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Careers in the USA: Drafters

Drafters
Drafters take designs from engineers and architects and convert them into plans needed for construction.

Quick Facts: Drafters

2012 Median Pay
$49,630 per year
$23.86 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Associate’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
199,800

Job Outlook, 2012-22
1% (Little or no change)

Employment Change, 2012-22
2,200

What Drafters Do
Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.

Work Environment
Although drafters spend much of their time working on computers in an office, some must visit job sites 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.

Pay
The median annual wage for drafters was $49,630 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of drafters is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. 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 the work more efficient, thus requiring fewer workers. Competition for jobs is expected to be strong.

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