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.


  • 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.


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 the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Mechanical Drafters jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 2,740 $58,090
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 2,140 $71,340
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 1,740 N/A
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 1,440 $59,290
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 1,190 $56,090
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 910 $59,120
Pittsburgh 780 $52,160
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis 770 $52,230
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 680 $55,780
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 660 $54,590

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Mechanical Drafters

Use our handy tool to see what employment and salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

Select State
Select Metro Area 1
Select Metro Area 2

Total employment and salary for professions similar to mechanical drafters

Most Popular Industries for
Mechanical Drafters

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment 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
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
Results:  9
Matching School Ads
  • Drafting Technology & Design (AS)
  • Interior Planning with AutoCAD (AAS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
  • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
  • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
  • Join our next Open House on 10/21 (10/28 @ select locations)!
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
  • Recognized for academic excellence, meaningful research & graduate achievement
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission w/ programmatic accreditations
  • More than 200 majors with a beautiful campus location in Indiana
  • Top 5 public university in the U.S according to the Wall Street Journal
  • Has a helpful Academic Success Center to help students reach their potential
  • BS in Aeronautics
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician
  • Degree - Industrial Maintenance Technician
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
  • Master of Science in Project Management
  • Awakens, nurtures, & empowers learners to ethical lives of service & leadership
  • An accredited university by the HLC with multiple specialty accreditations
  • 16:1 student/faculty ratio with professors who are dedicated to student success
  • 120+ programs to choose from for graduates and undergraduate degree options
  • 2017 "Best Regional Universities, Midwest" & "Best Value" by US News & World Report
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Project Management
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
  • Master in Project Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
  • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
  • No set class times or locations
  • Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
  • Accelerated eight-week terms
  • Classes start every month
  • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation
  • AU challenges students to combine serious study with real-world experience
  • 8 schools & 150+ programs including bachelor’s, master’s & doctoral degrees
  • MSA accredited with multiple accreditations per program, located in Wash. D.C.
  • Ranked #74 in “Best National Universities” by US News and World Report
  • Multiple financial aid options for eligible students in need

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.

Back to Top