Mechanical drafters prepare layouts that show the details for a variety of machinery and mechanical tools and devices, such as medical equipment. These layouts indicate dimensions, fastening methods, and other requirements for assembly. Mechanical drafters also sometimes create production molds.
WHAT SKILLS & TRAINING ARE NEEDED?
- Creativity: Drafters must be able to turn plans and ideas into technical drawings that will guide the creation of real buildings, tools, and systems.
- Detail oriented: Drafters must pay close attention to details so that the plans they convert are technically accurate according to the outlined specifications.
- Interpersonal skills: Drafters work closely with architects, engineers, and other designers to make sure that final plans are accurate. This requires the ability to communicate effectively and work well with others.
- Math skills: Drafters work on technical drawings. They may be required to solve mathematical calculations involving factors such as angles, weights, and costs.
- Technical skills: Drafters in all specialties must be able to use computer software, such as CAD, and work with database tools, such as building information modeling (BIM).
- Time-management skills: Drafters often work under strict deadlines. As a result, they must work efficiently to produce the required output according to set schedules.
Mechanical drafters generally need to complete post-secondary education in drafting. This is typically done through a 2-year associate’s degree from a technical institute or community college. Technical institutes offer instruction in design fundamentals, sketching, and computer-aided design (CAD) software and award certificates or diplomas upon completion. Programs vary in length but are generally 2 years of full-time education. The types of courses offered will also vary by institution. Some institutions may specialize in only one type of drafting, such as mechanical or architectural drafting. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes that lead to an associate of applied science in drafting or related degree. After completing an associate’s degree program, graduates may get jobs as drafters or continue their education in a related field at a 4-year college. Most 4-year colleges do not offer training in drafting, but they do offer classes in engineering, architecture, and mathematics.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THIS IS A GOOD FIT FOR ME?
- You are creative and have an interest in design.
- You are very dependable, reliable, timely, responsible, and fulfill obligations.
- You like learning how things are built, constructed, repaired and want to assist others involved in construction.
WHERE CAN I PURSUE ALIGNED TRAINING?
computers digital drafters digital media drafting drafter aided design