Drafting takes the designs of engineers and architects and converts them into technical drawings and plans that are used to design everything from the smallest microchips to the largest skyscrapers.
What Will I Study?
- Drafting I:
- Students are introduced to the theory and the manipulative skills necessary to produce and complete accurate drawings by learning basic drafting operations. Students begin to focus on performing basic mechanical drafting and design operations using CADD software.
- Drafting II:
- Students perform intermediate mechanical drafting and design operations using CADD software. Students will prepare representations of mechanical parts and develop 3-D models.
- Drafting III:
- Students perform architectural drafting and design operations using CADD software. Students will prepare drawings (site, floor, foundation, sections, elevations) and material schedules necessary to construct a house.
Why Choose Drafting?
Drafting can provide students with an entry-level job upon graduation. The drafting profession is diverse, and students can pursue their area of interest by continuing their education. Many community colleges offer an associate (2-year) degree in drafting. Students can also pursue a bachelor (4-year) degree in architecture or engineering.
What Jobs Are Available?
- Aeronautical drafters prepare engineering drawings that show detailed plans and specifications used in manufacturing aircraft, missiles, and related parts.
- 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 major construction or 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. Workers sometimes create production molds.
- Process piping or pipeline drafters prepare plans used in the layout, construction, and operation of oil and gas fields, refineries, chemical plants, and process piping systems.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Drafters, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/drafters.htm (visited September 02, 2014).