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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in St. Paul, Minnesota

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for architectural drafters in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. There are currently 2,420 working architectural drafters in Minnesota; this should grow 4% to 2,510 working architectural drafters in the state 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.

Income for architectural drafters is about $21 hourly or $44,620 yearly on average in Minnesota. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,490 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Drafting, people working as architectural drafters in Minnesota earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Drafting nationally. People working as architectural drafters can fill a number of jobs, such as: project architect, cad technician , and commercial drafter.

The St. Paul area is home to seventy-seven schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree as an architectural drafter. The most common level of education 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 St. Paul include:

  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • 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

Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, MN

Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, MN 55068-2999. Dakota County Technical College is a small college located in Rosemount, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,919 students. Dakota County Technical College has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated nine students in 2008.

Herzing College - Minneapolis, MN

Herzing College, 5700 W Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55428-3548. Herzing College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 284 students and an admission rate of 100%. Herzing College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

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

Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park, MN

Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Hennepin Technical College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,617 students. Hennepin 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, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated three, one, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated four and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Northwest Technical Institute - Eagan, MN

Northwest Technical Institute, 950 Blue Gentian Road Suite#500, Eagan, MN 55121-1576. Northwest Technical Institute is a small school located in Eagan, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 130 students. Northwest Technical Institute has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

Century Community and Technical College - White Bear Lake, MN

Century Community and Technical College, 3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Century Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,384 students. Century Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated three students in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has a one to two year program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated ten students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie - Eden Prairie, MN

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie, 8911 Columbine Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie is a small school located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 612 students and an admission rate of 36%. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated ten students in 2008.

Anoka Technical College - Anoka, MN

Anoka Technical College, 1355 W Hwy 10, Anoka, MN 55303. Anoka Technical College is a small college located in Anoka, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,072 students. Anoka Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.

Dunwoody College of Technology - Minneapolis, MN

Dunwoody College of Technology, 818 Dunwoody Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1192. Dunwoody College of Technology is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,611 students and an admission rate of 68%. Dunwoody College of Technology has 3 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 41 students in 2008.
  • Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD, one to two year which graduated 2 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: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.