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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Ontario, California

There are many career and education opportunities for architectural drafters in the Ontario, California area. There are currently 18,100 working architectural drafters in California; this should shrink by 2% to 17,700 working architectural drafters in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for architectural drafters, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.1% over the next eight years. In general, architectural drafters 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 $25 per hour or $52,200 annually on average in California and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Drafting, people working as architectural drafters in California earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Drafting nationally. People working as architectural drafters can fill a number of jobs, such as: cad draftsman , cadd operator , and assistant drafter.

The Ontario area is home to twenty-two schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Ontario where you can get a degree as an architectural drafter. Given that the most common education level 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 Ontario include:

  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Architectural Drafter Training

Westwood College-Inland Empire - Upland, CA

Westwood College-Inland Empire, 20 W 7th St, Upland, CA 91786-7148. Westwood College-Inland Empire is a small college located in Upland, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,080 students and an admission rate of 42%. Westwood College-Inland Empire has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Chaffey College - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Chaffey College, 5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-3002. Chaffey College is a large college located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,486 students. Chaffey College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD.

Westech College - Ontario, CA

Westech College, 3491 E. Concours Ave, Ontario, CA 91764. Westech College is a small college located in Ontario, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 440 students and an admission rate of 100%. Westech College has a less than one year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated fifty-two students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino - San Bernardino, CA

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino, 670 E Carnegie Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408. ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino is a small school located in San Bernardino, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,598 students and an admission rate of 54%. ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated eighty students 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.


Ontario, California
Ontario, California photo by Sfan00_IMG

Ontario is situated in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 171,691, which has grown by 8.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Ontario, 127, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Ontario are priced at $164,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Ontario, down from three hundred seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Ontario are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 31 minutes. More than 10.5% of Ontario residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 2.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Ontario is 14.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Ontario residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses, Country Church of Ontario and Grace Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Ontario. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Ontario is home to the Ontario Motor Speedway and the West End Multi-Service Center as well as Del Rancho Park and Unity Park. Shopping malls in the area include Galvin Park Shopping Center, Vineyard Freeway Shopping Center and Ontario Vineyard Marketplace Shopping Center. Visitors to Ontario can choose from Best Western Ontario, Best Western Ontario Airport and Amerisuites Ontario Mills for temporary stays in the area.