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Summary Report for:
17-3011.01 - Architectural Drafters

Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

Sample of reported job titles: Architect, Architectural Designer, Architectural Drafter, Architectural Draftsman, Architectural Intern, CAD Technician (Computer-Aided Design Technician), Drafter, Draftsman, Intern Architect, Project Manager

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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

Tasks

  • Operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms, and records.
  • Analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs.
  • Coordinate structural, electrical, and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.
  • Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings, and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets, and other data.
  • Lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software.
  • Obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
  • Supervise, coordinate, and inspect the work of draftspersons, technicians, and technologists on construction projects.
  • Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  • Represent architect on construction site, ensuring builder compliance with design specifications and advising on design corrections, under architect's supervision.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to lists of materials.
  • Analyze technical implications of architect's design concept, calculating weights, volumes, and stress factors.
  • Prepare cost estimates, contracts, bidding documents, and technical reports for specific projects under an architect's supervision.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Compasses
  • 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
  • Multimedia projectors — Three-dimensional stereoscopic projectors
  • Plotter printers — Plotters
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
  • Print servers
  • Protractors
  • 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; Pressure-sensitive graphic tablets
  • Touch pads — Estimating keypads
  • Triangles

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Alias Wavefront Design Studio; Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Autodesk Revit Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes CATIA Hot technology (see all 14 examples)
  • Data base user interface and query software — ARCOM Masterspec
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology
  • Development environment software — C Hot technology ; Microsoft .NET Framework Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology ; Document management system software
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — ERP software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; Microsoft Visio Hot technology ; Softimage Extreme (see all 16 examples)
  • Map creation software — Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Bill of materials software
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Digitizing and photogrammetric software; Scanning software
  • Pattern design software — 100 Plus Hatch Pattern Library
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • 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.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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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.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • 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.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Create graphical representations of structures or landscapes.
  • Operate computer systems.
  • Evaluate technical data to determine effect on designs or plans.
  • Collect data about project sites.
  • Direct design or development activities.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Determine operational methods.
  • Verify mathematical calculations.
  • Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Estimate operational costs.
  • Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
  • Prepare technical reports for internal use.
  • Create physical models or prototypes.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 16% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 66% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “40 hours.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 36% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 26% responded “Minor results.”
  • Time Pressure — 61% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Letters and Memos — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 16% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Physical Proximity — 90% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
68   Bachelor's degree
15   Post-baccalaureate certificate Help
8   Some college, no degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: ARI

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • 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.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

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Work Values

  • 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.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Architectural and Civil Drafters.
Employment data collected from Architectural and Civil Drafters.
Industry data collected from Architectural and Civil Drafters.

Median wages (2015) $24.38 hourly, $50,710 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 94,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Decline (-2% or lower) Decline (-2% or lower)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 11,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "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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