Commercial Drafters are responsible for the fact that architects do not need to utilise a sledgehammer or a wrecking bar on the job site. Commercial Drafters employ software to translate architectural and engineering plans into technical drawings that aid in the creation of everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
Similar Job Titles
- CAD Technician
- CAD Operator
- Engineering Draftsperson
- Engineering Technician
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Commercial Drafters do?
A Commercial Drafter would typically need to:
- Create designs in 2D and 3D models using computer-aided design (CAD) software packages.
- Collaborate with architects, engineers, and designers to obtain product and structural needs and comprehend their design specifications.
- Engineers’ and architects’ rough sketches and specifications are reviewed and developed into high-quality, detailed technical drawings, schematics, maps, and plans.
- Alter and scale drawings; create diagrams, maps, and layouts to demonstrate workflow; and add details to architectural plans based on their engineering and building skills.
- Check that the designs adhere to industry and health and safety regulations and protocols; identify potential operational difficulties and redesign goods to improve functioning.
- Compute costs and use your understanding of materials and engineering principles to determine the feasibility of manufacturing and building the product.
- For new goods, specify dimensions, materials, and techniques; paint and wash colorful drawings as needed.
- Where necessary, conduct site visits and surveys; provide technical advice to manufacturing and construction personnel.
- Provide installation and manufacturing documentation; present working drawings for use in all stages of the project, including tender, manufacture/construction, and installation.
- Keep accurate records; write manuals that detail the functioning, functionality, and upkeep of existing items.
Standard Work Environment
Although Commercial Drafters spend the majority of their time in an open-air office, working with specialist software on computers or a traditional drawing board, you may be required to work at a construction site office for the duration of a project.
You could also provide technical advice to designers, manufacturers on loud factory floors, and engineers on dusty construction sites, depending on your industry and function. Typically, you will need to meet with clients and designers to understand their design requirements.
The dress code for Commercial Drafters varies according to location, industry, size, and type of firm. A casual business code would be mandated in an office setting, whereas a manufacturing or construction site would require safety equipment and a uniform.
The majority of Commercial Drafters work full-time, with some working more than 40 hours a week. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., however, you may need to work late hours and overtime to achieve project deadlines.
CAD abilities are transportable and respected across sectors. In-house design or drawing offices are common in large civil engineering, building, or manufacturing firms. You could also work for a drafting or design firm that offers CAD drawing services to different sectors. You will also be able to use your CAD knowledge in a variety of creative sector positions, such as set and interior design. There are numerous opportunities for freelance work.
Seeking a new job may appear difficult. Commercial Drafters can improve their job search by asking for referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and inquiring at staffing agencies. Draftsperson jobs are advertised by specialist engineering, construction, and industrial employment firms, as well as newspapers.
Commercial Drafters are generally employed by:
- Civil Engineering & Architectural Firms
- Aerospace & Automotive Companies
- Broadcasting & Telecommunications Enterprises
- Utility Companies
- Electrical & Electronic Engineering Firms
- Government Organizations
- Consumer Goods Manufacturing Concerns
- Manufacturing Entities
- Waste Management & Remediation Companies
- Wholesale Trade Organizations
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organizations are essential for Commercial Drafters who want to advance their careers or interact with other experts in their industry or sector. Participation in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Project-based work may involve working on multiple projects to tight deadlines while providing updates or last-minute changes to plans
- Possibility of remaining at the “CAD monkey or CAD jockey” level
- Need to continually upgrade one’s technical skills in chosen niche areas
- Potential health issues associated with working long hours at a computer
Suggested Work Experience
Companies seek applicants with relevant engineering expertise and CAD software experience. An apprenticeship in engineering design and draughting or computer-aided design is the best way to become a Commercial Drafter.
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training with employers as well as the opportunity to obtain industry experience while working towards a qualification. A high school diploma in English, maths, and a technical course is typically required for apprenticeships.
Major engineering and construction firms provide summer and year-in-industry assignments to students enrolled in relevant degree programs. The programs may also provide you with industry experience and the opportunity to use CAD software in real-world projects.
A two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in drawing, an engineering subject, architecture, manufacturing, information technology, or design from a community college or technical school is often required for commercial drafters. Some students prepare for the job by pursuing a diploma, which takes less time to finish.
Drafting programs may cover principles of design, sketching, and computer-aided design (CAD) software. There are free online tools that provide basic AutoCAD or Solidworks tutorials.
Graduates of an associate degree program may find work as drafters or continue their education in a similar profession at a four-year college. Most four-year institutions do not provide drafting training, although many do provide engineering, architecture, and mathematics classes. Students in high school might start preparing by taking computer graphics and drafting classes.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Certification proves competency in a skill or set of skills, generally by work experience, training, and passing an examination, or some combination of the three.
Voluntary certification in architectural, civil, and mechanical drafting from an objective and reputable institution can help you achieve professional credibility, stand out in a competitive employment market, and become an independent consultant.
By including a Code of Ethics, successful certification programs defend the public welfare. The promise that members who violate the Code will be investigated and held accountable earns the community’s trust and respect, which are the most important factors in securing the future of a Commercial Drafter.
Projected Career Map
In the beginning, newly certified and junior Commercial Drafters may work on simple projects such as revising existing designs or moving archival drawings from paper to computer. Your role may evolve as you acquire experience, allowing you to be more involved in the design process and work on larger projects. Senior Commercial Drafter jobs may include supervising work in the design office, managing a team of technicians, and overall project management.
In certain regions, apprenticeship and college courses may lead to further qualifications at the degree level in a related discipline, such as civil engineering, and professional registration, which offers enhanced career possibilities and earning potential, among other perks. Those with experience as Commercial Drafters can advance to positions such as design engineer and civil engineer.
There will be fierce competition for drafting positions. Demand for specific drafting skills varies by region since jobs are dependent on the needs of local industry and are vulnerable to overall economic volatility. Applicants with CAD and BIM skills are more likely to land a job.
Beneficial Professional Development
The job is all about education. You should retire the day you don’t learn something new. Continued professional development (CPD) is Commercial Drafters’ overall commitment to improving personal skills and proficiency throughout their active careers, whether through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning. There are numerous CPD courses, seminars, and workshops available to assist professionals in the sector.
CPD enables people to consistently improve their skills, regardless of their age, career, or degree of expertise. It keeps practical and academic credentials from becoming obsolete. It allows Commercial Drafters to discover knowledge gaps and advance to a new specialization.
Experienced draftspeople with the necessary technical abilities, ability, and commitment to professional standards can apply for professional registration. Professional registration can lead to increased earning potential and more employment options.
If one’s current field becomes stale, the possibilities range from mechanical to electrical to aerospace to nuclear. When performed with devotion, drafting develops into a work of art that will assist you in understanding how to construct functional, secure, and well-designed products and buildings that suit the demands of humanity.
Advice from the Wise
When you innovate, you are bound to make mistakes. It is best to acknowledge them soon and move on to improve your other inventions. On the drafting table, you can use an eraser, whereas on the construction site, you can use a sledgehammer.