Electrical drafters formulate charts, plans and drawings that consist of electric wiring designs, which are used to set up and restore electrical equipment. Certificate and associate degrees in this field provide education in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), drafting and plan development among other related topics. Internships provide opportunities for aspiring CAD designers and technicians to develop hands-on experience. Professional designations are administered by a certifying organization.
Certificate in Electrical Drafting
Mechanical and electrical drafting or electrical drafting certificates are available at community colleges, technical institutions and vocational schools. Students gain expertise in electrical drafting signs and codes, CAD, drafting and measurement styles. Students also learn how to visualize and interpret pictures and diagrams into material substances.
Certificate programs may include courses in verbal and written interaction, public health and safety, algebra and co-worker interaction. Students may also learn analytical and troubleshooting skills, fundamentals of construction documents and process of conversion of construction ideas. Some other studies might also include:
- Basics of CAD and drafting for structures
- Drafting for electrical and mechanical systems
- Plan development
- Procedures of construction
- Technology in electrical and mechanics
Associate Degrees in Electrical Drafting
There are a number of associate degree programs with electrical drafting training, including the Associate in Design and Drafting Engineering Technology, Associate in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in CAD Technology or AAS in Electrical Technology. The associate degree programs can guide students in learning CAD and drafting systems. Through internships, students can also gain hands-on experience using CAD systems and drafting equipment, tools and technical drawings.
Graduates are prepared to enter drafting careers or transfer to bachelor's degree programs in related fields, such as engineering or architecture. Associate degree programs in electrical drafting can be completed in two years and generally require a secondary education background in science and math.
Students may study steel and concrete systems, circuitry and designs of machinery, as well as heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), architecture and structural areas. Studies might also include mechanical drafting, training in equipment and courses such as:
- 2D and 3D modeling
- Architectural and construction drawing
- Civil engineering design and drawings
- Electrical and electronic drafting
- Overview of CAD hardware and software
- Structural design and drawing
Popular Career Options
Associate degree program graduates are prepared to gain entry-level positions in design and drafting. Some positions might include:
- CAD designer
- CAD drafter
- CAD technician
- Drafting detailer
- Engineer drafter
Employment and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for electrical and electronics drafters were expected to increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, in May 2015, the BLS reported that electrical and electronics drafters earned an average salary of $62,890 per year.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates who are interested in advanced or specialized studies in drafting may consider furthering their studies through a bachelor's degree program, such as the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Drafting Design Technology or B.S. in CAD and Design Technology. The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers professional certification for drafters, including the Certified Apprentice Drafter, Certified Drafter and Certified Design Drafter designations (www.adda.org).
Training in electrical drafting is available through undergraduate certificate and associate degrees. These programs prepare students for entry-level positions in the field, such as CAD designers and drafting detailers.