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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Columbus, Ohio

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for architectural drafters in the Columbus, Ohio area. There are currently 3,010 working architectural drafters in Ohio; this should shrink by 6% to about 2,820 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.

Architectural drafters earn about $20 per hour or $43,450 annually on average in Ohio and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average nationally. Architectural drafters earn more than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Ohio and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. Jobs in this field include: oil and gas drafter, heating and ventilating drafter, and architectural draftsman.

The Columbus area is home to sixty-three schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Columbus where you can get a degree 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 Columbus 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

Central Ohio Technical College - Newark, OH

Central Ohio Technical College, 1179 University Drive, Newark, OH 43055-1767. Central Ohio Technical College is a small college located in Newark, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,584 students. Central Ohio Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

ITT Technical InstituteColumbus - Columbus, OH

ITT Technical InstituteColumbus, 4717 Hilton Corporate Dr, Columbus, OH 43232. ITT Technical InstituteColumbus is a small school located in Columbus, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 66 students and an admission rate of 59%. ITT Technical InstituteColumbus has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician.

ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard - Hilliard, OH

ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard, 3781 Park Mill Run, Suite 1, Hilliard, OH 43026. ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard is a small school located in Hilliard, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 635 students and an admission rate of 37%. ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-six 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.


Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio photo by Xnatedawgx

Columbus is located in Franklin County, Ohio. It has a population of over 754,885, which has grown by 6.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Columbus, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbus cost $169,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Columbus, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Columbus are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is accommodation and food services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 29.0% of Columbus residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbus is 8.5%, which is less than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Columbus residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Hebrew Baptist Church, Heritage Temple Freewill Baptist Church and Higher Ground Always Abounding Assembly Church are all churches located in Columbus. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Columbus is home to the Busch Corporate Center Industrial Park and the J C Penney Catalog Outlet Store as well as Nafzger Park and Lower Scioto Park. Shopping centers in the area include Indianola Shopping Center, Ohio Stater Mall Shopping Center and Shapter Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbus can choose from Drury Inn & Suites Convention Center, Best Western Clarmont Inn and Crowne Plaza Downtown for temporary stays in the area.