Students who excel in visual design and realistic drawing and have an interest in architecture might want to consider pursuing a degree in construction drafting or architectural drafting. Students learn how to use computer-assisted drafting or CAD software. Most associate's degree programs in architectural drafting and design require applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED.
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Construction Drafting and Drawing Associate's Degree Program
Associate's degree programs in construction drafting incorporate core requirements, as well as classes related to the profession. Students take some English composition or writing classes in addition to drafting and construction classes. Most programs focus on teaching the skills needed to use industry software as well as the technical aspects of residential and commercial construction. Classes could include the following topics:
- Blueprint design and reading
- Technical drafting
- Theory of architecture
- Algebra and trigonometry
- CAD software basics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
A construction or architectural drafter creates the technical layouts for construction projects and architectural designs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for architectural and civil drafters as well as drafters in general was expected to decline by 3% between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).
Construction drafters with good design sense, computer skills and some postsecondary training should have more job opportunities. The BLS also reported that the average annual wage for architectural and civil drafters in 2015 was $53,470.
Continuing Education Information
For those who have some previous experience with drafting and would like to learn the particulars of architectural or electrical drafting, many technical and community colleges offer professional certificate programs. These programs typically last a year and provide a survey of the technical aspects of construction drawing, as well as instruction in CAD software; upon completion, students receive a diploma or certificate and qualify for many entry-level construction drafting positions. Though it's not required by many employers, the American Design Drafting Association also offers a certification option for construction drafters (www.adda.org).
Students who pursue an associate's degree in construction drafting will likely face a more accessible job market. They will also be qualified to pursue continuing education through certificates in the field as well as voluntary professional certifications.