Students working on a wooden architectural model together


According to the Oregon Employment Department, architectural drafters earn between $19.71 and $39.33 per hour in Portland. The average annual salary is $63,812.

New students

An architectural designer/drafter uses skills and knowledge in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Design, and Building Systems to work with Designers, Architects, Home Builders, and Engineers. They work to create designs, drawings, and 3-D models of buildings. The program focuses on residential and small commercial buildings. Skills developed in our program include:

  • Computer-aided drawing and 3-D modeling
  • Residential design and remodeling
  • Building systems and codes
  • Structural design and calculations
  • Construction drawings
  • Free-hand drawing and rendering

The Oregon Employment Department projects job growth of nearly 14% for architectural design drafters through 2027.

Why choose Architectural Design and Drafting at Portland Community College?

Student testimonial

“This program was great. There are many different aspects to drawing and building a structure. The courses at PCC are designed to cover these. I found my teachers to be excellent in communicating these skills and techniques. I enjoyed all the classes and would encourage others who are thinking of entering this career to take these classes.” Marie Sherman
Architectural Design and Drafting graduate, Perkowitz and Ruth Architects

PCC offers the only two-year Associates of Applied Science degree in Oregon. You will study with experienced faculty who have industry experience. Portland’s active architectural design and construction industries provide an excellent asset for our students. Our flexible, broad-based curriculum prepares you for quick entry into a growing field.

Our classrooms provide each student with access to the same quality computers, printers, and scanners used by professionals. The curriculum is designed to train you to correctly use equipment and software towards the development of architectural drawings and 3D modeling.

*Due to the requirements of the Architectural Design and Drafting program course offerings, some students experience a longer duration of study. Be sure to review the new student information packet and first-term course planner for details about course planning.

What will you learn?

Class information

    Our courses cover the fundamentals required for a successful career working as a Designer/Drafter/3-D Modeler. From CAD drawing to the knowledge of building systems to design, the Architectural Design and Drafting program teaches you a myriad of industry skills necessary to work in this exciting field.

    What will you do?

    Architectural designers’ and drafters’ work consists of a variety of activities:

    • Documenting conditions at a site where a new building, or remodel will take place
    • Working with clients to determine their requirements for their building
    • Research building codes
    • Creating CAD drawing which represents design concepts, development of the design, and construction documents for permits and final construction

    Entry-level designers are expected to use software applications to effectively develop drawings. Maintaining employment requires additional skill sets, such as communication skills (verbal and written), along with design and technical skills. Presentation, time management, and organization are highly regarded assets of this field.

    Who will hire me?

    Architectural designers and drafters are hired into a range of firms and businesses, including:

    • Residential designers
    • Homebuilders
    • Architects
    • Interior designers
    • Engineers
    • Construction firms
    • Architectural product manufacturers
    • Facilities management departments of corporations
    • Land and geospatial surveyors
    • Governmental drafting departments

    Graduates of the PCC Architectural Design and Drafting program have found a very favorable job market to use their skills. Some firms and businesses that have hired our graduates over the last few years include:

    • ArciForm
    • Ankrom Moisan Architects
    • Corbin Engineers
    • DCI Engineers
    • D.R. Horton homebuilders
    • Framework Engineering
    • GBD Architects
    • Grummel Engineering
    • Interface Engineers
    • i-TEN Associates
    • Neil Kelly
    • OHSU Facilities Planning
    • Power Engineering
    • SSOE Group

    Considering transferring for a university degree in architecture?

    The PCC Architectural Design and Drafting program is not a transfer program. If you are considering transferring college or university for a degree in architecture, please work with a general advisor for information about a transfer degree.