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Architectural Drafting Technology Programs

Learn to create architectural drawings through an architectural drafting technology program. Get information on what courses are included in a degree program, and explore career options.

What Will an Architectural Drafting Technology Program Train Me to Do?

An architectural drafting technology program will introduce you to the field of drafting. You'll learn the essentials of hand-drafting, such as sketching, lettering and using drafting tools. You'll also spend significant time learning to use computer-aided design (CAD) tools. In much of the drafting industry, CAD is the standard method for creating architectural drawings. Therefore, it will be important for you to master the drawing, editing, layering and other aspects of this software.

Skills Gained Sketching, lettering, use of drafting tools, computer-aided drafting, editing, layering
Course Topics Architecture, blueprint reading, building codes, project estimation, two and three dimensional drawing of various building plans
Career Areas Architectural or civil drafting, specialized drafting; certification not required but available
Future Educational Opportunities Bachelor of Architecture, four-year engineering program
Median Salary (2020)$57,500 (for architectural and civil drafters)*
Job Outlook (2019-2029)3% decline (for all architectural and civil drafters)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Coursework will cover general topics pertaining to architecture, including blueprint reading, building codes and construction project estimating. By the end of your program, you should be able to produce architectural drafts in two and three dimensions. In most cases, you'll develop a strong ability to draw floor plans, site plans, elevation drawings, electrical plans and more. These degrees are typically only earned through campus-based programs, though some schools offer select coursework online.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Upon completing your associate's degree, you can find entry-level work as an architectural drafter, civil drafter or other type of drafter. You can also pursue numerous other specializations within drafting, such as electrical, mechanical and aeronautical drafting. All of these fields will require you to use similar techniques and software, though the types of drawings you complete will vary. For example, electrical drafters specialize in drawings of wiring systems for buildings, vehicles and more. Though not legally or otherwise professionally required, you can earn certification through the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) in order to bolster your credentials.

What Further Educational Options Can I Pursue?

Through work experience and continuing education, you can advance into a senior drafting or design role. You can also earn additional degrees in order to further your career. A drafting design degree can also prepare you for a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree, which is a 5-year professional program that would qualify you for architecture licensure. An associate's degree in drafting can also be useful preparation for a 4-year degree in engineering, particularly in engineering areas where CAD skills are a must. These areas include manufacturing engineering and civil engineering.