What does a mechanical drafter do?
Mechanical drafters prepare detailed drawings and blueprints to show the design and assembly of many different mechanical devices and machinery such equipment, controls, tools, automobile parts, and dies. They specify the dimensions, methods for fastening, and other important details. They also create models of the devices to give a more realistic description. Mechanical drafters inspect and assess ideas, specifications, drawings, sketches, and data to evaluate the factors that affect the designs of devices. They ensure all the proper instructions and procedures are followed. They also assess problems and modify and revise their designs to correct the deficiencies. They check the materials’ dimensions and give them numbers. Mechanical drafters often use Computer Aided Design and Drafting programs to assist them with their projects.
What kind of training does a mechanical drafter need?
Mechanical drafters usually need at least a high school diploma and formal postsecondary training in mechanical drafting. Prospective mechanical drafters typically complete courses in mechanical drawing, standards of drafting, computer-aided design, and engineering. Most employers provide new mechanical drafters with on the job training to enable them to learn the policies and procedures of the company. Many mechanical drafters gain professional certification from the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) to remain competitive in the field. Many employers provide continuing education programs for mechanical drafters to stay up to date on their skills and advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a mechanical drafter?
Employment of mechanical drafters is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 5% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing population and increased need for mechanical devices for a variety of purposes will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good especially for mechanical drafters with advanced training. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace mechanical drafters that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.
How much do mechanical drafters make?
As of November 2009, the middle 50% of mechanical drafters earn annual salaries between $30,124 and $46,261. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $54, 215 (2).
A career as a mechanical drafter is a great choice for people with a strong interest in creating drawings for a variety of mechanical devices. Mechanical drafters must have excellent mechanical ability and visual aptitude. They must have a solid knowledge of construction procedures and artistic ability to create life-life drawings. Detail orientation, accuracy, determination, and patience are desirable characteristics. Mechanical drafters must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they work with a variety of other professionals and clients. They must be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team.