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Become A Truss Designer

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Working As A Truss Designer

  • 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

  • $78,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Truss Designer 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 A Truss Designer

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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Top Skills for A Truss Designer

  1. Layout Design
  2. Mitek
  3. Roof Trusses
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Download the On-Line Data layout design to AutoCAD and provide notes and enhancements to the layout as required.
  • Worked extensively with MiTek engineering, GP FastPLAN joist design, Excel, and numerous other technical computer software.
  • Designed and Engineered Roof Trusses per Design and Specifications
  • Develop detailed Truss layout based on Structural and architectural plans.
  • Design and fabricate custom timber trusses Perform dimensional calculations and verification of proposed blueprints Assisting metal engineer with AutoCAD and CNC designs

Truss Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

81.6%

Female

14.2%

Unknown

4.2%
Ethnicity

White

65.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

83.3%

Portuguese

8.3%

Italian

8.3%

Truss Designer Education

Schools

Brevard Community College

7.4%

Kaplan University

7.4%

Utah Valley University

5.9%

University of Phoenix

5.9%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

5.9%

ITT Technical Institute-Rancho Cordova

5.9%

Purdue University

5.9%

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino

4.4%

University of Florida

4.4%

Washington State University

4.4%

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

4.4%

Danville Community College

4.4%

Madison Area Technical College

4.4%

Brigham Young University

4.4%

Lansing Community College

4.4%

East Carolina University

4.4%

Wake Technical Community College

4.4%

El Paso Community College

4.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.4%

Texas A&M University

2.9%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

25.9%

Business

10.7%

Mechanical Engineering

8.0%

Civil Engineering

6.7%

Architecture

6.3%

Architectural Technology

5.8%

Construction Management

5.4%

Electrical Engineering

4.0%

Computer Science

3.1%

Engineering Technology

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Psychology

2.2%

Management

2.2%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Accounting

2.2%

Industrial Technology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.6%

Associate

33.2%

Other

21.7%

Masters

4.8%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

0.8%
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