Design & Architecture
Architectural drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans.
What does an Architectural Draftsperson do?
Architectural drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers may specialise in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting. They also liaise with builders and contractors.
As an architectural draftsperson, you would:
- operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms and records
- analyse building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs
- coordinate structural, electrical and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans
- draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets and other data
- lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software
- obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
Key skills and interests
To become an architectural draftsperson, you would need:
- the ability to visualise ideas in three-dimensional form
- enjoy technical drawing and working with technology
- be able to draw neatly and accurately
- good concentration and attention to detail
- some artistic talent in freehand drawing.
Working hours and conditions
Most architectural drafters work full time.
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.
How to become an Architectural Draftsperson?
Entry Level Education
To become an architectural draftsperson you usually have to complete a VET qualification in building design or residential drafting. You may be able to study through distance education.
Graduates of certificate and diploma courses are eligible for membership of Building Designers Australia. Students are eligible for student membership.
Employment of architectural and civil drafters is projected to show little or no change.
Although construction projects will likely result in some demand for architectural and civil drafters, efficiencies gained from computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modelling (BIM) will continue to reduce the need for architectural drafters.
CADD systems that are more user friendly and more powerful than current systems will allow other technical professionals, such as engineering technicians and engineers, to perform many tasks previously done by drafters. This development may curb demand for all specialty drafters. In addition, some drafting work may be outsourced to other countries at lower wages, further reducing the need for these workers.
Software such as PDM (product data management) and BIM (building information modelling) will require drafters to collaborate with other design workers, such as architects and engineers, on projects, whether constructing a new building or manufacturing a new product. This software requires that someone build and maintain large databases. Skilled drafters with knowledge of these systems will be needed to oversee these databases.