What is Architectural Drafting?

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Long before where you live was a building, it was somebody’s vision of what could sit on that particular spot. Architectural drafting is what turns someone’s idea into plan that skilled workers can follow to create a building. The drawing, also known as a draft, includes floor plans, measurements, and other important information that contractors use to construct your home. Drafts are used to design residential and commercial buildings. Today, they’re created using computer-aided design software by experts who know how to master the programs. If you have an interest in architecture and are good with computers, you may find that a career in architectural drafting is the right fit for you.

Why Drafts Are Necessary

Drafts are important because they allow architects to visually communicate their designs with clients and contractors. Drafts serve as a manual for everyone involved in the construction process, from the architects and drafters to the contractors and construction crew. They include key details about the building, its style, its placement on the land, and the materials that should be used to assemble it. These details ensure that construction is successful:

  • Site Plans—provide information about the site where the building will be erected. They include property lines, the condition of the site, and any height restrictions that may be in place. They may also include information on nearby buildings, pathways, and utilities.
  • Foundation Plans—show the location of where the foundation will be laid. They include information about footings, columns, supporting beams, and walls, and precise measurements and materials needed to execute the plan to code and design.
  • Floor Plans—show the layout of each room and include the location of doors, windows, staircases, and built-in items like closets. Measurements of these items, called elevations, are also included in drafts.
  • Wiring and Electrical Plans—provide the critical guidelines on where and how the HVAC unit, plumbing, and electrical system should be laid out.

Drafts can also contain information on how the site should be excavated and landscaped, what building codes should be followed, and how much the materials will cost. Because drafts can be digitally shared among those who collaborate on the project, they can also contain important notes from the architect or construction crew. Today updates can be made in real time and tracked throughout the project.

Careers in Architectural Drafting

If you have an eye for detail, are well organized, and have an interest in the building process, you might consider a career in architectural drafting. In this role, you would use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create 2D and 3D drafts based on notes and information provided by architects. You’ll work with architects to ensure that drafts are accurate and up to code. You’ll also prepare cost estimates of the materials and labor, and you’ll work with contractors to establish a timeline for completion.

As an architectural drafter, you’ll most likely work for an architectural firm, but you could find employment at an engineering or construction company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California employs more architectural and civil drafters than any other state.

If you’re ready to start a career in drafting, contact Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Computer Aided Design that will prepare you to sit for the National Certification Exam and get ready for entry-level employment in the field. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.