Architectural Drafter  What They Do

Just the Facts

Architectural Drafters Career Video

Insider Info

dotArchitectural technicians and technologists perform the same duties -- they simply have different titles.

dotSo what is the difference between architects and architectural technicians? Architects hold a professional license. Architectural technicians do not (with some exceptions). Also, architects focus on design questions. Architectural technicians focus on technical questions.

dotTechnicians and technologists commonly help to research and prepare drawings for architects and engineers using special drafting software and hardware. But architectural technicians do more than just sit before a computer and draw blueprints.

They also research building codes, draw up contract agreements and test building materials. They build models, inspect buildings, and if necessary, help preserve them by redrawing their blueprints. And depending on the project and firm, they may also have some input in design decisions.

Beth Globe is an architectural technologist intern. She says her employer gives her ample room to make design decisions.

"It is really a team effort," she says. "Everybody works together. And if you don't work together, the project doesn't work."

dotArchitectural technicians and technologists work for private architecture and construction firms, nonprofit organizations and all levels of government. Some also work as private building inspectors and consultants.

dotWorking hours for architectural technicians and technologists can vary. Globe says that on most days, she works from 8 to 5. But on other occasions, she has had to work evenings and weekends. "It really depends on the project's scope and the deadline," she says.

dotThere aren't many physical requirements for architectural technicians and technologists. They work behind desks and in front of computers most of the time.

This means that this career is accessible to people who suffer from some types of physical disabilities. "The only difficulty they might run into is when they have to go to a construction site," says Globe. "As far as drafting, there should be no [problems] at all."

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Research and prepare drawings for architects

  • You could research building codes, build models or test materials
  • Working hours vary
  • You'll need to study architectural technology