Electrical drafters produce precise technical drawings, instructions, plans, diagrams and schematics. They also provide information which indicates how equipment, devices, parts or structures will be fabricated, constructed, assembled or modified.
Electrical drafters prepare drawings for the production of machinery, automobiles, appliances, aircraft and other items. They also produce wiring and layout diagrams and other engineering information for electrical equipment utilized in power plants, communication centers and buildings. Electrical drafters are also asked to provide technical drawing for large and small electrical systems.
Electrical drafters have a thorough understanding of design techniques and the principles involved in producing technical plans, models and drawings. They must be knowledgeable in the practical application of electrical technology. They also need the skills required to work with computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) systems.
- Prepare drawings, schematics and wiring diagrams
- Determine needs and product requirements to produce a design
- Measure factors which affect the installation and arrangement of equipment
- Make sure drawings conform to standards and regulations
- Review drawings with production and installation workers
- Write technical reports
- Produce documentation packages
- Consider the costs of electrical components used in projects
- Draw master sketches to scale which display the relation of a proposed installation to an existing facility
- Provide drawings with exact specifications and dimensions
- Analyze drawings and cost estimates for accuracy
- Consult with engineers and other co-workers to resolve problems
Electrical drafters typically spend a lot of time in a comfortable work environment. They spend the majority of their time at computer terminals performing detailed work. Some of the important factors for the profession include electrical knowledge, mathematical skills and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of different types of solutions. Electrical drafters also need to be detailed oriented. In addition, good communication skills are helpful.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projects a 3% to 6% growth rate for electrical drafters from 2006 to 2016, which is a slower rate than the average rate for all occupations. Employment growth in the profession will depend primarily on industrial growth. The need for electrical drafters may also increase due to drafters performing procedures typically given to engineers and architects. However, advancements in CADD systems allow simple procedures to be accomplished easier which may decrease the demand for lower skilled drafters since these procedures may be performed by other technical professionals. Also, outsourcing of electrical drafting work may increase since CADD files can be sent to workers abroad via the Internet. A large number of the industries that hire electrical drafters are effected by the cyclical changes of the economy.
Electrical and electronics drafters combined usually have about 14% of the drafting jobs. The median annual earnings in 2007 for electrical drafters was $49,250. In 2006 their were approximately 35,000 electrical drafting positions. Electrical drafters with strong technical skills, who have at least two years of post-secondary training and have experience working with CADD systems are projected to have the best opportunities for employment.
Electrical Drafting Training, Certification, and Licensing
Electrical drafters need to be highly skilled at drafting and design and have the knowledge required to work with CADD systems. The necessary training is available at some vocational schools and community colleges and by the armed forces. Some schools offer two-year associate degrees in drafting. The quality of training at these schools may vary.
The majority of four-year colleges do not provide degrees in drafting. However, many of the colleges provide CADD classes in their architecture, engineering and computer science programs. Also, the non-CADD coursework provided in these programs are helpful in the profession. In addition, the American Design Drafting Association provides a certification program for drafters. Students who are interested in a career in electrical drafting may want to ask prospective employers for the names of the schools they prefer.
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
- American Design Drafting Association
Major employers include engineering firms, architectural companies, the power distribution industry and major manufacturing industries such as automobile, aircraft and appliances.
Schools for Electrical And Electronics Drafters are listed in the Browse Schools Section.