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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Rochester, Minnesota

Architectural drafters can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Rochester, Minnesota area. About 2,420 people are currently employed as architectural drafters in Minnesota. By 2016, this is expected to grow 4% to about 2,510 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. Architectural drafters generally 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 $21 per hour or $44,620 annually on average in Minnesota and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for architectural drafters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Drafting in Minnesota, and not quite as good as the overall Drafting category nationally. Jobs in this field include: architect, architectural intern, and landscape drafter.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Rochester area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rochester where you can get a degree to start your career as an architectural drafter. Given that the most common education level for architectural drafters is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn 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 Rochester 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Architectural Drafter Training

Rochester Community and Technical College - Rochester, MN

Rochester Community and Technical College, 851 30th Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904-4999. Rochester Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Rochester, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,977 students. Rochester Community and Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated twenty-eight, eight, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.


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: Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester, Minnesota photo by Jonathunder

Rochester is located in Olmsted County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 100,413, which has grown by 17.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rochester, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rochester are priced at $233,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty-seven new homes were constructed in Rochester, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Rochester are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 38.1% of Rochester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rochester is 5.8%, which is less than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Rochester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Faith Family Church, Faith Harbor Church and Saint Francis Catholic Church are all churches located in Rochester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Rochester is home to the Soldiers Field Golf Course and the Guggenheim Building as well as Mohn Park and Manor Park. Shopping centers in the area include Apache Mall, Miracle Mile Shopping Center and Crossroads Shopping Center. Visitors to Rochester can choose from Best Western, Maria's and Econo Lodge Downtown for temporary stays in the area.