Drafters turn designs for buildings, bridges, and gadgets into fully realized drawings that can be manufactured and built. Drafters use computer-aided design software to convert the sketches and specifications made by architects and engineers into technical drawings. They typically specialize in one area: Architectural drafters draw architectural and structural features of buildings for construction projects. These workers may specialize in a type of building, or in a particular type of material, such as steel or reinforced concrete. Civil drafters prepare topographical maps used in construction and civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, and flood-control projects. Electrical drafters create wiring diagrams that other workers use to install and repair electrical equipment and wiring in power plants, electrical distribution systems, and residential and commercial buildings. Electronics drafters produce wiring diagrams, assembly diagrams for circuit boards, and layout drawings used in manufacturing and to install and repair electronic devices. Mechanical drafters prepare detailed layouts for a wide variety of machinery and mechanical tools and devices. These layouts indicate requirements needed for assembly. Although drafters spend much of their time working on computers in an office, some visit jobsites to collaborate with architects and engineers. Most drafters work full time. Drafters generally need to complete a certificate or associate’s degree at a technical institute or community college.
What they do:
Develop specifications and instructions for installation of voltage transformers, overhead or underground cables, and related electrical equipment used to conduct electrical energy from transmission lines or high-voltage distribution lines to consumers.
On the job, you would:
Use computer-aided drafting equipment or conventional drafting stations, technical handbooks, tables, calculators, and traditional drafting tools, such as boards, pencils, protractors, and T-squares.
Draft working drawings, wiring diagrams, wiring connection specifications or cross-sections of underground cables, as required for instructions to installation crew.
Assemble documentation packages and produce drawing sets which are checked by an engineer or an architect.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
Safety and Government
public safety and security
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.