Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC
Raymond Building Supply
Drafting Jobs Overview
Do you have a hard time choosing between a creative and technical career? Consider applying for drafting jobs, where you can combine your artistic abilities with your computer skills to help craft new buildings, machinery, and infrastructure. Drafters—also known as draftsmen, draftspeople, or drafting technicians—translate the ideas of architects and engineers into technical drawings that are easy for construction or manufacturing crews to read and build. In this career, you'll be following in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci, who many consider to be one of the first master drafters—his technical drawings of inventions were revolutionary.
Today, most drafters use computer-aided design (CAD) software or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software. Drafters can also draw by hand using a tilting table or a drafting machine, but this is mostly limited to the concept stage. Software is used for the final design.
Drafters usually specialize in one of the following areas:
- Mechanical drafters prepare diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices.
- Architectural drafters work with architects to produce designs for buildings and infrastructure.
- Civil drafters work with civil engineers to create maps, drawings, and diagrams of buildings and infrastructure.
- Electrical and electronic drafters work with electrical and electronic engineers to produce diagrams and drawings of equipment and parts.
To expand your job search, look for other engineering jobs as well. Consider searching for the following careers:
Drafter Training and Skills
There are two common educational paths to becoming a drafter: attending a technical institute to get a trade-specific education or obtaining an associate degree in drafting, design, or engineering from a community college. Attending a trade school will give you more technical training, since you may not need to take general education classes, but the tradeoff is that the classes may not give you credit for further education. Aspiring drafters typically take classes in:
- CAD software
- 3D modeling
To land your first job, consider getting an internship during your education. You can also put together a portfolio of drawings from your classes. Once you're working as a drafter, portfolios are harder to make because the drawings you produce often belong to the company. A certification from the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) is also helpful but not required.
Successful drafters have a good combination of creative and analytical skills and are as comfortable drawing by hand as they are using computer programs. Drafters must have a great eye for detail because the results of a mistake in the design process can be significant. Special knowledge in mathematics, physics, design, computer technology, and engineering are useful, since drafting incorporates skills from many different areas. Employers also look for team players who can work closely with architects, civil engineers, other designers, and sometimes even clients.
Update Your Drafter Resume
Are your new resume and cover letter still in draft form? Transform them into completed documents and learn how to make them stand out with Monster's library of career resources. You can read our articles on resume writing tips and our sample cover letters for some ideas.
Interviewing for Drafting Jobs
An interview for a drafting job is likely to include both typical job interview questions and more technical ones. Read our list of potential interview questions to prepare. Here are some you might encounter:
- What techniques do you use to create design drafts?
- What do you think are the best features of AutoCAD?
- What is the most difficult design you've worked on?
- Which of your skills are stronger: technical or artistic?
How Much Do Drafting Jobs Pay?
Generally, civil and architectural drafters are the best-paid drafters. The median salary of a civil or architectural drafter is $57,940. The median hourly wage of a mechanical or electrical drafter is $26.05. The median hourly wage for a CAD designer/drafter is $24.41.
You can type your job title and location into Monster's Salary Tools to get a more precise estimate of how much these jobs pay in your area.
Want to Learn More About Companies You're Interested In?
Monster's company profiles can help you find out more about businesses you're interested in working for, such as the location, headquarters, and number of employees. Some profiles also include photos, videos, and a summary of company benefits.
Apply to Drafting Jobs on Monster
Once your resume is ready, potential employers need to be able to find it. Get your resume into the hands of top companies by creating a profile on Monster. You can upload your resume to your profile and use it to apply for jobs quickly and you can also make it visible to employers searching for new talent.