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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you want to be an architectural drafter, the Albuquerque, New Mexico area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 990 people are currently employed as architectural drafters in New Mexico. By 2016, this is expected to grow 8% to about 1,060 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for architectural drafters are expected to grow by about 9.1%. 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 $18 per hour or $38,230 yearly on average in New Mexico and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average nationally. Incomes for architectural drafters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Drafting in New Mexico, and not quite as good as the overall Drafting category nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: intern architect, architectural draftsman, and draftsman.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Albuquerque area, including three within twenty-five miles of Albuquerque where you can get a degree to start your career as an architectural drafter. Architectural drafters usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Albuquerque 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.
  • 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

ITT Technical Institute-Albuquerque - Albuquerque, NM

ITT Technical Institute-Albuquerque, 5100 Masthead N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87109. ITT Technical Institute-Albuquerque is a small school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 672 students and an admission rate of 54%. ITT Technical Institute-Albuquerque has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Central New Mexico Community College - Albuquerque, NM

Central New Mexico Community College, 525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Central New Mexico Community College is a large college located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,690 students. Central New Mexico Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated twenty-one and eleven students respectively in 2008.

University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch - Los Lunas, NM

University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch, 280 La Entrada, Los Lunas, NM 87031-7633. University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch is a small university located in Los Lunas, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,452 students. University of New Mexico-Valencia County Branch has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated three and three 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.

LICENSES

Licensed Architect

Licensing agency: New Mexico Board of Examiners for Architects
Address: No. 5 Calle Medico, Suite C, PO Box 509, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Phone: (505) 982-2869
Website: New Mexico Board of Examiners for Architects

LOCATION INFORMATION: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico photo by Debernardi

Albuquerque is situated in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 521,999, which has grown by 16.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Albuquerque, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Albuquerque cost $176,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, 1,067 new homes were built in Albuquerque, down from 2,096 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Albuquerque are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 31.8% of Albuquerque residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Albuquerque is 6.9%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.

The percentage of Albuquerque residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church, Hope Church and Baptist Student Union are some of the churches located in Albuquerque. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Albuquerque is home to the Menaul School Historic District and the Volcano Ranch as well as Cutler Park and Eunice Kaloch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Del Norte Parkade Shopping Center, Westway Shopping Center and Winrock Shopping Center. Visitors to Albuquerque can choose from Winrock Inn-Best Western, New Mexico State Government - Health Department- Behavioral Health Services Divi and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.