Nature of the Work
Drafters' drawings provide visual guidelines and show how to construct a product or structure. Drawings include technical details and specify dimensions, materials, and procedures. Drafters fill in technical details using drawings, rough sketches, specifications, and calculations made by engineers, surveyors, architects, or scientists. Most drafters use Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) systems to prepare drawings. Consequently, some drafters may be referred to as CAD operators. With CAD systems, drafters can create and store drawings electronically so that they can be viewed, printed, or programmed directly into automated manufacturing systems. CAD systems also permit drafters to quickly prepare variations of a design. Although drafters use CAD extensively, they still need knowledge of traditional drafting techniques in order to fully understand and explain concepts.
Architectural drafters draw architectural and structural features of buildings for new construction projects. These workers may specialize in a type of building, such as residential or commercial, or they may specialize in a kind of material used such as reinforced concrete, masonry, steel, or timber. Mechanical drafters prepare drawings showing the detail and method of assembly of a wide variety of machinery and mechanical devices indicating dimensions, fastening methods, and other requirements.