Drafters essentially assist with construction; they create plans and technical drawings that serve as guidelines for workers. There are different kinds of drafting opportunities: an electrical drafter focuses on creating layout and wiring plans for large buildings; a mechanical drafter draws devices and machinery used for manufacturing; and an architectural drafter specializes in creating drawings of buildings.
This article will focus on architectural drafters and what they do. Although the specialty of an architectural drafter is buildings, they can further specialize in a particular kind of building. For example, a drafter can solely focus their attention on creating skyscrapers.
Being a drafter means befriending the pen and pencil; although now there is software that does just about the same thing. In addition, a passion for drawing and creating things helps a drafter succeed in what they do.
If you’re interested in pursuing this field, read on to know what is needed to become one and what kind of tasks drafters do.
You typically need a certificate or an associate’s degree in order to get a job as a drafter. These can be earned through a technical school or a community college. That said, there are cases where having a completed a four-year degree is required.
Experience and Training
Since computers are mostly used these days for drafting, it helps for aspiring drafters to have worked with CAD programs. Although some may still prefer working with pencil and paper, using software helps make the drafting process a little faster. But even though computers can aid with the task at hand, elements like measurements and such still need to be fed by the drafter to the computer program to ensure it is as accurate as possible.
Some employers looking to employ drafters may prefer some experience in potential candidates.
Duties and Responsibilities
The main duty of a drafter is to put into drawing the specifications listed by an architect. They are involved in the following activities:
Using computers for daily tasks.
Computers are integral to any workplace, and it helps to have some skill with using them. This job used to be reliant on the pen and pencil but advances in technology has allowed drafters to create architectural plans through software. But computers aren’t just used for drafting as they are also important for communication, email and other related functions.
Drafting and laying out structures.
Basically, a drafter takes information from an architect and puts it into drawing. As such, they need to be able to have strong listening skills to properly interpret what an architect specified. Strong communication skills are also required for the job as clarifying instructions and specifications helps eliminate troubles down the road. Being able to articulate properly is also important in cases where you need to provide suggestions for an architect.
As mentioned earlier, you take the information provided by an architect and turn that into a plan that can be executed by workers. As such, you need to be able to get all the information necessary to complete a draft – land area, building height, etc.
Being able to think creatively.
Buildings these days are getting more creative with their design. But creativity is still needed to draft a building that is plain and simple. For instance, you may be tasked with creating a design for an apartment in a busy street with a very small space to work with. You need to be able to accomplish what an architect asks but also execute it in a way that is compliant with the rules and regulations of the area where the structure is supposed to be constructed.
Knowing the laws, regulations and standards of the area where a building is to be constructed.
It’s not good for the business when you keep on re-drafting because the previous drawing doesn’t comply with the regulations of a certain area. As such, it is your duty to know what these are so you can execute your job with as little trouble as possible.
Job Description Examples
Here are the job description examples for an architectural drafter:
In order to start creating what a building will look like, you will need all the information you need. As such, you will need to visit job sites to get all the necessary measurements you need to complete the assigned task. You also need to be as thorough with this as possible so that no re-drafting is needed for issues like a miscalculation of space.
You create a rough draft out of the information you have gathered. After the rough draft comes the more detailed scale plan for the building your client wants made. You formulate these plans from concepts handed to you by architects, as well as sketches, architectural calculations and other needed data you obtained or compiled yourself.
Layout Creation for Individual Rooms
Apart from creating plans for the foundation of the building, you are also tasked with laying out how individual rooms will look like. For instance, your client is constructing a commercial building and has given certain specifications for how each room is supposed to look like. With assistance from the architect, you are going to translate these ideas into a drawing that can be executed according to the standards specified.
As an architectural drafter, you can also be put in charge of a construction project. You will get in touch with technicians and other workers at the site to ensure that everything is going according to plan. As the drafter, you can answer specific questions they may have about the design you have created.
In some ways, a drafter is an extension of the architect and as such can represent them in the construction site. Your primary task includes making sure the builders comply with the specifications you made in the design plans. And under the supervision of an architect, you can also provide advice when it comes to design corrections.