Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings. Most workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
Although drafters spend much of their time working on computers in an office, some may visit jobsites in order to collaborate with architects and engineers. Most drafters work full time.
How to Become a Drafter
Drafters typically need specialized training, which can be accomplished through a technical program that leads to a certificate or an associate’s degree in drafting.
Employment of drafters is projected to decline 3 percent from 2014 to 2024. Although drafters will continue to work on technical drawings and documents related to the design of buildings, machines, and tools, new software programs are making drafters and related professionals more efficient, thus requiring fewer workers. Competition for jobs is expected to be strong.
This occupation supported 199,799 jobs in 2012 and 204,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 2.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 1.1% in 2022 to 202,000 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 200,200, compared with an observed value of 204,500, 2.1% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to decrease by 3.1% in 2024 to 198,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 202,400 jobs for 2024, 2.1% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.