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Architectural Drafter

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What is an Architectural Drafter?

Architectural Drafter Job Description Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

Life As an Architectural Drafter

  • Coordinate structural, electrical, and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.
  • Reproduce drawings on copy machines or trace copies of plans and drawings, using transparent paper or cloth, ink, pencil, and standard drafting instruments.
  • Operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms, and records.
  • Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  • Prepare colored drawings of landscape and interior designs for presentation to client.
  • Build landscape, architectural, and display models.

Qualities of an Architectural Drafter

When polled, Architectural Drafters say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

  • AutoCAD Designer
  • Architecture Drafter
  • Computer-Aided Design Drafter (CAD Drafter)
  • Architectural Computer-Aided Design Technician (Architectural CAD Technician)
  • Assistant Drafter

What Kind of Architectural Drafter Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 99,600 jobs for Architectural Drafter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,100 new jobs for Architectural Drafter by 2026. There will be an estimated 9,500 positions for Architectural Drafter per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Architectural Drafters in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Architectural Drafter are Utah, Nevada, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Architectural Drafter Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Architectural Drafters is somewhere between $35,020 and $80,880.

Salary Ranges for Architectural Drafters

Architectural Drafters who work in District of Columbia, Illinois, or California, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Architectural Drafters in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $52,740
Alaska $60,200
Arizona $58,700
Arkansas $45,500
California $63,320
Colorado $59,560
Connecticut $64,390
Delaware $52,830
District of Columbia $68,330
Florida $53,270
Georgia $57,280
Hawaii $54,520
Idaho $48,710
Illinois $64,720
Indiana $54,080
Iowa $55,490
Kansas $50,500
Kentucky $51,330
Louisiana $56,390
Maine $51,380
Maryland $64,560
Massachusetts $59,740
Michigan $51,760
Minnesota $54,300
Mississippi $48,980
Missouri $55,000
Montana $46,020
Nebraska $50,270
Nevada $49,510
New Hampshire $53,540
New Jersey $58,840
New Mexico $51,200
New York $59,770
North Carolina $53,160
North Dakota $57,230
Ohio $53,720
Oklahoma $54,840
Oregon $58,480
Pennsylvania $52,320
Rhode Island $58,190
South Carolina $51,820
South Dakota $43,090
Tennessee $54,360
Texas $56,120
Utah $51,640
Vermont $45,310
Virginia $54,390
Washington $58,170
West Virginia $56,320
Wisconsin $53,450
Wyoming $53,050

What Tools do Architectural Drafters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Architectural Drafters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Database software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • C
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • SAP software

How to Become an Architectural Drafter

Learn what Architectural Drafter education requirements there are.

Architectural Drafter Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Architectural Drafter?

Architectural Drafter Work Experience

Where do Architectural Drafters Work?

Architectural Drafter Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Architectural Drafters employed by various industries.

Architectural Drafter Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being an Architectural Drafter may also be interested in:

Those who work as an Architectural Drafter sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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