12, 2011 $55,000
Electrical Drafters Rudell & Associates, Inc. Islandia, NY Aug 18, 2011 $52,832
Electrical Drafter Altran Solutions Corp. Cranbury, NJ Sep 06, 2011 $52,000
Electrical Engineering Drafter SNC-Lavalin America Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Apr 11, 2011 $50,000
Electrical Engineering Drafter 1 Automatic Handling International, Inc. Erie, MI Jan 31, 2011 $50,000
Electrical Engineering Drafter I Automatic Handling International, Inc. Erie, MI Jan 31, 2011 $50,000
Electrical Engineering Drafter GC Eng Engineering Associates, PC New York, NY Apr 16, 2010 $48,609
Electrical Drafter Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Baltimore, MD Sep 30, 2009 $47,934
Electrical Drafter Professional Mechanical Services Inc. Capitol Heights, MD Apr 14, 2008 $47,354
Electrical Drafter Architectural Busstrut Corp Westerville, OH Jan 08, 2016 $45,000
Electrical Drafter Architectural Busstrut Corp Westerville, OH Jul 15, 2016 $45,000
Electrical Drafter Temes Engineering Corp Paterson, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $43,180 -
$21

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Top Skills for An Electrical Drafter

  1. Autocad Electrical
  2. Panel Layouts
  3. Electrical Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Specialized in Electrical Drafting using AutoCAD Electrical software.
  • Create CAD drawings from engineering mark-ups, including wiring diagrams, electrical schematics, and panel layouts.
  • Drafted and Designed blast furnace electrical components and chemical plant electrical systems.
  • Lead Electrical CAD technician for electrical and telecommunication projects.
  • Experience building control panels and rewiring/rebuilding them.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Electrical Drafters

  1. New Mexico
  2. Washington
  3. Louisiana
  4. Arizona
  5. Vermont
  6. Oregon
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Minnesota
  9. Iowa
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (39 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (120 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (86 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (181 jobs)

Electrical Drafter Demographics

Gender

Male

65.8%

Female

25.1%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.2%

German

9.5%

French

9.5%

Arabic

4.8%
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Electrical Drafter Education

Schools

University of Houston

8.6%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

San Jacinto College District

7.4%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

7.4%

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West

7.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

ITI Technical College

4.9%

York Technical Institute

4.9%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.7%

Amarillo College

3.7%

Washington State Community College

3.7%

Central Tech - Drumright

3.7%

College of Marin

3.7%

ITT Technical Institute-Portland

3.7%

University of New Orleans

3.7%

State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi

3.7%

Delgado Community College

3.7%

Porter and Chester Institute

3.7%

Piedmont Technical College

3.7%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

43.8%

Electrical Engineering

11.2%

Business

6.3%

Architecture

4.9%

Mechanical Engineering

4.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.0%

Project Management

2.6%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Engineering Technology

2.1%

Computer Science

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.6%

Information Technology

1.6%

Construction Management

1.6%

Industrial Technology

1.4%

Management

1.4%

Mathematics

1.4%

General Studies

1.2%
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Degrees

Associate

38.6%

Other

24.9%

Bachelors

22.6%

Certificate

7.5%

Masters

3.7%

Diploma

2.6%
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