Career Development

What Does a Draftsman Do?

Find out what a draftsman does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a draftsman.

Draftsmen are responsible for creating detailed drawings of everything from building plans to industrial equipment. They use a variety of computer software and traditional drafting techniques to create these drawings, which may be used by engineers, architects, contractors, or other professionals in the construction industry.

Draftsmen must have an eye for detail and strong technical skills. They must also be able to work independently on most projects—while some draftsmen may receive general instructions from their supervisors, they’re usually expected to take initiative and come up with creative solutions to problems on their own.

Draftsman Job Duties

A draftsman typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating drawings based on verbal instructions from a project manager or engineer
  • Explaining technical concepts to clients during meetings with architects, engineers, contractors, or other team members
  • Using computer-aided drafting software to create drawings of residential, commercial, or industrial structures
  • Checking drawings for accuracy and repairing any errors found
  • Preparing detailed drawings of building plans, maps, diagrams, charts, or other images that are used in construction projects
  • Using computer aided design software to create drawings on drafting boards
  • Maintaining detailed records of work performed and materials used in each project
  • Creating drawings of architectural designs and sketches of building plans and structures
  • Preparing sketches and plans for construction projects such as roads, buildings, bridges, or other structures

Draftsman Salary & Outlook

Draftsmen salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company or organization they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $51,294 ($24.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $77,000 ($37.02/hour)

The employment of draftsmen is expected to decline over the next decade.

The need for drafting services will be limited because much of the work can be done by computer-aided design and other automated systems. In addition, many drafters are expected to be replaced by automation as engineering firms continue to invest in these systems.

Related: Draftsman Interview Questions and Answers

Draftsman Job Requirements

A draftsman typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require drafters to have at least a bachelor’s degree in architecture, civil engineering or construction management. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in civil engineering or construction management.

Many aspiring drafters complete a two-year associate degree program in construction technology or construction management. These programs typically include courses in blueprint reading, construction methods, construction materials and construction safety.

Training & Experience: Most drafting jobs require candidates to have at least two years of experience in the field. Some employers may prefer candidates who have at least five years of experience. Drafting professionals can gain experience by working as an assistant to a professional draftsman.

Certifications & Licenses: Professional certifications can validate a professional’s qualifications and increase their earning potential. Draftsmen can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their responsibilities and further their career advancement opportunities.

Draftsman Skills

Draftsmen need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the knowledge and experience you have in a specific field. Technical skills are important for draftsmen because they help you understand the information you receive from clients and know how to create accurate drawings.

Communication skills: Communication skills are also important for draftsmen. They use these skills to communicate with clients, colleagues and other professionals. They also use these skills to convey their ideas through their drawings.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for draftsmen because they often work with precise measurements. When creating a blueprint, the smallest details can make a difference in the final product. Attention to detail can also help draftsmen identify potential issues with their work and make corrections before the final product is created.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are also important for draftsmen, as they may encounter challenges while working on a project. For example, they may need to find a way to create a certain design or find a way to draw a complex object. Having the ability to identify and solve problems can help them complete their work successfully.

Ability to work independently: Independent work is a necessary skill for a draftsman because they often work alone on projects. They may have a project manager or team leader who assigns them work, but they are often responsible for completing their tasks without much guidance. This can include researching information, creating designs and submitting their work on time.

Draftsman Work Environment

The work environment for a draftsman is typically an office setting, although some travel may be required for field work or to attend meetings. The workweek is typically 40 hours, although overtime may be required to meet deadlines. Draftsmen use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) drawings of objects, such as buildings, bridges, and machines. They must have a strong understanding of mathematics and physics to be able to create accurate drawings. In addition, they must be able to visualize objects in three dimensions and understand how the object will be used in order to create drawings that can be used by engineers and other professionals to build the object.

Draftsman Trends

Here are three trends influencing how draftsmen work. Draftsmen will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being felt across all industries, as businesses are increasingly relying on technology to run their operations. This has led to an increased demand for professionals who can design and build complex systems.

Draftsmen are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they have the skills needed to both design and build complex systems. By developing these skills, draftsmen can become even more valuable assets to their employers and help them stay ahead of the competition.

More Collaboration Between Design and Construction Teams

As construction projects become more complex, there is a growing need for collaboration between design and construction teams. This is because both teams need to be on the same page in order to create buildings that meet the needs of the client.

Draftsmen are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they are able to understand the needs of both the design and construction teams. By collaborating with both teams, draftsmen can ensure that the final product meets the needs of all involved parties.

A Greater Focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process that involves creating a digital model of a building before it is constructed. This allows architects, engineers, and builders to work together more efficiently and make changes to the design before it is too late.

As BIM becomes more popular, draftsmen will need to learn how to use software that supports this process. This will allow them to collaborate more effectively with other members of the team and produce better results.

How to Become a Draftsman

A career as a draftsman can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work with your hands, create beautiful drawings, and help people visualize their ideas. You’ll also have the chance to learn about different types of engineering and architecture.

To become a successful draftsman, you need to be able to draw accurately and be able to understand technical drawings. You should also be able to work independently and meet deadlines.

Advancement Prospects

The most common way to advance as a draftsman is to gain more experience and education. With more experience, draftsmen can become more efficient and accurate in their work, which can lead to promotions and higher salaries. In some cases, draftsmen may also become project managers, overseeing the work of other draftsmen on a particular project. In order to become a project manager, a draftsman generally needs to have a bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, or a related field.

Draftsman Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide engineering and architectural services to clients across a wide range of industries. We’re currently seeking a talented and experienced draftsman to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a strong technical background with experience in both AutoCAD and Revit. He or she will be able to take direction from engineers and architects to produce high-quality drawings and models. The ability to work independently and take initiative on projects is essential. If you have a passion for drafting and are looking for an opportunity to grow your career, we want to hear from you.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect
  • Revise drawings and plans as necessary to accommodate changes in design, materials, or construction methods
  • Coordinate work with that of engineers, surveyors, and other professionals involved in the project
  • Compile data and perform dimensional and routine calculations required to complete drawings
  • Confer with client to discuss and determine structural design, function, and detail of structure
  • Inspect project sites to collect measurements as needed
  • Use computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment and software to produce 2D and 3D images
  • Work from sketches or notes to develop floor plans, elevations, sections, structural specifications, and diagrams
  • Stay up-to-date on new technologies and developments in the field
  • Adhere to all relevant codes, regulations, and safety standards
  • Assist in preparing cost estimates for materials, labor, and equipment
  • Perform quality control checks on finished products

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Solid understanding of engineering principles and drafting standards
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good visualization skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or technical certificate in drafting
  • 2+ years experience in the field
  • Working knowledge of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software
  • Experience with 3D printing technology


What Does a Category Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Registrar Do?