Drafting & Design Technology

Program Description

The FCAVTS Drafting & Design program will apply technical knowledge and skills as each relates to the gathering and translating of data or specifications, including basic aspects of planning, preparing and interpreting drawings and sketches in various engineering, manufacturing and construction fields. Students will learn the basics of board drawing and then progress to Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) work, 3D Printing, and Virtual Reality.

Related Occupations

Related Occupations are not limited to, but include Architects, Civil Engineering Technicians, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians, Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Industrial Designers, Landscape Architects, Mechanical Engineering Technicians, Mechanical Engineers, Surveying and Mapping Technicians, and Surveyors.

Companies who have hired our students:

Nitterhouse Concrete

Wade Architecture

Fulton Precision

Manitowoc Crane

Mellott Company

Nature of Work

Drafters prepare technical drawings and plans used by production and construction workers to build everything from manufactured products such as toys, toasters, industrial machinery, and spacecraft to structures such as houses, office buildings, and oil and gas pipelines.

Drafters’ drawings provide visual guidelines; show the technical details of the products and structures; and specify dimensions, materials, and procedures. Drafters fill in technical details using drawings, rough sketches, specifications, codes, and calculations previously made by engineers, surveyors, architects, or scientists.

Training and Advancement

Employers are most interested in applicants with well-developed drafting and mechanical drawing skills; knowledge of drafting standards, mathematics, science, and engineering technology; and a solid background in CAD techniques.

Employers prefer applicants who have completed postsecondary school training in drafting, training that is offered by technical institutes, community colleges, and some 4-year colleges and universities. However, smaller companies will hire students directly from the program.

The FCAVTS Drafting & Design curriculum is approved by the American Drafting & Design Association. Students are eligible to take ADDA certification exams in Mechanical and/or Architectural Drafting.

Important Qualities for Drafters

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 schedule.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of drafters is projected to show little or no change over the next ten years. Employment growth will vary by specialty.

Growth in the engineering services and construction industries is expected to account for most new jobs for drafters. However, computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM) technologies allow engineers and architects to perform many tasks that used to be done by drafters, which is expected to temper demand for all drafters.


The median annual wage for drafters was $55,550 in May 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,140.

Median annual wages for drafters in May 2018 were as follows:

Architectural & Civil Drafters                       $54,920

Mechanical Drafters                                    $55,920

Electrical & Electronics Drafters                  $60,070

Drafters, all other                                        $51,850

In May 2018, the median annual wages for drafters in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

Construction      $56,930

Architectural, engineering, and related services             $55,570

Manufacturing      $54,320

Wholesale trade          $53,820

Most drafters work full time. Some work more than 40 hours a week.

Information printed in brochure was compiled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/drafters.htm?view_full#tab-1

Program of Study Framework / Class Resources


Ethan Cunningham

Drafing & Design

Email: ecunningham@fcavts.org

Phone: (717) 485-3195

Fulton County