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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in St. Louis, Missouri

For those living in the St. Louis, Missouri area, there are many career and education opportunities for architectural drafters. There are currently 2,150 working architectural drafters in Missouri; this should shrink by 9% to about 1,960 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. In general, architectural drafters prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

The income of an architectural drafter is about $18 per hour or $39,290 per year on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,490 annually on average. Architectural drafters earn less than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Missouri and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: architectural draftsman, drafting technician, and project architect.

There are ten schools within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can study to be an architectural drafter, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the St. Louis area. 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 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 St. Louis 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

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec - Kirkwood, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec is a large college located in Kirkwood, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,217 students. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec has an associate's degree program in Architectural Technology/Technician which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Lewis and Clark Community College - Godfrey, IL

Lewis and Clark Community College, 5800 Godfrey Rd, Godfrey, IL 62035. Lewis and Clark Community College is a medium sized college located in Godfrey, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,016 students. Lewis and Clark Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated five and seven students respectively in 2008.

Jefferson College - Hillsboro, MO

Jefferson College, 1000 Viking Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050-2440. Jefferson College is a medium sized college located in Hillsboro, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,983 students. Jefferson College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

St Charles Community College - Cottleville, MO

St Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr, Cottleville, MO 63376-0975. St Charles Community College is a medium sized college located in Cottleville, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,334 students. St Charles Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Arnold - Arnold, MO

ITT Technical Institute-Arnold, 1930 Meyer Drury Dr, Arnold, MO 63010. ITT Technical Institute-Arnold is a small school located in Arnold, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 940 students and an admission rate of 51%. ITT Technical Institute-Arnold has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Washington University in St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Washington University in St Louis, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899. Washington University in St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,946 students and an admission rate of 22%. Washington University in St Louis has a bachelor's degree program in Architectural Technology/Technician which graduated ten students in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, 3400 Pershall Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63135. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,515 students. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley has a less than one year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Earth City - Earth City, MO

ITT Technical Institute-Earth City, 3640 Corporate Trail Drive, Earth City, MO 63045. ITT Technical Institute-Earth City is a small school located in Earth City, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 976 students and an admission rate of 59%. ITT Technical Institute-Earth City has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Vatterott College - Berkeley, MO

Vatterott College, 8580 Evans Avenue, Berkeley, MO 63134. Vatterott College is a small college located in Berkeley, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 971 students. Vatterott College has a one to two year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Vatterott College - Sunset Hills, MO

Vatterott College, 12970 Maurer Industrial Dr, Sunset Hills, MO 63127-1516. Vatterott College is a small college located in Sunset Hills, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 603 students. Vatterott College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated sixteen and sixteen 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: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.