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Career and Education Opportunities for Architectural Drafters in Plano, Texas

There are many career and education opportunities for architectural drafters in the Plano, Texas area. There are currently 9,250 jobs for architectural drafters in Texas and this is projected to grow by 7% to about 9,880 jobs by 2016. 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%. Architectural drafters generally prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

The income of an architectural drafter is about $20 per hour or $43,220 yearly on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,490 yearly on average. 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, architectural technologist, and designer.

There are seventy-nine schools of higher education in the Plano area, including six within twenty-five miles of Plano 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 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 Plano 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: Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas photo by Jmcstrav

Plano is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 267,480, which has grown by 20.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Plano, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Plano are valued at $229,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Plano, down from five hundred forty-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Plano are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 53.3% of Plano residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Plano is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Plano residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Potters House Assembly of God Church, Central Baptist Church and Preston Meadow Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Plano. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Plano is home to the Heritage Farmstead Museum and the The Shops at Willow Bend as well as Enfield Park and Buckhorn Park. Shopping malls in the area include Preston Shepard Place Shopping Center, Preston Towne Crossing Shopping Center and Collin Creek Shopping Center. Visitors to Plano can choose from Amerisuites Dallas Plano North, Best Western Park Suites Hotel and AmeriSuites Plano for temporary stays in the area.