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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Thornton, Colorado

Architectural drafters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Thornton, Colorado area. Currently, 2,660 people work as architectural drafters in Colorado. This is expected to grow by 8% to about 2,880 people 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. Architectural drafters generally prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

The income of an architectural drafter is about $22 hourly or $46,660 per year on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,490 annually on average. Architectural drafters earn less than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Colorado and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: architecture technician, architectural designer, and drafting technician.

The Thornton area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Thornton 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 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 Thornton 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

Front Range Community College - Westminster, CO

Front Range Community College, 3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, CO 80031. Front Range Community College is a large college located in Westminster, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,480 students. Front Range Community College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated nineteen and three students respectively in 2008.

Red Rocks Community College - Lakewood, CO

Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W Sixth Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228-1255. Red Rocks Community College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,432 students. Red Rocks Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated nine, two, and eight students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Denver North - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver North, 7350 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80221. Westwood College-Denver North is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,843 students and an admission rate of 99%. Westwood College-Denver North has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Pickens Technical College - Aurora, CO

Pickens Technical College, 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011-9307. Pickens Technical College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,066 students. Pickens Technical College has a one to two year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated sixty-eight students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Thornton - Thornton, CO

ITT Technical Institute-Thornton, 500 E 84th Ave Ste B12, Thornton, CO 80229-5338. ITT Technical Institute-Thornton is a small school located in Thornton, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 750 students and an admission rate of 47%. ITT Technical Institute-Thornton has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-six students in 2008.

Westwood College-Denver South - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver South, 3150 S Sheridan Blvd, Denver, CO 80227. Westwood College-Denver South is a small college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 404 students and an admission rate of 98%. Westwood College-Denver South has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated seven students in 2008.

Community College of Denver - Denver, CO

Community College of Denver, 1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204-2026. Community College of Denver is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,006 students. Community College of Denver has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated seven, one, and ten students respectively in 2008.

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: Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.