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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for architectural drafters in the Columbia, Maryland area. About 1,670 people are currently employed as architectural drafters in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 7% to about 1,780 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 $21 hourly or $45,300 per year on average in Maryland and about $21 hourly or $44,490 annually on average nationally. Architectural drafters earn less than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Maryland and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. Jobs in this field include: draftsman, assistant drafter, and cad technician .

There are twelve schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an architectural drafter, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. 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 Columbia 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

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, one to two year.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated thirty-four and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated twenty-eight and thirty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 34 students in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated nine and six students respectively in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills - Owings Mills, MD

ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills, 11301 Red Run Blvd, Owings Mills, MD 21117. ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills is a small school located in Owings Mills, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,121 students and an admission rate of 54%. ITT Technical Institute-Owings Mills has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Carroll Community College - Westminster, MD

Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157. Carroll Community College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,453 students. Carroll Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has 3 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 23 students in 2008.
  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, one to two year.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Westwood College-Annandale - Annandale, VA

Westwood College-Annandale, 7619 Little River Turnpike, 5th Floor, Annandale, VA 22003. Westwood College-Annandale is a small college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 362 students. Westwood College-Annandale has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated six students in 2008.

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore, 1520 S Caton Ave, Baltimore, MD 21227-1063. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,075 students. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore has a one to two year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Howard Community College - Columbia, MD

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197. Howard Community College is a medium sized college located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,905 students. Howard Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Arlington Ballston - Arlington, VA

Westwood College-Arlington Ballston, 4300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22203. Westwood College-Arlington Ballston is a small college located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 293 students. Westwood College-Arlington Ballston has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated three 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.