Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be an architectural drafter, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 5,500 working architectural drafters in Pennsylvania; this should shrink by 10% to about 4,950 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.

A person working as an architectural drafter can expect to earn about $19 hourly or $39,950 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Architectural drafters earn less than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Pennsylvania and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. Jobs in this field include: plumbing designer, project architect, and architecture drafter.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh 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, 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 Pittsburgh 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

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated seven students in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated one student in 2008.

Penn Commercial Inc - Washington, PA

Penn Commercial Inc, 242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, PA 15301. Penn Commercial Inc is a small school located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 382 students and an admission rate of 62%. Penn Commercial Inc has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated six students in 2008.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

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

Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh, 1940 Perrysville Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214-3897. Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 257 students. Triangle Tech Inc-Pittsburgh has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated six students in 2008.

Pittsburgh Technical Institute - Oakdale, PA

Pittsburgh Technical Institute, 1111 McKee Road, Oakdale, PA 15071. Pittsburgh Technical Institute is a small school located in Oakdale, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 2,086 students and an admission rate of 88%. Pittsburgh Technical Institute has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated thirty students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville - Monroeville, PA

ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville, 105 Mall Blvd Ste 200 E, Monroeville, PA 15146. ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville is a small school located in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 394 students and an admission rate of 37%. ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh, Ten Parkway Ctr, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 413 students and an admission rate of 39%. ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg - Greensburg, PA

Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg, 222 E Pittsburgh St Ste A, Greensburg, PA 15601-3304. Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg is a small school located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 229 students. Triangle Tech Inc-Greensburg has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated twenty-two 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.