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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Grand Prairie, Texas

For those living in the Grand Prairie, Texas area, there are many career and education opportunities for architectural drafters. About 9,250 people are currently employed as architectural drafters in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 7% to 9,880 people employed. 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.

A person working as an architectural drafter can expect to earn about $20 hourly or $43,220 per year on average in Texas and about $21 per hour or $44,490 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for architectural drafters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Drafting in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Drafting category nationally. Architectural drafters work in a variety of jobs, including: drafter, oil and gas drafter, and architectural draftsman.

There are seventy-four schools of higher education in the Grand Prairie area, including six within twenty-five miles of Grand Prairie where you can get a degree to start your career 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 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 Grand Prairie 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

ITT Technical Institute-Richardson - Richardson, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Richardson, 2101 Waterview Pky, Richardson, TX 75080. ITT Technical Institute-Richardson is a small school located in Richardson, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 705 students and an admission rate of 46%. ITT Technical Institute-Richardson has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.

Westwood College-Dallas - Dallas, TX

Westwood College-Dallas, 8390 LBJ Frwy, Exec Center 1-Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75243. Westwood College-Dallas is a small college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 504 students and an admission rate of 48%. Westwood College-Dallas has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Mountain View College - Dallas, TX

Mountain View College, 4849 W Illinois, Dallas, TX 75211-6599. Mountain View College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,126 students. Mountain View College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated fifteen and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Arlington - Arlington, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Arlington, 551 Ryan Plaza Dr, Arlington, TX 76011. ITT Technical Institute-Arlington is a small school located in Arlington, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 723 students and an admission rate of 50%. ITT Technical Institute-Arlington has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated three, four, and six students respectively in 2008.

Eastfield College - Mesquite, TX

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150-2099. Eastfield College is a large college located in Mesquite, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,501 students. Eastfield College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-five and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year which graduated 4 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: Grand Prairie, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas photo by Lothar1976

Grand Prairie is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 160,641, which has grown by 26.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Prairie, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Prairie are priced at $174,200 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-four new homes were built in Grand Prairie, down from 1,058 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Grand Prairie are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 19.3% of Grand Prairie residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Prairie is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Grand Prairie residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Celestial Church of Christ and Saint Andrew Church are some of the churches located in Grand Prairie. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Grand Prairie is home to Kennedy Middle School Football Stadium and Hendrix Park. Visitors to Grand Prairie can choose from Blue Sky Hospitality, Amerisuites and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.