Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Anchorage, Alaska
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for architectural drafters in the Anchorage, Alaska area. There are currently 240 working architectural drafters in Alaska; this should grow by 19% to 290 working architectural drafters in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for architectural drafters, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.1% over the next eight years. Architectural drafters generally prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
A person working as an architectural drafter can expect to earn about $23 per hour or $48,260 yearly on average in Alaska and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for architectural drafters are better than earnings in the general category of Drafting in Alaska and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: draftsman, truss designer, and architectural intern.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Anchorage where you can study to be an architectural drafter, among four schools of higher education total in the Anchorage area. The most common level of education for architectural drafters is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying to be an architectural drafter if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Architectural Drafter
In general, architectural drafters prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
Architectural drafters operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting stations to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms and records. They also obtain and assemble data to finish architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as needed. Equally important, architectural drafters have to analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to establish their effect on architectural designs. They are often called upon to direct structural, electrical and mechanical designs and decide on a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans. Finally, architectural drafters draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings and structures, on the basis of preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets and other data.
Every day, architectural drafters are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.
It is important for architectural drafters to lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software. They are often called upon to develop freehand drawings and lettering to accompany drawings. They also check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to records of materials. They are sometimes expected to ready colored drawings of landscape and interior designs for presentation to client. Somewhat less frequently, architectural drafters are also expected to represent architect on construction site, ensuring builder adherence to layout specifications and advising on layout corrections, under architect's supervision.
They also have to be able to build landscape, architectural and display models And finally, they sometimes have to ready cost estimates, contracts, bidding documents and technical summaries for specific projects under an architect's supervision.
Like many other jobs, architectural drafters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Anchorage include:
- Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
- Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
- Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Architectural Drafter Training
University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage, AK
University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508. University of Alaska Anchorage is a large university located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,649 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Alaska Anchorage has 4 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:
- Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
- CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
- Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
- Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD, one to two year.
Charter College - Anchorage, AK
Charter College, 2221 E Northern Lights Blvd Ste 120, Anchorage, AK 99508. Charter College is a small college located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 770 students. Charter College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated two and seven students respectively in 2008.
Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.
For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.
Certified Transfer Station Technical Associate: This certification was developed to address the increased interest in transfer stations and provide transfer station managers and others the opportunity to learn more about transfer station design and operation.
For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is located in Anchorage Municipality County, Alaska. It has a population of over 279,243, which has grown by 7.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Anchorage, 89, is well below the national average.
The top three industries for women in Anchorage are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 28.9% of Anchorage residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.
Anchorage is home to the Chugach and the Black Bear Campground as well as Baxter Bog Park and Alaska Railroad Power Reserve. Visitors to Anchorage can choose from Courtyard Anchorage, Creekwood Inn and The Voyager Hotel for temporary stays in the area.