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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: Mechanical Drafter, Designer, Drafter, Design Drafter, Mechanical Designer, CAD Designer (Computer Aided Design Designer), CAD Operator (Computer Aided Design Operator), CAD/CAM Specialist (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing Specialist), Project Designer, Installation Drafter

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Curves — Flexible curves; French curves
Graphics or video accelerator cards — Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards
Plotter printers — Cutting plotters; Plotters
Scales — Architects' scales; Electronic scales
Scanners — Backlit digitizers; Sonic digitizers; Three-dimensional laser digitizers; Wide-format document scanners

Technology used in this occupation:

Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Navigator; PTC Pro/ENGINEER Mechanica; Siemens Solid Edge software
Document management software — Document management system software
Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; McNeel Rhino software; Motion graphics software; Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software
Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Scanning software; Three-dimensional scanning software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

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Knowledge

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.

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Skills

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.

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Abilities

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.

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Work Activities

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.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
40   Associate's degree
23   Bachelor's degree
22   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

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.

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Work Values

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.

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Related Occupations

17-3011.01 Architectural Drafters Green Occupation
17-3011.02 Civil Drafters
17-3012.01 Electronic Drafters
17-3012.02 Electrical Drafters
17-3022.00 Civil Engineering Technicians
17-3023.01 Electronics Engineering Technicians Green Occupation
17-3031.02 Mapping Technicians
27-1021.00 Commercial and Industrial Designers   Green Occupation Green
27-4032.00 Film and Video Editors
51-6092.00 Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $24.77 hourly, $51,520 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 67,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 8,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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