Careers in Architectural Design and Drafting

design model in foreground, students working on computers in background

Career possibilities exist for both self employment and working for hire. Graduates may pursue various design and drafting jobs with residential designers; architects; interior designers; construction firms; architectural product manufacturers; engineers; city, county, state and federal drafting departments; and corporate drafting departments. Residential designers/architectural drafters are needed to develop construction drawings, building designs, cost estimates, specifications, plans for remodeling and additions to existing buildings. Design and drafting skills are also needed to become a plans examiner, building inspector or construction supervisor.

What will I do on the job?

The architectural drafter is a skilled technician who designs and/or develops the working drawings required to guide the construction of buildings. Architectural drafters are concerned with building designs, site, floor and foundation plans, elevations, building sections and details, cost estimates, specification writing, code and zoning applications, renderings and perspectives, models of building, structural design, environmental system design and computer applications.

What skills will I use on the job?

PCC’s architectural drafting program is structured to develop your knowledge and skills in building design, working drawings, computer-aided drafting (AutoCAD), sustainability, building systems, building codes and structural analysis.

How much can I earn?

Starting annual salaries in the Portland area range from approximately $25,000 to $42,000; an experienced drafter may earn more than $42,000.

Who will hire me?

The demand is good for competent, skilled drafters. Growth is predicted for the drafting field. Architectural designers and drafters are hired by firms of all sizes or are self-employed. Employment is also available in the drafting departments of many corporations, cities, counties and state or federal agencies. Graduates of the PCC drafting program are currently working with design and architectural firms such as Coopridge Group Design & Construction, Suntel Home Design, Neil Kelly, Morrisette Homes, Streitberger Home Designs, Argo/Architect, Ankrom/ Moisen Associated Architects, Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca Partnership, Icon Architecture/Planning Inc and Perkowitz+Ruth Architects.