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Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General. A program that prepares individuals to generally apply technical skills to create working drawings and computer simulations for a variety of applications. Includes instruction in specification interpretation, dimensioning techniques, drafting calculations, material estimation, technical communications, computer applications, and interpersonal communications.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Drafting technology students learn to use their drafting tables (or computer screens) to design everything from city streets to buildings and the furniture that goes in them.

Some trade and vocational colleges offer drafting technology programs. These provide training in engineering design and drafting, cartography (mapping) and mechanical drafting in a seven-month span.

There are also several programs at the two-year level. And there are some that lead to bachelor's degrees.

Before enrolling, check out the school's reputation with local employers. Also, you can contact your state department of education to find out whether it recognizes the school.

Many students who choose to study in the extended programs consider becoming architects. Others specialize in civil and structural technology, layout design, interior design or surveying and mapping.

There are certain courses high school students should focus on to prepare themselves for a career in drafting.

"Algebra, trigonometry, English and computers," advises Doug Mugge. He is the chair of architecture, computer-aided design (CAD) and mechanical design at Arapahoe Community College in Colorado.

"Also, if a student is planning to work in a field where the workers may not all speak English, a course in that language may be very helpful down the road."

Bill Jurens is an instructor in a drafting program. He says high school students should focus on science, physics, math and geometry. He also suggests geography courses for students interested in cartography.

As for extracurricular activities, potential drafting students should consider "anything that develops a strong work ethic," says Jeffrey A. Chapko. He is the dean of computer science and technology at Baker College of Owosso in Michigan.

Computers play a central role in drafting. Software is constantly being developed to help drafters create and design their plans while reducing the chances of error or structural flaw.

"In today's job market, the more a student knows about computers -- programs, networking, web page design, etc. -- the more marketable he or she will be," Mugge says.

Costs vary. At some schools, students might be responsible for picking up materials like plotter paper, scales, drafting pencils and a calculator.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Drafters

Drafting Resources
Compiled by CivilWorld.com

The CAD Society
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AIA Design Zone
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