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Architectural Drafter

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What You Need to Know About Architectural Drafter

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

Life As an Architectural Drafter

  • Create freehand drawings and lettering to accompany drawings.
  • Build landscape, architectural, and display models.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to lists of materials.
  • Calculate heat loss and gain of buildings and structures to determine required equipment specifications, following standard procedures.
  • Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  • Analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs.

Things an Architectural Drafter Should Know How to Do

Architectural Drafters state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Oil and Gas Drafter
  • AutoCAD Designer
  • Steel Detailer
  • Truss Designer
  • Project Architect

Architectural Drafter Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 99,600 jobs for Architectural Drafter in 2016. 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.

Average Architectural Drafters 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.

How much do Architectural Drafters make in each U.S. state?

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 & Technology do Architectural Drafters Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Architectural Drafters may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Becoming an Architectural Drafter

Education needed to be an Architectural Drafter:

Architectural Drafter Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Architectural Drafter Work Experience

Where Architectural Drafters Are Employed

Architectural Drafter Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Architectural Drafter Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

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

Career changers with experience as an Architectural Drafter sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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