Career As a Draftsman: Education and Career Roadmap
Draftsmen are responsible for creating technical drawings that accurately represent design ideas. These drawings function as guides for manufacturers, builders and engineers. Draftsmen use hand drawing and computer-aided drafting methods to generate precise drawings that meet given specifications.
Step 1: Complete an Associate's or Bachelor's Degree Program
While not explicitly required to become a draftsman, a postsecondary degree from a 2- or 4-year institution or technical institute may increase career prospects for finding a drafting job. Programs in science, engineering technology, computer science and mathematics can all lead to a career in drafting, but many students typically earn associate's or bachelor's degrees in architecture. These programs focus heavily on architectural design, basic and advanced mathematics, technical drawing and computer-aided design and drafting.
Step 2: Hone Your Computer Skills
Modern draftsmen rely on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to perform their job duties. Draftsmen still must learn manual drawing techniques, but most jobs available today require proficiency in CADD systems. Technical and trade schools offer comprehensive training in CADD software.
Step 3: Attain Professional Certification
The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) administers the Drafter Certification Examination to those who want professional certification in the drafting field. The exam is open to anyone who registers, and there are no work experience or education prerequisites. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most companies don't require this endorsement, but it can be advantageous for aspiring draftsmen looking to demonstrate their drafting acumen to potential employers.
Step 4: Find a Job
Draftsmen jobs are available in several areas, including architecture and mechanical and civil engineering. Construction and architecture firms, electronics manufacturers, power plants, aeronautics design groups and government agencies all need draftsmen to translate their design ideas to usable drawings. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job boards are good resources for job seekers. Individual chapters of the ADDA also provide assistance for those seeking positions as draftsmen. Freelance draftsman accept contract jobs from many different employers.
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