How To Become an Architectural Design Drafter

An Architectural Design Drafter takes architectural drawings and drafts them into a formal blueprint using manual drafting skills or, more commonly, computer software programs such as AutoCAD or DesignWorks.  To become employed as an Architectural Design Drafter there are several steps that should be completed to get the best possible position.

The first step to becoming a drafter is to receive a formal education for drafting.  You do not have to receive a Bachelors Degree in architecture to secure a job, but that is an option.  If you are interested in becoming a drafter, you can receive a certificate or Associate's degree within two years or less.  Most drafting jobs require at least a Drafting Certificate or AutoCAD certificate, to show that you have basic skills and knowledge.

Many drafting jobs require an Associate's Degree from an accredited college.  As with any field, the more education and experience you receive, the better and more plentiful your opportunities will be.  Not every college or University will offer an Architecture or Drafting program, but there should be at least one in your area.

The second step to becoming a Design Drafter is to develop a portfolio of your work or projects.  Architecture is a visual and aesthetic as well as technical field.  During your schooling, you will design and draw various buildings and models using different tools and methods.  Keep all of your work and examples to show potential employers.  You will seem serious about getting a position with a portfolio of your best work and they can get an idea of your skill level.

A third step to getting a job in the field of Architectural Design is networking.  If you can form a professional relationship with one of your professors, he or she may be able to help you secure a position out of school.  Another networking option is to join a professional organization dedicated to Architecture, Architectural Design or Drafting.  This is another way to meet professionals that are already employed in the field and will have advice and opportunities that you could learn from.

The fourth and final step to becoming an Architectural Design Drafter is the job interview process.  Many drafting positions are hired through professional temporary agencies that specialize in engineering and drafting positions.  If there are any agencies like that in your area, find them and get on their hiring list.  These organizations communicate with Architecture firms in the area that need skilled employees.  When your skill set matches an employer’s needs, they will send you for an interview.  At the interview, be positive and professional.  Answer questions as honestly and detailed as possible.  You want to give the interviewer every reason to hire you as an Architectural Design Drafter and not the next candidate.


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