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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Tampa, Florida

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for architectural drafters in the Tampa, Florida area. Currently, 8,160 people work as architectural drafters in Florida. This is expected to grow 20% to 9,750 people 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. 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 $20 per hour or $41,670 yearly on average in Florida and about $21 per hour or $44,490 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for architectural drafters are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Drafting in Florida and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: project architect, drafting technician, and architect.

The Tampa area is home to fifty-four schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree as an architectural drafter. Architectural drafters usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Tampa 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.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • 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

D G Erwin Technical Center - Tampa, FL

D G Erwin Technical Center, 2010 E Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33610-8255. D G Erwin Technical Center is a small school located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 847 students. D G Erwin Technical Center has a one to two year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

Pasco-Hernando Community College - New Port Richey, FL

Pasco-Hernando Community College, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654-5199. Pasco-Hernando Community College is a medium sized college located in New Port Richey, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,602 students. Pasco-Hernando Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated sixteen and five students respectively in 2008.

St Petersburg College - Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College, 14025 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760. St Petersburg College is a large college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,099 students. St Petersburg College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated five and six students respectively in 2008.

Pinellas Technical Education Center - Saint Petersburg, FL

Pinellas Technical Education Center, 901 34th St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711-2209. Pinellas Technical Education Center is a small school located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 875 students. Pinellas Technical Education Center has a one to two year program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated three students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Pinellas Park - Pinellas Park, FL

ITT Technical Institute-Pinellas Park, 3491 Gandy Blvd Ste 101, Pinellas Park, FL 33781. ITT Technical Institute-Pinellas Park is a small school located in Pinellas Park, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 219 students and an admission rate of 34%. ITT Technical Institute-Pinellas Park has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician.

ITT Technical Institute-Tampa - Tampa, FL

ITT Technical Institute-Tampa, 4809 Memorial Hwy, Tampa, FL 33634-7350. ITT Technical Institute-Tampa is a small school located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 813 students and an admission rate of 44%. ITT Technical Institute-Tampa has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty students in 2008.

Hillsborough Community College - Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College, 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584. Hillsborough Community College is a large college located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,037 students. Hillsborough Community College has a less than one year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated fourteen students 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: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.