Career and Job Search Guide


Drafters prepare blueprints for a variety of construction projects, consumer products, and machines.

Drafters now utilize Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) technology to prepare blueprints. Traditionally, they used simple tools such as protractors, rulers, and pencils to complete their work. Since more drafters utilize CADD technology, they are known as CADD operators.

CADD systems permit users to create designs and store these designs on computers. Once a project is completed, it can be uploaded into an automated manufacturing computer. Users can also make instant changes using CADD technology. CADD technology makes drafting easier, but traditional drafting methods are still utilized.

Blueprints are used by engineers and contractors to build a product or complete a construction project. Blueprints provide dimension specifications, supply requirements, and other details necessary to complete a project. Blueprints also include calculations and other drawings to provide clarity for people relying on them. Drafters rely on technical manuals, calculators, and computer technology to prepare a blueprint.

The following are drafters who specialize:

Aeronautical drafters draw up blueprints used for building airplanes, missiles, and other aircraft components.

Architectural drafters prepare blueprints for buildings and other construction projects. Some architectural drafters specialize in specific buildings or construction materials.

Civil drafters develop blueprints used to build sewage treatment facilities, bridges, highways, and other infrastructure projects. Civil engineers rely on civil drafter blueprints.

Electrical drafters develop blueprints detailing specifications for wiring systems, power plants, and other electrical systems.

Electronics drafters prepare blueprints specifying details and specifications, including circuit board locations and schematics, for electronic parts and equipment.

Mechanical drafters develop blueprints detailing specifications, assembly instructions, and other details for machines.

Pipeline or process piping drafters develop blueprints specifying details and dimensions for pipe laying projects, chemical facilities, process piping systems, and other infrastructure projects requiring pipes.

Work environment. Drafters conduct their projects in cozy offices. Modern drafting is usually performed using computers, but some drafters still utilize drawing boards. Since drafters spend most of their time in front of computer screens, they can suffer from back pain, eyestrain, or joint problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Drafters usually work 40 hour weeks.