What does a Drafter do?

Learn all about Drafter duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Drafter.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A drafter is someone who creates drawings or plans.

Drafter job duties include:

  • Read and interpret architectural drawings, sketches, blueprints, manuals, and specifications to determine the kind of tools, materials, and equipment required to do a job
  • Draw sketches or rough diagrams of articles, machines, structures, or systems, including details of their dimensions and angles
  • Compute mathematical formulas to develop and design detailed specifications for components or machinery using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment
  • Lay out workpieces on drafting table or computer screen for assembly or machining
  • Trace outlines of patterns or template onto material, using scriber and drawing instruments
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications
  • Mark reference lines and cutting guidelines on materials using straightedge, compass, protractor, and other drafting instruments
  • Modify drawings according to comments from designers, engineers, or clients
  • Prepare engineering designs and drawings from preliminary concepts, sketches, notes, oral instructions, and calculations

Drafter Job Requirements

A Drafter is someone who creates drawings and plans for buildings, machines, and other objects. They usually need at least an Associate's degree in drafting, although a Bachelor's degree may be preferred by some employers. Certification from the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) may also be required. In terms of experience, Drafters typically need several years of experience in the field before they can be considered for a job.

Drafter Skills

  • Technical drawing
  • CAD
  • 3D modeling
  • Blueprints
  • Orthographic projection
  • Isometric projection
  • Dimensioning
  • Tolerancing
  • Sectioning
  • Auxiliary views
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing

Related: Top Drafter Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Drafter

There are many ways to become a drafter. One way is to get a degree in drafting from a college or university. Many community colleges offer two-year programs in drafting. A four-year degree in engineering or architecture also can be helpful in getting a job as a drafter.

Some companies will train drafters on the job. In this case, good math skills and mechanical aptitude are important. The ability to use computer-aided design (CAD) software also is essential.

Most states require licensure for architects and engineers. Drafters usually are not licensed, but some states have certification programs for drafters. Certification typically requires passing an exam and completing a certain amount of continuing education credits.

Related: Drafter Resume Example

Related: Drafter Interview Questions (With Example Answers)