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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Houston, Texas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for architectural drafters in the Houston, Texas area. About 9,250 people are currently employed as architectural drafters in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 7% to 9,880 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 $20 hourly or $43,220 annually on average in Texas and about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average nationally. Earnings for architectural drafters are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Drafting in Texas and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: project architect, designer, and marine drafter.

There are ten schools within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can study to be an architectural drafter, among eighty-one schools of higher education total in the Houston area. The most common level of education 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 Houston 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.
  • 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-Houston West - Houston, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West, 2950 S Gessner, Houston, TX 77063-3751. ITT Technical Institute-Houston West is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 564 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Houston West has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

San Jacinto Community College - Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto Community College, 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77501-2007. San Jacinto Community College is a large college located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. San Jacinto Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Alvin Community College - Alvin, TX

Alvin Community College, 3110 Mustang Rd, Alvin, TX 77511-4898. Alvin Community College is a small college located in Alvin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,386 students. Alvin Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen, twenty-four, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Houston North - Houston, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Houston North, 15621 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77090. ITT Technical Institute-Houston North is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 717 students and an admission rate of 45%. ITT Technical Institute-Houston North has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Lee College - Baytown, TX

Lee College, 511 S Whiting, Baytown, TX 77520. Lee College is a medium sized college located in Baytown, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,968 students. Lee College has 2 areas of study related to Architectural Drafter. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated seventy-eight and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Texas Southern University - Houston, TX

Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004. Texas Southern University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,062 students and an admission rate of 99%. Texas Southern University has a bachelor's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated four students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Webster - Webster, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Webster, 1001 Magnolia Ave, Webster, TX 77598. ITT Technical Institute-Webster is a small school located in Webster, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 369 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Webster has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

College of the Mainland - Texas City, TX

College of the Mainland, 1200 Amburn Road, Texas City, TX 77591-2499. College of the Mainland is a small college located in Texas City, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,585 students. College of the Mainland has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Houston Community College System - Houston, TX

Houston Community College System, 3100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77266-7517. Houston Community College System is a large college located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 48,087 students. Houston Community College System has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated ten, four, and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Houston South - Houston, TX

Westwood College-Houston South, 7322 Southwest Fwy Suite 110, Houston, TX 77074. Westwood College-Houston South is a small college located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 408 students. Westwood College-Houston South has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated thirty 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: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.