What Do Mechanical Drafters Do?
Diagramming mechanical devices is not easy, and that is why various companies rely on mechanical drafters to get the job done right. You may also be asked to prepare additional engineering information on a certain pieces of equipment, including fastening methods and dimensions. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of growth is expected to take place with this specific occupation. In fact, projections indicate that a decrease of 5% is going to take place every year within the field. Although 890 job openings are expected to take place, there are expected to be fewer jobs in this field at the end of the decade than at the beginning.
Mechanical Drafters Skills and Abilities
In order to carry out the most basic tasks associated with the position, you are going to need a fundamental understanding of design techniques and the various tools associated with design. A background in engineering science can prove to be highly useful, but if you have experience with working with mathematical concepts or machinery, then that can be useful as well. You will need to communicate your findings with others regularly, so you should possess competent speaking skills. You will be using mathematical principles on a routine basis, so you should have the ability to choose the right methods at the right times.
Mechanical Drafters Duties
Numerous tasks are related to creating designs for mechanical equipment. You will need to create schematics for the systems and machines you are working on, and a big part of the job involves working with others in order to create the clearest design plans possible. You will regularly need to review others’ and your own schematics to make sure everything is as clear as possible. You will need to revise plans when needed in order to reduce the number of defects within a machine. There are various other duties that may be asked of you, and some of them include:
- Supervising technicians.
- Answering any questions about a schematic.
- Designing blueprints to scale.
- Reproducing drawings for reference materials.
- Shading drawings for emphasis.
Mechanical Drafters Tools and Technology
Various types of software will need to be used, including photo imaging and computer aided design software. However, many of the diagrams you draw up may be done by hand, so you should also know how to use a compass, scale and plotter printer.
Education and Training for Mechanical Drafters
An Associate’s degree is generally needed to get into this line of work, but there are people with more or less education in the field. The most important thing is having taken various instructional programs that make you qualified to be a mechanical drafter. The courses you should take include Drafting and Design Technology, Mechanical Drafting and CAD/CADD Drafting.
Mechanical Drafters Salary
The salary range for mechanical drafters varies quite a bit, and the wage you are able to make will depend largely on the experience level you are coming in with. Some people who are just starting out in the industry will make around $16.11/hour. The top wage tends to be closer to $39.72 an hour, but the median salary for this occupation is about $25.10/hour.
Mechanical Drafters Jobs by Geography
Industries that deal with architecture, engineering and structural metals have the greatest demand for qualified mechanical drafters, and in case you are interested, the states with the highest employment levels are Texas, Michigan and California. However, the state with the highest mean wage for this kind of work is Washington where mechanical drafters can make around $71,750 a year. More information can be found about the specific state you live in, so if this kind of work feels like it would be right for you, get the training you need right away.