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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in New Orleans, Louisiana

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for architectural drafters in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. Currently, 1,430 people work as architectural drafters in Louisiana. This is expected to grow by 11% to 1,580 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for architectural drafters are expected to grow by about 9.1%. Architectural drafters generally prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

Architectural drafters earn about $20 hourly or $42,360 per year on average in Louisiana and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Drafting, people working as architectural drafters in Louisiana earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Drafting nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: drafter, architectural draftsman, and intern architect.

The New Orleans area is home to thirty-two schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of New Orleans 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 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 New Orleans 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

Herzing College - Kenner, LA

Herzing College, 2400 Veterans Mem Blvd., Suite 410, Kenner, LA 70062. Herzing College is a small college located in Kenner, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 250 students and an admission rate of 57%. Herzing College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree.

ITT Technical Institute-Saint Rose - Saint Rose, LA

ITT Technical Institute-Saint Rose, 140 James Dr E, Saint Rose, LA 70087. ITT Technical Institute-Saint Rose is a small school located in Saint Rose, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 660 students and an admission rate of 48%. ITT Technical Institute-Saint Rose has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Delgado Community College - New Orleans, LA

Delgado Community College, 615 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119. Delgado Community College is a large college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,450 students. Delgado Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated eleven and six students respectively in 2008.

Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus - Reserve, LA

Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus, 181 Regala Pk Rd, Reserve, LA 70084. Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus is a small college located in Reserve, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 939 students. Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated zero and four 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: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.