Architectural Draftsman: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming an Architectural Draftsman

Published Aug 31, 2009

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Understanding of structure and design along with an eye for precision are key elements of becoming an Architectural Draftsman. Architectural Drafters use computer software to draw technical plans for buildings. A post-secondary education is not required for this career, but it is preferred.

Architectural Draftsman Career Summary

Architectural Draftsmen, also known as Architectural Drafters, take the concepts and sketches created by architects and convert them into detailed, precisely measured technical drawings. They apply knowledge of architecture, construction materials and building codes to create plans for buildings that are structurally sound. These drawings are then used as guides in construction. Most draftsmen today create their drawings through Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) software. Many Architectural Draftsmen have a specialty, such as residential buildings, commercial buildings or structures using a particular material.

Education Required to Become an Architectural Draftsman

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( reports that employers prefer Architectural Draftsmen to have completed a post-secondary training program in drafting. Because the quality of programs can vary, the BLS recommends contacting potential employers to ask for program recommendations. Drafting programs are found most often at technical schools and community colleges. They result in a certificate, diploma or associate's degree. Some programs are tailored to teach students particular drafting skills needed by local businesses.

An architectural drafting training program can include courses on building technology, surveying and estimating. Students also learn about the properties of various building materials and the operation of CADD software.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become an Architectural Draftsman

The American Design Drafting Association offers professional certification for Architectural Draftsmen. The BLS reports that most employers do not require this certification, but it can be helpful for demonstrating drafting knowledge and proficiency to potential employers. Beginning Architectural Draftsmen may take highly supervised entry-level positions doing basic tasks before advancing to work that is more complex.

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