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Mechanical Drafters picture    Mechanical Drafters image

Mechanical drafters produce detailed plans, drawings and diagrams for mechanical and machinery devices. They also provide information such as the dimensions for fabrication and assembly, fastening methods and material specifications.

Mechanical drafters need to have a broad-based understanding of design techniques and the principles involved in producing technical plans, models and drawings. They must be knowledgeable in the practical application of engineering science and technology. In addition, they need to be proficient with computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) systems.

Mechanical drafters benefit by having good near vision and good verbal communication skills. Part of their work also includes visualizing how objects and assemblies are going to appear after they have been altered or rearranged.

Responsibilities

  • Produce detailed design drawings and specify technical devices, equipment and parts. Provide detailed instructions and documentation regarding the fabrication, construction, assembling, usage or modification of equipment, devices and parts.
  • Produce schematics which show the functional relationships of various components, systems, assemblies and machines.
  • Coordinate and confer with co-workers and associates in order to design, layout and detail components and systems.
  • Consult with project team members to resolve design problems.
  • Evaluate and assess factors related to component designs.
  • Modify designs.
  • Examine information and evaluate results in order to solve problems and select the best solution.
  • Process information and verify data.
  • Determine if processes abide by regulations, laws or standards.
  • Review drawing and schematics with customers and answer questions regarding system installations.

Job Characteristics

Drafters usually work in comfortable environments. The majority of their time is spent at computer terminals performing detailed work. Mechanical ability, mathematical skills, and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions are important skills for the profession. Visual aptitude and being detailed oriented are also important factors. In addition, good communication skills are helpful due to working with engineers, architects and other professionals.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projects the growth rate for drafters in general will be about 6% from 2006 to 2016, which is a slower rate than the average for all occupations. Employment opportunities for drafters may increase due to industrial growth and also by drafters handling procedures typically given to engineers and architects. However, improvements in CADD systems make simple procedures easier to complete which may decrease the demand for lower skilled drafters since these tasks can be completed by other technical professionals.

Outsourcing of mechanical drafting work may rise due to the Internet providing the opportunity of sending CADD files to workers abroad. Mechanical along with civil drafters are projected to see the highest demand in the profession. In addition, mechanical drafters, with solid technical skills, who have at least two years of post-secondary training and have experience with CADD systems are projected to have the best employment opportunities. In addition, the demand for mechanical drafters mainly comes from industries that have a sensitivity to the cyclical changes of the economy.

About 30% of all drafting jobs are held by mechanical drafters. According to government statistics, there were approximately 74,000 mechanical drafters employed in 2007. Also, in 2007 the mean hourly pay was $22.45 and the mean annual wage was $46,690.

Mechanical Drafting Training, Certification, and Licensing

Mechanical drafters need to be very proficient at drafting and design and have expertise with CADD systems. Training is offered by community colleges, technical schools and by the armed forces. Students may earn a two-year associate degrees in drafting. The quality of training offered in these settings may vary.

Degrees in drafting are not available at most four-year colleges. However, many of the colleges offer CADD classes in their architecture, engineering and computer science programs. Also, the non-CADD coursework included in these programs are useful in the profession. In addition, the American Design Drafting Association offers a certification program for drafters. Students interested in a mechanical drafting career may want to contact prospective employers and ask for a list of the schools they prefer.

Resources

Major Employers

Some of the major employers are engineering firms, architectural firms and major manufactures such as automobile companies and semiconductor firms.

Schools for Mechanical Drafters are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Mechanical Drafters

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Mechanical Drafters jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 180 $53,920
Hoover 180 $53,920
Huntsville 110 $72,420
Mobile 70 $58,570
Montgomery 50 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 580 $60,620
Scottsdale 580 $60,620
Mesa 580 $60,620
Tucson 90 $58,140
Prescott 40 $71,740
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 60 $50,090
North Little Rock 60 $50,090
Little Rock 60 $50,090
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 1440 $55,540
Los Angeles 1440 $55,540
Long Beach 1440 $55,540
Hayward 480 $65,090
Oakland 480 $65,090
San Francisco 480 $65,090
Riverside 440 $45,540
Ontario 440 $45,540
San Bernardino 440 $45,540
San Diego 410 $60,260
Carlsbad 410 $60,260
Sunnyvale 330 $61,610
San Jose 330 $61,610
Santa Clara 330 $61,610
Arcade 200 $57,360
Arden 200 $57,360
Roseville 200 $57,360
Sacramento 200 $57,360
Lodi 80 $50,370
Stockton 80 $50,370
Thousand Oaks 70 $45,250
Oxnard 70 $45,250
Ventura 70 $45,250
Santa Maria 60 $59,260
Santa Barbara 60 $59,260
Fresno 50 $49,910
Fairfield 50 $56,250
Vallejo 50 $56,250
San Luis Obispo 40 $-1,111
Arroyo Grande 40 $-1,111
Paso Robles 40 $-1,111
Bakersfield 40 $60,060
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 490 $51,620
Denver 490 $51,620
Aurora 490 $51,620
Colorado Springs 100 $37,340
Fort Collins 100 $66,190
Boulder 80 $60,270
Greeley -2222 $54,900
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Hartford 360 $61,510
East Hartford 360 $61,510
Hartford 360 $61,510
Bridgeport 90 $62,800
Stamford 90 $62,800
Norwalk 90 $62,800
New Haven 80 $56,440
Danbury 70 $61,100
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 680 $51,060
Miami 680 $51,060
Fort Lauderdale 680 $51,060
Clearwater 450 $51,060
Tampa 450 $51,060
St. Petersburg 450 $51,060
Orlando 400 $49,060
Kissimmee 400 $49,060
Sanford 400 $49,060
Jacksonville 190 $52,740
Lakeland 90 $45,880
Winter Haven 90 $45,880
Titusville 90 $50,940
Palm Bay 90 $50,940
Melbourne 90 $50,940
Bradenton 70 $58,140
Sarasota 70 $58,140
North Port 70 $58,140
Ferry Pass 70 $64,390
Brent 70 $64,390
Pensacola 70 $64,390
Deltona 60 $44,480
Ormond Beach 60 $44,480
Daytona Beach 60 $44,480
Fort Walton Beach -2222 $48,910
Destin -2222 $48,910
Crestview -2222 $48,910
Panama City -2222 $51,450
Ocala -2222 $53,410
Tallahassee -2222 $56,560
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 660 $53,250
Roswell 660 $53,250
Sandy Springs 660 $53,250
Warner Robins 50 $58,600
Savannah 30 $64,930
Dalton -2222 $47,100
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu -2222 $51,260
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 90 $39,440
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 140 $51,640
Peoria 80 $54,600
Urbana 50 $53,350
Champaign 50 $53,350
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 410 $55,950
Anderson 410 $55,950
Carmel 410 $55,950
Fort Wayne 180 $42,570
Goshen 170 $47,090
Elkhart 170 $47,090
Columbus 30 $50,760
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cedar Rapids 120 $58,130
West Des Moines 80 $43,410
Des Moines 80 $43,410
Dubuque 70 $41,720
Cedar Falls 70 $48,030
Waterloo 70 $48,030
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 420 $49,970
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 110 $55,970
Lexington 110 $55,970
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 360 $58,770
Metairie 360 $58,770
Baton Rouge 340 $65,440
Lafayette 90 $44,900
Lake Charles 90 $77,930
Bossier City 30 $46,410
Shreveport 30 $46,410
Houma -2222 $51,850
Thibodaux -2222 $51,850
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland -2222 $55,500
Portland -2222 $55,500
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 910 $55,430
Towson 910 $55,430
Columbia 910 $55,430
Lexington Park 30 $57,690
California 30 $57,690
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 2740 $57,040
Dearborn 2740 $57,040
Warren 2740 $57,040
Grand Rapids 480 $53,420
Wyoming 480 $53,420
Flint 200 $65,520
Niles 160 $65,810
Benton Harbor 160 $65,810
Lansing 100 $48,260
East Lansing 100 $48,260
Kalamazoo 60 $49,790
Portage 60 $49,790
Midland 60 $52,420
Saginaw 30 $51,230
Jackson 30 $52,450
Ann Arbor 30 $61,330
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 70 $43,150
North Mankato 50 $52,350
Mankato 50 $52,350
Rochester 30 $55,630
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 70 $51,300
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 60 $41,250
Columbia 50 $45,300
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 50 $55,440
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 100 $43,650
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 110 $44,300
Henderson 110 $44,300
Las Vegas 110 $44,300
Reno 70 $39,600
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 80 $62,770
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 70 $54,110
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheektowaga 490 $53,560
Buffalo 490 $53,560
Niagara Falls 490 $53,560
Rochester 290 $49,370
Troy 170 $57,500
Albany 170 $57,500
Schenectady 170 $57,500
Syracuse 140 $54,580
Rome 50 $45,500
Utica 50 $45,500
Elmira 50 $54,280
Glens Falls 30 $53,150
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 350 $56,820
High Point 130 $50,350
Greensboro 130 $50,350
Chapel Hill 90 $59,860
Durham 90 $59,860
Salem 70 $51,310
Winston 70 $51,310
Asheville 60 $55,380
Hickory 50 $56,690
Lenoir 50 $56,690
Morganton 50 $56,690
Wilmington 40 $61,620
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 500 $54,810
Elyria 500 $54,810
Columbus 210 $48,360
Akron 190 $54,090
Dayton 170 $51,390
Toledo 160 $51,020
Massillon 80 $48,710
Canton 80 $48,710
Mansfield 40 $47,180
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 540 $56,060
Oklahoma City 270 $46,870
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 90 $48,720
Salem 60 $45,730
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 780 $51,970
Hanover 230 $42,270
York 230 $42,270
Reading 180 $47,900
Lancaster 160 $51,070
Erie 140 $47,480
Harrisburg 120 $47,320
Carlisle 120 $47,320
Barre 110 $50,470
Hazleton 110 $50,470
Scranton 110 $50,470
Wilkes 110 $50,470
State College 40 $50,680
Chambersburg 30 $47,610
Waynesboro 30 $47,610
Johnstown -2222 $45,340
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 120 $32,970
Carolina 120 $32,970
San Juan 120 $32,970
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greenville 130 $58,050
Anderson 130 $58,050
Mauldin 130 $58,050
North Charleston 120 $73,450
Charleston 120 $73,450
Columbia 100 $53,100
Florence 40 $37,990
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 60 $47,080
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 380 $50,580
Murfreesboro 380 $50,580
Davidson 380 $50,580
Nashville 380 $50,580
Knoxville 220 $54,390
Jackson 30 $51,870
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 2140 $65,650
The Woodlands 2140 $65,650
Houston 2140 $65,650
Dallas 1190 $53,380
Fort Worth 1190 $53,380
Arlington 1190 $53,380
San Antonio 380 $52,530
New Braunfels 380 $52,530
Round Rock 250 $53,940
Austin 250 $53,940
Port Arthur 90 $54,750
Beaumont 90 $54,750
Longview 80 $47,740
Waco 70 $52,190
Tyler 60 $71,760
College Station 40 $36,570
Bryan 40 $36,570
Brownsville 40 $42,010
Harlingen 40 $42,010
Victoria 40 $63,420
Killeen 40 $64,900
Temple 40 $64,900
Midland 40 $67,660
Odessa 30 $52,520
Corpus Christi 30 $56,820
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 250 $54,800
Clearfield 230 $51,220
Ogden 230 $51,220
Orem 100 $49,380
Provo 100 $49,380
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington -2222 $51,280
Burlington -2222 $51,280
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 220 $56,640
Lynchburg 80 $47,590
Roanoke 50 $45,200
Harrisonburg 40 $38,110
Christiansburg 30 $48,440
Radford 30 $48,440
Blacksburg 30 $48,440
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 1740 $-1,111
Tacoma 1740 $-1,111
Seattle 1740 $-1,111
Spokane Valley 170 $45,340
Spokane 170 $45,340
Mount Vernon 60 $57,930
Anacortes 60 $57,930
Bellingham 40 $58,630
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 50 $61,430
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 770 $49,200
Waukesha 770 $49,200
Milwaukee 770 $49,200
Appleton 320 $55,110
Madison 200 $48,080
Green Bay 180 $45,710
Racine 120 $52,450
Eau Claire 110 $52,080
Neenah 100 $43,910
Oshkosh 100 $43,910
Fond du Lac 100 $45,790
Sheboygan 100 $52,750
Wausau 70 $48,890
Beloit 50 $46,230
Janesville 50 $46,230
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Casper 30 $50,620

Most Popular Industries for :
Mechanical Drafters

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 23,580 31% $47,880
Machinery 13,130 17% $45,910
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 11,030 14% $48,080
Metal Products 10,180 13% $43,670
Electronics And Computer 3,830 5% $49,630
Office Services And Staffing 2,720 3% $49,980
Construction Trades 1,760 2% $48,190
Durable Goods Wholesale 1,510 1% $45,560
Electrical Appliance 1,120 1% $46,150
Furniture 1,050 1% $40,380
Business Management 1,000 1% $51,690
Plastics And Rubber 850 1% $43,290
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