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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 180 $48,440
Birmingham 180 $48,440
Huntsville 160 $73,180
Mobile 80 $71,610
Oxford 40 $41,640
Jacksonville 40 $41,640
Anniston 40 $41,640
Decatur 30 $49,150
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 450 $59,060
Scottsdale 450 $59,060
Mesa 450 $59,060
Tucson 60 $53,200
Prescott N/A $70,480
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 60 $53,260
North Little Rock 60 $53,260
Little Rock 60 $53,260
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1470 $54,230
Los Angeles 1470 $54,230
Anaheim 1470 $54,230
San Diego 410 $60,210
Carlsbad 410 $60,210
Hayward 390 $63,550
Oakland 390 $63,550
San Francisco 390 $63,550
Riverside 370 $49,400
San Bernardino 370 $49,400
Ontario 370 $49,400
Santa Clara 330 $64,290
San Jose 330 $64,290
Sunnyvale 330 $64,290
Arden 180 $58,280
Roseville 180 $58,280
Arcade 180 $58,280
Sacramento 180 $58,280
Santa Barbara 100 $65,480
Santa Maria 100 $65,480
Oxnard 90 $45,080
Ventura 90 $45,080
Thousand Oaks 90 $45,080
Stockton 80 $50,020
Lodi 80 $50,020
Fresno 70 $53,440
Bakersfield 60 $55,610
Fairfield 60 $57,970
Vallejo 60 $57,970
Modesto 30 $52,420
Santa Rosa 30 $69,770
Arroyo Grande N/A $65,580
San Luis Obispo N/A $65,580
Paso Robles N/A $65,580
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 570 $51,230
Lakewood 570 $51,230
Denver 570 $51,230
Colorado Springs 120 $39,790
Fort Collins 80 $64,580
Greeley 60 $57,750
Boulder 60 $58,030
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 360 $61,320
West Hartford 360 $61,320
Hartford 360 $61,320
New Haven 110 $52,470
Norwalk 100 $60,350
Stamford 100 $60,350
Bridgeport 100 $60,350
Danbury 60 $59,050
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 450 $48,720
West Palm Beach 450 $48,720
Miami 450 $48,720
Tampa 370 $49,660
Clearwater 370 $49,660
St. Petersburg 370 $49,660
Kissimmee 280 $46,570
Orlando 280 $46,570
Sanford 280 $46,570
Jacksonville 190 $54,200
North Port 120 $51,850
Bradenton 120 $51,850
Sarasota 120 $51,850
Palm Bay 80 $52,890
Titusville 80 $52,890
Melbourne 80 $52,890
Pensacola 80 $61,370
Brent 80 $61,370
Ferry Pass 80 $61,370
Lakeland 60 $45,590
Winter Haven 60 $45,590
Panama City 60 $48,690
Ormond Beach 40 $50,370
Deltona 40 $50,370
Daytona Beach 40 $50,370
Crestview 30 $47,080
Destin 30 $47,080
Fort Walton Beach 30 $47,080
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 880 $53,760
Roswell 880 $53,760
Sandy Springs 880 $53,760
Savannah 270 $86,940
Macon 50 $48,400
Warner Robins 40 $60,260
Dalton N/A $46,640
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 80 $52,940
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 160 $42,770
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 160 $45,500
Peoria 140 $52,050
Champaign 40 $49,210
Urbana 40 $49,210
Springfield N/A $44,020
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 440 $58,700
Carmel 440 $58,700
Indianapolis 440 $58,700
Columbus 210 $53,410
Goshen 190 $45,500
Elkhart 190 $45,500
Fort Wayne 150 $44,390
La Porte 40 $60,230
Michigan City 40 $60,230
Terre Haute 30 $46,500
West Lafayette N/A $54,730
Lafayette N/A $54,730
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cedar Rapids 130 $58,340
Des Moines 90 $48,310
West Des Moines 90 $48,310
Cedar Falls 80 $52,400
Waterloo 80 $52,400
Dubuque 70 $40,370
Ames 50 $43,290
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 400 $49,740
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 140 $53,360
Lexington 140 $53,360
Fort Knox N/A $31,170
Elizabethtown N/A $31,170
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 490 $63,110
New Orleans 310 $59,290
Metairie 310 $59,290
Lafayette 150 $50,690
Lake Charles 90 $77,220
Thibodaux 80 $50,170
Houma 80 $50,170
Bossier City 60 $45,870
Shreveport 60 $45,870
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 60 $55,180
Portland 60 $55,180
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 800 $54,560
Columbia 800 $54,560
Baltimore 800 $54,560
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 2130 $57,360
Detroit 2130 $57,360
Dearborn 2130 $57,360
Wyoming 500 $50,890
Grand Rapids 500 $50,890
Benton Harbor 160 $66,710
Niles 160 $66,710
East Lansing 130 $42,290
Lansing 130 $42,290
Midland 80 N/A
Portage 80 $50,430
Kalamazoo 80 $50,430
Muskegon 60 $52,210
Jackson 40 $45,530
Ann Arbor 40 $62,290
Saginaw N/A $52,950
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 80 $40,640
North Mankato 80 $50,880
Mankato 80 $50,880
Rochester 40 $50,130
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 50 $49,370
Pascagoula 40 $48,990
Biloxi 40 $48,990
Gulfport 40 $48,990
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 90 $46,230
Columbia 40 $44,340
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 80 $51,920
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 110 $43,940
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Reno 70 $37,940
Paradise 70 $40,880
Las Vegas 70 $40,880
Henderson 70 $40,880
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 50 $60,100
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 40 $53,460
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 170 $62,370
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheektowaga 450 $51,720
Buffalo 450 $51,720
Niagara Falls 450 $51,720
Rochester 290 $49,540
Syracuse 230 $56,360
Albany 130 $60,910
Troy 130 $60,910
Schenectady 130 $60,910
Elmira 70 $53,920
Rome 60 $46,010
Utica 60 $46,010
Binghamton 50 $46,130
Glens Falls 30 $52,850
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 340 $57,430
High Point 110 $51,040
Greensboro 110 $51,040
Durham 90 $60,580
Chapel Hill 90 $60,580
Salem 60 $48,610
Winston 60 $48,610
Morganton 50 $54,950
Hickory 50 $54,950
Lenoir 50 $54,950
Asheville 30 $47,480
Wilmington N/A $67,950
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 530 $50,490
Elyria 530 $50,490
Columbus 300 $47,510
Toledo 220 $47,320
Dayton 180 $53,070
Akron 130 $52,300
Massillon 90 $52,910
Canton 90 $52,910
Mansfield 50 $46,390
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 730 $55,040
Oklahoma City 420 $44,340
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 80 $50,610
Salem 50 $44,030
Medford N/A $44,940
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 850 $50,340
Hanover 250 $44,220
York 250 $44,220
Reading 160 $45,600
Erie 140 $46,290
Lancaster 130 $48,310
Carlisle 110 $49,940
Harrisburg 110 $49,940
Barre 90 $51,430
Hazleton 90 $51,430
Wilkes 90 $51,430
Scranton 90 $51,430
Bloomsburg 50 $46,320
Berwick 50 $46,320
Chambersburg 40 N/A
Waynesboro 40 N/A
State College 40 $47,920
Johnstown N/A $40,120
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 120 $26,410
Carolina 120 $26,410
San Juan 120 $26,410
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greenville 170 $65,490
Mauldin 170 $65,490
Anderson 170 $65,490
North Charleston 150 $64,050
Charleston 150 $64,050
Columbia 130 $54,130
Spartanburg 40 $60,150
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 60 $43,510
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 310 $57,070
Murfreesboro 310 $57,070
Davidson 310 $57,070
Nashville 310 $57,070
Knoxville 290 $57,470
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 2210 $65,420
The Woodlands 2210 $65,420
Houston 2210 $65,420
Dallas 1300 $58,160
Fort Worth 1300 $58,160
Arlington 1300 $58,160
San Antonio 350 $52,580
New Braunfels 350 $52,580
Austin 220 $50,240
Round Rock 220 $50,240
Longview 110 $45,310
Beaumont 90 $50,600
Port Arthur 90 $50,600
Waco 80 $48,320
Tyler 60 $78,850
Midland 50 $63,520
Lubbock 40 $32,300
Odessa 40 $46,670
Amarillo 40 $49,320
Temple 40 $64,980
Killeen 40 $64,980
El Paso 30 $51,740
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Clearfield 220 $48,640
Ogden 220 $48,640
Salt Lake City 220 $55,160
Orem 110 $45,430
Provo 110 $45,430
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 60 $56,340
Burlington 60 $56,340
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 200 $55,920
Roanoke 70 $39,780
Lynchburg 70 $47,560
Harrisonburg 40 $35,490
Christiansburg 40 $48,010
Radford 40 $48,010
Blacksburg 40 $48,010
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 1950 $78,490
Tacoma 1950 $78,490
Seattle 1950 $78,490
Spokane 200 $45,020
Spokane Valley 200 $45,020
Bellingham 40 $57,710
Kennewick 40 $61,660
Richland 40 $61,660
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 50 $60,920
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 920 $51,710
Waukesha 920 $51,710
Milwaukee 920 $51,710
Green Bay 270 $47,190
Appleton 270 $56,000
Madison 190 $47,510
Sheboygan 130 $53,370
Wausau 120 $47,780
Racine 120 $52,080
Fond du Lac 100 $46,030
Eau Claire 90 $53,480
Neenah 80 $42,840
Oshkosh 80 $42,840
Janesville 50 $44,210
Beloit 50 $44,210

Most Popular Industries for :
Mechanical Drafters

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Mechanical Drafters.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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