Skip navigation

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), Design Drafter, Designer, Drafter, Drafting Technician, Mechanical Designer, Mechanical Drafter, Product Designer, Project Designer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  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

  • Develop detailed design drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment, dies, tools, and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment.
  • Produce three-dimensional models, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components, assemblies, systems, and machines.
  • Modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies or to reduce production problems.
  • Review and analyze specifications, sketches, drawings, ideas, and related data to assess factors affecting component designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to the materials.
  • Design scale or full-size blueprints of specialty items such as furniture and automobile body or chassis components.
  • Compute mathematical formulas to develop and design detailed specifications for components or machinery, using computer-assisted equipment.
  • Coordinate with and consult other workers to design, lay out, or detail components and systems and to resolve design or other problems.
  • Confer with customer representatives to review schematics and answer questions pertaining to installation of systems.
  • Position instructions and comments onto drawings.
  • Supervise and train other drafters, technologists, and technicians.
  • Lay out, draw, and reproduce illustrations for reference manuals and technical publications to describe operation and maintenance of mechanical systems.
  • Draw freehand sketches of designs, trace finished drawings onto designated paper for the reproduction of blueprints, and reproduce working drawings on copy machines.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Bentley Microstation Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes CATIA Hot technology ; PTC Creo Parametric Hot technology (see all 17 examples)
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software Hot technology — 1CadCam Unigraphics; Rapid prototyping software
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access Hot technology
  • Document management software — Document management system software
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — ERP software; SAP Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; Adobe Systems Adobe LiveMotion; McNeel Rhino software; Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software (see all 6 examples)
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Bill of materials software
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Scanning software; Three-dimensional scanning software
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project 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.

back to top

Tools Used

  • 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
  • Notebook computers
  • Plotter printers — Cutting plotters; 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
  • Touch pads — Estimating keypads
  • Triangles

back to top

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.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • 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.

back to top

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.
  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

back to top

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • 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.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

back to top

Work Activities

  • 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.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • 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.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
  • Create images or other visual displays.
  • Design electromechanical equipment or systems.
  • Analyze design or requirements information for mechanical equipment or systems.
  • Verify mathematical calculations.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Discuss designs or plans with clients.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 56% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 56% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Telephone — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Time Pressure — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 43% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Important results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 49% responded “Very important.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 47% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Physical Proximity — 80% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”

back to top

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 hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
61   Associate's degree
20   Bachelor's degree
8   Post-secondary certificate Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

back to top

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.

back to top

Work Styles

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

back to top

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.

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $26.19 hourly, $54,480 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2016) 65,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Average (5% to 9%) Average (5% to 9%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 5,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs

back to top

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.

back to top