What Do Electrical and Electronics Drafters Do?
When electrical wiring needs to be installed or repaired, construction workers use a wiring diagram to help them work. These diagrams are created by electrical and electronics drafters. This can be in power plants, industrial, corporate, residential, or commercial environments, or in electrical distribution systems. While electrical drafters typically do not do any of the wiring themselves, their jobs are incredibly important because they are the ones that create the plan that others follow.
Electrical and Electronics Drafters Skills and Abilities
Obviously, the most important set of skills that electrical drafters use on a daily basis is engineering and electronics. While knowledge in these areas is important to their ability to work successfully, there is one other area that is arguably just as important. Drafters also need to have a strong orientation toward design. Creating technical plans, drawing, and models requires extensive forethought, intense critical thinking, precision, and clarity. Many people, including clients and other workers, rely heavily on electronics drafters to do their job quickly and accurately.
Electrical and Electronics Drafters Duties
It may sound like drafters are not responsible for very much, but their list of duties is surprisingly long:
- Draft wiring diagrams, working drawings, cross-sections, and wiring connection specifications
- Use computer drafting equipment
- Create master sketches to scale
- Assemble documentation packages
- Confer with engineering staff
- Explain drawings to construction or production teams
- Provide adjustments to drafts
- Study work order requests
Electrical and Electronics Drafters Tools and Technology
There are not too many different tools that electronics drafters need to be familiar with. Basically, whichever tools they use to create the drafts is all they need. Different professionals use and prefer different tools. This usually includes the use of a personal computer, as well as charting, drafting, and other design software. It may also include physical drafting tools, such as compasses, curves, pencils, and other items from a drafting kit.
Education and Training for Electrical and Electronics Drafters
Some minimal college experience is usually necessary to work as an electrical drafter. More than half of the drafters currently working hold some kind of degree. Specifically, about 30% have earned an Associate’s degree and about 25% have earned a Bachelor’s degree. Another 25% has some college experience, but did not earn a degree. This figure, as well as the 11% that only has a high school diploma, makes it clear that it is possible to find work without earning a degree, it is just less common.
Electrical and Electronics Drafters Salary
The salary range that electrical drafters can earn is quite large. The upper bound is about $90,000 yearly, but it is more typical for drafters to earn about $60,000. The lowest 10% in the nation still earn just under $40,000 annually, so even the minimum salary is pretty high. Of course, the real figures depend on the state of employment greatly. Some states, such as Washington see an average salary as high as $77,000, nearly $20,000 more than the national average.
Electrical and Electronics Drafters Jobs by Geography
The rates of employment for electrical and electronics drafters is only increasing slightly. On average, the numbers are expected to see a 10% increase in the coming years, with a projected 680 new jobs each year. Some states are anticipating a higher increase, including Colorado, North Dakota, and Kentucky. Nevada is expected to be the state that increases the most, projecting an incredible 47% increase in jobs. Only a few states are expected to decrease. These include Minnesota and Maine. Additionally, a few states, such as Arkansas and Vermont are anticipated to remain the same over the coming years. Regardless, you should take your location into consideration when looking for work as an electrical drafter.