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Mechanical Design Drafter Careers

A mechanical design drafter is required to develop comprehensive mechanical tools designs and descriptions required for grouping and adjusting them to rectify faults and lessen issues in manufacturing. You will sometimes work with architects and engineers, whether in an office or in the field, with a manual understanding of computer-aided design (CAD) software, structuring procedure, visual capability, and estimation skills.

Additionally, you are required to teach production recruits on computerized numerical control (CNC) pipe bending and how to perfectly use production devices and appliances. Besides this, you must deliver a PowerPoint demonstration for periodical updates of plans design at a plan supervision meeting. It is also necessary for you to be skillful technologically and able to provide various drafting techniques as a mechanical design drafter.

To fit into this role, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of mathematical notions, excellent interaction, technological and time management skills. You must be able to meet up deadlines and be detail-oriented. Adding to this, it is essential to have educational qualifications like either obtaining an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. With this, you will earn an average of $53,245 per year or $25.60 per hour.

What Does a Mechanical Design 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 a Mechanical Design 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
$53,245
Average Salary
0
Job Openings
27,589
Job Openings

Mechanical Design Drafter Career Paths

Top Careers Before Mechanical Design Drafter

Drafter
8.8 %

Top Careers After Mechanical Design Drafter

Mechanical Design Drafter Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Mechanical Design Drafter

Mechanical Design Drafters in America make an average salary of $53,245 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $72,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Salary
$53,245
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Irvine, CA
Salary Range47k - 80k$62k$61,920
Portland, OR
Salary Range48k - 76k$61k$60,964
Ogden, UT
Salary Range47k - 71k$58k$58,170
Englewood, CO
Salary Range45k - 67k$55k$55,234
Dallas, TX
Salary Range43k - 68k$54k$54,343
De Pere, WI
Salary Range41k - 61k$50k$50,217
$39k
$80k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Mechanical Design/Drafter
Mechanical Design/Drafter
Superior Resource Group
Superior Resource Group
06/21/2021
06/21/2021
$41,74006/21/2021
$41,740
Mechanical Designer\\Drafter (Designer/Drafter)
Mechanical Designer\\Drafter (Designer/Drafter)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
06/15/2021
06/15/2021
$77,30006/15/2021
$77,300
Mechanical Drafter/Designer
Mechanical Drafter/Designer
XXX
XXX
05/25/2021
05/25/2021
$50,08805/25/2021
$50,088
Mechanical Drafter/Designer
Mechanical Drafter/Designer
XXX
XXX
05/25/2021
05/25/2021
$50,08805/25/2021
$50,088
Mechanical Designer/Mcad Drafter
Mechanical Designer/Mcad Drafter
Randstad
Randstad
12/09/2020
12/09/2020
$81,39312/09/2020
$81,393
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Mechanical Design Drafter Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Mechanical Design Drafter. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Mechanical Design Drafter Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Mechanical Design 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.

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Mechanical Design Drafter Demographics

Gender

male

83.4 %

female

13.1 %

unknown

3.5 %

Ethnicity

White

70.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.3 %

Asian

8.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8 %

Carrier

13.2 %

French

7.9 %
See More Demographics

Mechanical Design Drafter Education

Degrees

Associate

46.8 %

Bachelors

22.6 %

Certificate

18.8 %

Top Colleges for Mechanical Design Drafters

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

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

3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

4. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736

5. LeTourneau University

Longview, TX • Private

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

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. University of Dayton

Dayton, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$42,900
Enrollment
8,508

10. Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,960
Enrollment
16,157
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Mechanical Design Drafter That You May Like

Mechanical design and Product development process
udemy
4.2
(289)

Learn the basic ideas and concepts behind developing mechanical products related to mechanical engineering...

Mechanical engineering design: Sheet metal design
udemy
4.1
(393)

Learn Sheet metal design, processes and practical design considerations along with Design projects...

Modeling and Design for Mechanical Engineers with Autodesk Fusion 360
coursera

There are many considerations that play a part in engineering a new product. Regardless of what that product is, there are fundamentals such as form, fit, and function when it comes to digital modeling. In this course, we lay the foundation to create any design and dive deep into topics about the control of the design. From assembly joints and joint limits to complex shapes using forms, rest assured that your design will be rock solid. After completing this course you'll be able to: - Create and...

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Top Skills For a Mechanical Design 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, 16.6% of mechanical design drafters listed engineering drawings on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and technical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Mechanical Design Drafter

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mechanical design drafter. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Mechanical design drafters make the most in California with an average salary of $64,942. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $62,311 and $61,905, respectively. While mechanical design drafters would only make an average of $60,934 in Alaska, 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. Utah

Total Mechanical Design Drafter Jobs:
302
Highest 10% Earn:
$89,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
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. Oregon

Total Mechanical Design Drafter Jobs:
479
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
1.59
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. Washington

Total Mechanical Design Drafter Jobs:
644
Highest 10% Earn:
$93,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
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 Mechanical Design Drafter Employers

1. Halliburton
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$83,412
Mechanical Design Drafters Hired: 
14+
2. National Oilwell Varco
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$81,749
Mechanical Design Drafters Hired: 
13+
3. Aerotek
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$43,718
Mechanical Design Drafters Hired: 
12+
4. Lockheed Martin
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$67,209
Mechanical Design Drafters Hired: 
11+
5. Jacobs Engineering Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$90,499
Mechanical Design Drafters Hired: 
9+
6. Pratt & Whitney
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$79,198
Mechanical Design Drafters Hired: 
8+

Mechanical Design Drafter Videos

Updated October 2, 2020