Summary Report for:
17-3013.00 - Mechanical Drafters
Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.
Sample of reported job titles: CAD Designer (Computer Aided Design Designer), CAD Operator (Computer Aided Design Operator), CAD/CAM Specialist (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing Specialist), Design Drafter, Designer, Drafter, Installation Drafter, Mechanical Designer, Mechanical Drafter, Project Designer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Develop detailed design drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment, dies, tools, and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment.
- Lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components, assemblies, systems, and machines.
- Coordinate with and consult other workers to design, lay out, or detail components and systems and to resolve design or other problems.
- Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to the materials.
- Review and analyze specifications, sketches, drawings, ideas, and related data to assess factors affecting component designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed.
- Modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies or to reduce production problems.
- Compute mathematical formulas to develop and design detailed specifications for components or machinery, using computer-assisted equipment.
- Position instructions and comments onto drawings.
- Lay out, draw, and reproduce illustrations for reference manuals and technical publications to describe operation and maintenance of mechanical systems.
- Design scale or full-size blueprints of specialty items such as furniture and automobile body or chassis components.
- Confer with customer representatives to review schematics and answer questions pertaining to installation of systems.
- Supervise and train other drafters, technologists, and technicians.
- Draw freehand sketches of designs, trace finished drawings onto designated paper for the reproduction of blueprints, and reproduce working drawings on copy machines.
- Shade or color drawings to clarify and emphasize details and dimensions or eliminate background using ink, crayon, airbrush, and overlays.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Computer mouse or trackballs — Three-dimensional motion controllers
- Curves — Flexible curves; French curves
- Desktop computers
- Graphics or video accelerator cards — Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards
- Notebook computers
- Plotter printers — Cutting plotters; Plotters
- Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
- Print servers
- Scales — Architects' scales; Electronic scales
- Scanners — Backlit digitizers; Sonic digitizers; Three-dimensional laser digitizers; Wide-format document scanners (see all 5 examples)
- T squares — T-squares
- Tablet computers — Graphics tablets
- Touch pads — Estimating keypads
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D; Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; PTC Creo Parametric (see all 16 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — 1CadCam Unigraphics; Rapid prototyping software
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Document management software — Document management system software
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — ERP software; SAP software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; McNeel Rhino software; Motion graphics software; Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software (see all 6 examples)
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Bill of materials software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Scanning software; Three-dimensional scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Detailed Work Activities
- Verify mathematical calculations.
- Discuss designs or plans with clients.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Design electromechanical equipment or systems.
- Analyze design or requirements information for mechanical equipment or systems.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 33% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “40 hours.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 36% responded “Moderate results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “High responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 34% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 25% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 26% responded “Fairly serious.”
- Physical Proximity — 67% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: RCI
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$25.10 hourly, $52,200 annual|
|Employment (2012)||67,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Decline (-3% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||8,900|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Drafters . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) , 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 302, Arlington, VA 22201. Phone: (703) 247-4212. Fax: (703) 247-4533.
- American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) , 105 E. Main St., Newbern, TN 38059. Phone: (731) 627-0802. Fax: (731) 627-9321.