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Average Salary
$52,088
Average Salary
0
Job Openings
9,577
Job Openings

Electrical Drafter Careers

As an electrical drafter, you will create technical illustrations that companies will use as visual aids for operating complex equipment, communication hubs, or power plant wiring. Your drawings will be used as guidelines when installing or repairing equipment, which may include information such as dimensions and procedures. Thus, your role is essential to the functioning of the whole facility.

Some of the duties and responsibilities that you will perform as an electrical drafter include designing and drawing wiring diagrams. You will calculate material and transmission needs and develop technical specification guidelines. You will direct electrical installers and resolve electrical planning issues. Essential skills required to successfully complete these tasks are electrical design knowledge, drafting skills, collaborative, problem-solving, and communication.

To qualify for the position, employers usually expect electrical drafters to have an associate's degree. Moreover, prior work experience in a similar role would be advantageous. The average hourly pay for this position is $27.64, which amounts to more than $53,000 annually.

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.

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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Average Salary
$52,088
Average Salary
0
Job Openings
9,577
Job Openings

Electrical Drafter Career Paths

Top Careers Before Electrical Drafter

Drafter
15.7 %

Top Careers After Electrical Drafter

Drafter
6.2 %

Electrical Drafter Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for an Electrical Drafter

Electrical Drafters in America make an average salary of $52,088 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $40,000 per year.
Average Salary
$52,088
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Ceres, CA
Salary Range44k - 72k$57k$57,048
New York, NY
Salary Range44k - 69k$56k$55,503
Paterson, NJ
Salary Range44k - 69k$55k$55,288
Washington, DC
Salary Range42k - 65k$52k$52,474
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range40k - 63k$51k$50,705
Westerville, OH
Salary Range39k - 61k$49k$49,286
$39k
$72k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Electrical Drafter
Electrical Drafter
BC Architects Engineers, PLC
BC Architects Engineers, PLC
03/18/2021
03/18/2021
$73,69403/18/2021
$73,694
Electrical Drafter
Electrical Drafter
Selectek Staffing Solutions
Selectek Staffing Solutions
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$39,65301/30/2021
$39,653
Electrical Drafter
Electrical Drafter
Selectek
Selectek
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$39,65301/29/2021
$39,653
Electrical Drafter
Electrical Drafter
Selectek
Selectek
01/22/2021
01/22/2021
$41,74001/22/2021
$41,740
Autocad Electrical Drafter
Autocad Electrical Drafter
Allied Global Services
Allied Global Services
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$73,04501/21/2021
$73,045
See More Recent Salaries

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Electrical Drafter Demographics

Gender

male

67.9 %

female

26.8 %

unknown

5.3 %

Ethnicity

White

71.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.6 %

Asian

7.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.2 %

German

9.5 %

French

9.5 %
See More Demographics

Electrical Drafter Education

Degrees

Associate

52.6 %

Certificate

19.5 %

Bachelors

17.5 %

Top Colleges for Electrical Drafters

1. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

2. Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$47,646
Enrollment
2,924

3. LeTourneau University

Longview, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$30,210
Enrollment
1,771

4. Dunwoody College of Technology

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$22,046
Enrollment
1,294

5. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,570
Enrollment
3,721
See More Education Info

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Top Skills For an Electrical Drafter

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.8% of electrical drafters listed autocad on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For an Electrical Drafter

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an electrical drafter. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Oregon. Electrical drafters make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $55,307. Whereas in New York and Connecticut, they would average $55,218 and $55,090, respectively. While electrical drafters would only make an average of $54,854 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Electrical Drafter Jobs:
151
Highest 10% Earn:
$80,000
Location Quotient:
0.95
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Electrical Drafter Jobs:
123
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Pennsylvania

Total Electrical Drafter Jobs:
331
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
0.74
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Electrical Drafter Employers

1. Aerotek
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$43,476
Electrical Drafters Hired: 
20+
2. Burns & McDonnell
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$66,939
Electrical Drafters Hired: 
10+
3. Jacobs Engineering Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$88,804
Electrical Drafters Hired: 
9+
4. Black & Veatch
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$49,063
Electrical Drafters Hired: 
5+
5. Sargent & Lundy
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$48,633
Electrical Drafters Hired: 
5+
6. AAON
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$50,864
Electrical Drafters Hired: 
5+

Electrical Drafter Videos

Updated October 2, 2020