7 Rules for Success for Designers and Drafters | AutoCAD
How to Become a Drafter
Drafters take the ideas of architects and engineers and translate them into complex design plans. Other professionals then use a drafter’s drawings and plans to construct things such as buildings or electronic systems. If you like turning ideas into images, making exact measurements and drawings, and working with a team, drafting may be the job for you. You can become a drafter by getting your education and experience and developing your professional skills throughout your career.
Getting Your Drafting Education
Enroll in technical classes during high school.Select a variety of science, math, and computer courses while you’re still in high school. As a drafter, you’ll need to make precise calculations and use complex software and these courses can get the ball rolling in your chosen career path.Take the following types of classes to develop your skills as a drafter:
- Math classes including algebra, geometry, calculus and statistics
- Art classes such as drawing
- Computer classes in computer-assisted drafting and design (CADD)
- Shop classes, to learn how machines work
Choose your drafting specialization.Many professional drafters focus on specific types of projects they want to do. Think about the types of projects that interest you and select a specialization or decide to pursue general drafting projects. This can help you better select courses during your degree program. Consider any of the following specialities:
- Architectural draftsmen work on building and construction projects.
- Civil drafters work on projects such as bridges and highways.
- Electrical drafters create wiring diagrams for places like power plants.
- Electronics drafters produce diagrams for wiring of electronics devices.
- Mechanical drafters make plans for machinery and mechanical tools.
Get your associate’s degree.Once you’ve graduated from high school, attend a two-year technical school or community college that offers a drafting program. Enroll in classes that will give you both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as offer hands-on experience drafting. Focus on classes that will enhance your chosen drafting specialty. Select from any of the following types of classes as you pursue your associate’s degree in drafting:
- Blueprint reading
- Basic-, architectural-, and landscape drafting
- Measuring and calculating
- Computer-aided drafting and design
- Manufacturing mathematics
Volunteer in your community.Ask local businesses, organizations, and groups if they need help constructing or fixing things. Activities such as designing and building sets for plays or cleaning a large machine can give you practical insight into building plans or how machines work.Some ways to get experience and help people include:
- Joining a Habitat for Humanity program
- Disaster relief projects
- Consider an international project with the UN’s Global Compact Network
Do an internship.Contact local architects, construction and manufacturing companies, and technology firms. Inquire if they are looking for a drafting intern in one of their departments. Consider sending letters of intent and a resume to companies as well. Interning with professionals who use drafters or are drafters can build on your coursework and give you practical know-how to get a job.
- Find out the name of a specific supervisor at each company if you can. Ask professors if they know someone who might supervise you on being a drafter with their company.
Work in a field related to drafting during breaks.Look for possibilities to gain practical knowledge. Apply for jobs such as doing construction or manufacturing work. You could also work with computers or electrics in a factory. These can give you hands-on experience that translate into more complex and detailed plans and make you stand out from other drafting applicants on the job market.
Expanding Your Professional Horizons
Obtain a four-year degree.Consider expanding your education beyond your associate’s degree with a bachelor’s degree. Most four-year colleges and universities don’t offer drafting degrees, but they do have courses that complement your drafting education. Transfer to a college or university to gain more specialized education that can build on your drafting degree and make you potentially more attractive to employers.
- Select courses in subjects such as engineering, architecture, and mathematics. These can help you better understand and translate the needs and wishes of architects and engineers into your plans.
- Consider an online associate’s degree program in drafting if there aren’t any near you or you need a more flexible schedule.
Take the drafting certificate test.Maximize your education and employment experience by getting certified as a professional drafter. Organizations such as the American Design Drafting Association offer certification programs for drafters. The certification exams test your knowledge of drawing, geometric designs, tolerancing and basic drafting principles.
- Getting your certification isn’t required, but it can further demonstrate your knowledge and proficiency in your field.
- You may require some professional experience before you can take a certification exam.
Attend continuing education classes.Many certifications last for three years and require consistent renewal. You can get recertification by taking a test is updated to reflect new professional developments.Take continuing education classes throughout your career to stay on top of the latest professional developments. Attending these courses can ensure that you pass the renewal certification test and are attractive to your current or potential employer.
Join professional organizations.Become a member of a local or national drafting organization once you have at least five years of professional experience.Being a member of these professional organizations can help you network with other drafters who may know about new job opportunities or continuing education classes that interest you.
QuestionHow do I find drafting courses I can take?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerConduct an internet search via Google for CADD classes in your area. You may also find online courses to take.Thanks!
QuestionCan a young person easily do this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou won't know until you start drafting. First watch other drafters and see what they do. Practice, and over time, you will find your own style.Thanks!
What math would you say is the most needed for tech drafting?
Video: Become a Drafter
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