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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in San Francisco, California

Architectural drafter career and educational opportunities abound in San Francisco, California. About 18,100 people are currently employed as architectural drafters in California. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 2% to 17,700 people employed. 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.

Architectural drafters earn about $25 per hour or $52,200 annually on average in California and about $21 hourly or $44,490 yearly on average nationally. 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. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: landscape drafter, architectural technician, and drafting technician.

The San Francisco area is home to eighty-six schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree as an architectural drafter. 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 training to become 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 San Francisco 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.
  • 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

Las Positas College - Livermore, CA

Las Positas College, 3033 Collier Cyn Rd, Livermore, CA 94551-7650. Las Positas College is a medium sized college located in Livermore, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,098 students. Las Positas College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician.

Diablo Valley College - Pleasant Hill, CA

Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Diablo Valley College is a large college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,768 students. Diablo Valley College has 3 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, two to four year.
  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year and two to four year which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of Marin - Kentfield, CA

College of Marin, 835 College Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904-2590. College of Marin is a medium sized college located in Kentfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,577 students. College of Marin has an associate's degree program in Architectural Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

College of San Mateo - San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo, 1700 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402-3784. College of San Mateo is a large college located in San Mateo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,215 students. College of San Mateo has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Western Career College-Emeryville - Emeryville, CA

Western Career College-Emeryville, 6001 Shellmound, Emeryville, CA 94608. Western Career College-Emeryville is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 431 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Emeryville has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated ten and one students respectively in 2008.

Chabot College - Hayward, CA

Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545. Chabot College is a large college located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,299 students. Chabot College has an associate's degree program in Architectural Technology/Technician which graduated seven students in 2008.

Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree and two to four year.

Martinez Adult Education - Martinez, CA

Martinez Adult Education, 600 F St, Martinez, CA 94553-3298. Martinez Adult Education is a small school located in Martinez, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 565 students. Martinez Adult Education has a less than one year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated fifty students in 2008.

City College of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112-1898. City College of San Francisco is a large college located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 49,897 students. City College of San Francisco has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year and two to four year which graduated eleven and zero students respectively in 2008.

Laney College - Oakland, CA

Laney College, 900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607. Laney College is a large college located in Oakland, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,104 students. Laney College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree and two to four year.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.