How To Become An Architectural and Civil Drafter

A career as an Architectural and Civil Drafter is an interesting and rewarding choice. If you’ve ever wondered how a beautiful building or home got its start… then, wonder no more. Through the imagination of Architectural and Civil Drafters, structures are made aesthetically pleasing, as well as structurally sound.

If you have always had an interest in the field of architecture, this career option is for you! Find out all about it below!

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What does an Architectural and Civil Drafter do?

Architectural and Civil Drafters prepare drawings, blueprints, or schematics that detail the structural requirements for the construction of public buildings, highways, bridges, or residential homes, and the like. They must be very knowledgeable in CAD software, building materials, as well as engineering practices.

Is there a difference between an Architectural Drafter and a Civil Drafter?

Architectural Drafters focus on the aesthetics and functionality of a project, and Civil Drafters concentrate on the design’s structural elements. 

What sort of education do I need to be an Architectural and Civil Drafter?

Generally, a 2-year associate degree program in drafting, design technology, or engineering graphics will suffice, as most employers prefer some specialized training. Most community colleges offer this type of technical training, emphasizing computer-aided drafting (CAD).

What will I learn in an associate degree program in this field?

Most programs focus on architectural principles, CAD software, drafting fundamentals, construction techniques and methods, building materials, 3-dimensional modeling, and much more! 

How much money can I earn as an Architectural and Civil Drafter?

As of May 2020, the average salary for an Architectural and Civil Drafter is $59,120 annually, while the highest 10% earned upwards of $83,740 per year, according to the BLS.

Are Architectural and Civil Drafter jobs readily available?

Drafter’s jobs are expected to grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028, adding 14,500 new jobs to the workforce in this period.

Do I need to be certified?

Certifications that specialize in your field are always a good idea, although they may only be optional. Suppose you would like to gain certification so you can qualify for the best jobs and salaries. In that case, the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers a certification exam to prove your knowledge. It must be renewed every five years. 

Are there different types of drafting to consider as a career?

Yes, in this field, there are several types of drafting specializations to consider; all requiring varying degrees of education, of course, such as:

  • Architectural 
  • Civil 
  • Mechanical
  • Aeronautical
  • Electrical 
  • Topographical
  • Automotive
  • Interior Design
  • And, many more!

What skills do I need to be a good Architectural and Civil Drafter?

Most who would like to pursue a career in this field are good in math and deductive reasoning skills. You should also be an excellent problem-solver, critical thinker, and have technical skills. Knowledge of CAD software is a must.

How do I begin my career as an Architectural and Civil Drafter?

Internships are a great way to gain valuable work experience. They allow you to work under the supervision of more experienced drafters. As you work with other professionals in your field, you will learn from them and forge lifelong networking opportunities.

What are the working conditions for Drafters?

Typically, Architectural and Civil Drafters work in an office setting. They often work closely with engineers. But that’s not to say you will be stuck behind a desk all of the time. Some on-site visits will be necessary, without a doubt. Most are employed full-time.