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Mechanical Drafter

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Life As a Mechanical Drafter

Job Description: Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.

List of Mechanical Drafter Job Duties

  • Compute mathematical formulas to develop and design detailed specifications for components or machinery, using computer-assisted equipment.
  • Lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components, assemblies, systems, and machines.
  • Shade or color drawings to clarify and emphasize details and dimensions or eliminate background using ink, crayon, airbrush, and overlays.
  • Confer with customer representatives to review schematics and answer questions pertaining to installation of systems.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to the materials.
  • Position instructions and comments onto drawings.

Skills Needed to be a Mechanical Drafter

These are the skills Mechanical Drafters say are the most useful in their careers:

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Other Mechanical Drafter Job Titles

  • Technical Illustrator
  • Product Designer
  • Castings Drafter
  • Automotive Design Layout Drafter
  • Design Technician

Job Outlook for Mechanical Drafters

There were about 64,800 jobs for Mechanical Drafter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.2% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Mechanical Drafter by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,900 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Mechanical Drafter are Nevada, Connecticut, and Wyoming. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Vermont, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Mechanical Drafter

The salary for Mechanical Drafters ranges between about $35,720 and $88,280 a year.

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Mechanical Drafters who work in Washington, New Mexico, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Mechanical Drafters make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $56,960
Alaska $72,880
Arizona $65,040
Arkansas $50,430
California $65,710
Colorado $63,450
Connecticut $66,590
Delaware $58,360
District of Columbia $50,500
Florida $54,610
Georgia $53,410
Hawaii $59,450
Idaho $48,430
Illinois $56,210
Indiana $51,610
Iowa $55,180
Kansas $50,210
Kentucky $53,950
Louisiana $66,150
Maine $56,880
Maryland $65,420
Massachusetts $57,500
Michigan $58,070
Minnesota $59,360
Mississippi $59,870
Missouri $54,470
Montana $53,230
Nebraska $50,100
Nevada $49,210
New Hampshire $58,350
New Jersey $68,200
New Mexico $69,930
New York $57,780
North Carolina $53,810
North Dakota $51,970
Ohio $53,690
Oklahoma $59,930
Oregon $57,750
Pennsylvania $54,280
Rhode Island $52,160
South Carolina $60,180
South Dakota $41,450
Tennessee $60,890
Texas $61,770
Utah $60,450
Vermont $53,600
Virginia $59,000
Washington $81,180
West Virginia $51,180
Wisconsin $52,390
Wyoming $54,650

What Tools do Mechanical Drafters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Mechanical Drafters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Bentley Microstation
  • PTC Creo Parametric
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
  • Document management system software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects

How do I Become a Mechanical Drafter?

Are there Mechanical Drafters education requirements?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Mechanical Drafter?

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Mechanical Drafters Sector

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The table below shows the approximate number of Mechanical Drafters employed by various industries.

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References:

Image Credit: Pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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