Drafters generally need to complete postsecondary education in drafting.
Drafters typically complete education after high school, often through a program at a community college or technical school. Some programs lead to an associate of applied science in drafting or a related degree. Others result in a certificate or diploma.
Drafters typically need an associate of applied science in drafting or a related degree from a community college or technical school. Some drafters prepare for the occupation by earning a certificate or diploma.
Programs in drafting may include instruction in design fundamentals, sketching, and computer-aided design (CAD) software. It generally takes about 2 years of full-time education to earn an associate’s degree. Certificate and diploma programs vary in length but usually may be completed in less time.
Students frequently specialize in a particular type of drafting, such as mechanical or architectural drafting.
High school students may begin preparing by taking classes in mathematics, science, computer technology, design, computer graphics, and, where available, drafting.
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.
Creativity. Drafters must be able to turn plans and ideas into technical drawings of buildings, tools, and systems.
Detail oriented. Drafters must take care 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 communicate effectively and work well with others.
Math skills. Drafters work on technical drawings. They may be required to calculate angles, weights, costs, and other values.
Technical skills. Drafters in all specialties must be able to use computer software, such as CAD, and work with database tools, such as building information modeling (BIM).
Time-management skills. Drafters often work under deadline. As a result, they must work efficiently to produce the required output according to set schedules.