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Do you like the idea of designing buildings and structures? Do you have a passion for drawing? If so, read on to learn more information about becoming an architectural draftsman!
Architectural Draftsman Defined
As an architectural draftsman, or architectural drafter, you create the design for new structures. By preparing structural plans and blueprints, an architectural draftsman is able to create the design of a structure on paper. You might complete this task freehand, using a drawing board, pencil and ruler, or through CADD (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting) and BIM (Building Information Modeling) techniques. Drafters often specialize in a specific kind of building or material used. For example, you might design only commercial or residential buildings, or focus on concrete or timber structures. Technological advancements over the last several years have created a more user friendly and powerful CADD and BIM programs, making it the most-used method of drafting today.
What Education Requirements Do I Need to Meet?
Potential architectural drafters should pursue an associate's degree in the field in order to have the best job opportunities. Technical institutes, community colleges and universities offer a range of training programs. Topics of study include CADD, BIM, construction techniques, architectural drawing and design fundamentals.
Architectural drafters can also continue their education by earning a four-year degree to become architects. Those interested in an architectural drafting degree should develop strong math, science, computer, art and design skills. In order to further your career, you could also pursue the certification credential offered by the American Design Drafting Association; applicants must successfully complete a certifying exam (www.adda.org).
What is My Career Outlook?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for architectural drafters were expected to increase nine percent between the years of 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). If you want to pursue the field, you are likely to have the best job opportunities if you have a solid educational background. The middle half of architectural drafters earned between $37,070 and $58,660 per year in 2010.
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