Electronics and Electrical Drafters

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Electronic and Electrical Drafters

Electronics and Electrical Drafters


Education

What’s Needed:

  • Most employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed drafting training at a vocational school community college or university. You will also need to show that you have had extensive training with CAD software.
  • Some electronics drafters choose to complete an Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Bachelor in Arts (B.A.) in computer-aided drafting mechanical drafting or electro-mechanical drafting.
  • Drafters may also hold degrees in industrial or graphic design.

What you study:

You will study all of the following while pursuing a degree or certificate in drafting:

  • Drafting Fundamentals
  • CAD Fundamentals
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Intro to Physics
  • Die Tool and Mold Detailing
  • Intro to Engineering


Video Overview

This video quickly overviews what electronic and electrical drafters do in their daily work. Produced for the US Department of Labor.


A Day in the Life

You use both handheld and computer drafting equipment to make technical drawings.

As an electronics and electrical drafter you spend the majority of your day in an office environment. If you choose to focus on electronics drafting you will create diagrams and schemas to guide engineers and technicians as they develop assemble and repair a wide variety of electronic devices. You’ve done this type of work before but you’ve recently moved to a company where you handle electrical drafting tasks. Electrical drafting is very similar to electronics drafting but tends to deal with larger systems and devices.

You’ll need a basic understanding of engineering and electronics.

You start your day by checking in with the manager of your department. You wrapped up a project yesterday so you’ll begin work on a new drafting project today. Your boss gives you the guidelines for the project and tells you that you’re set to meet with the head engineer in half an hour. You use the time before your meeting to review the work order and to check your phone messages and emails. To prepare for your meeting with the engineer you jot down a few questions that immediately come to mind about the project.

You work closely with engineers to create working blueprints for construction or repairs.

During your meeting the engineer explains that work crews will be replacing faulty electrical panels nationwide with a new more reliable design. He has provided the calculations for this new panel and has provided a working model of the panel. You take extensive notes about the features that the panel should have and check with him to be sure that the scientific calculations with which you were provided are correct. You tell the engineer that working up a first draft will take you a few days and then head back to your work area.

You integrate scientific and mathematical information into your drawings.

Before you begin work on the new technical drawing you grab an early lunch. You want to be able to focus on the new drawing without any interruptions when you return. At your work station you begin by making a preliminary sketch with handheld drafting tools. This old-fashioned way of working helps you to anticipate problems with the drawing and get the extra information that you need from the head engineer in order to complete it successfully.

You spend the rest of the afternoon working on your rough drawing. You send the engineer an email to clarify some of the information he provided and then clean up your work area. When you get to work tomorrow you’ll review the engineer’s reply and will begin work on the finalized computer-aided draft of the design schema. You will likely spend the whole day working on the drawing and making design calculations.

You’ll plan to complete the design by the end of the week so that you can give it to the head engineer. You’ll then make adjustments as necessary. When the drawing is completed you’ll print blueprints for the engineer and will store the design in your company’s archives.


Certifications and Licensing

No formal certification is needed to work as an electronics or electrical drafter. However gaining professional certification through the American Design Drafting Association or ADDA will prove your competence to potential employers.


Job Flexibility

Work location:

You will spend the majority of your working day at a drafting desk or in front of a computer. Depending on the company you work for you may be able to work from home at least part of the time.


Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for Drafters: This Bureau of Labor Statistics publication offers a general overview of careers in drafting. Individuals who are thinking of entering this field can review employment projections and salary averages. However it’s important to consult sites that offer a more well-rounded view of electronics and electrical drafting in particular.
  • The CAD Society: This membership-based group caters to the needs of professionals who work in computer-aided drafting. The website offers interesting profiles of successful engineers. Students will find the software and equipment discounts offered through the society particularly helpful.
  • American Design Drafting Association: ADDA’s website offers training and continuing education information for professionals in all areas of drafting. Prospective drafters can use the site to learn more about accredited schools professional exams and advanced certification in drafting.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

State City / Region Typical Salary Salary Range Job Count % of All Jobs
AK Anchorage $53580 $41K – $72K 40 0.02%
AL Birmingham – Hoover $44100 $28K – $87K 120 0.03%
AL Huntsville $59460 $40K – $77K 170 0.09%
AL Mobile $49530 $34K – $84K 50 0.03%
AR Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway $52110 $33K – $79K 60 0.02%
AZ Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale $51020 $33K – $75K 620 0.04%
AZ Tucson $46400 $32K – $83K 70 0.02%
CA Bakersfield – Delano $54060 $32K – $75K 70 0.02%
CA Fresno $54860 $36K – $92K N/A N/A
CA Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area) $54450 $38K – $80K 1340 0.03%
CA Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area) $69750 $48K – $95K 440 0.05%
CA Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura $47190 $33K – $74K 60 0.02%
CA Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario $48330 $32K – $76K 160 0.01%
CA Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville $61190 $40K – $85K 200 0.02%
CA San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos $54810 $40K – $89K 390 0.03%
CA San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area) $62800 $41K – $93K 180 0.02%
CA San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara $62940 $44K – $97K 530 0.06%
CA Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area) $55980 $32K – $92K 320 0.02%
CA Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta $51530 $37K – $79K N/A N/A
CA Santa Cruz – Watsonville $58890 $24K – $98K N/A N/A
CO Boulder $70770 $50K – $93K 50 0.03%
CO Colorado Springs $58200 $43K – $85K 70 0.03%
CO Denver – Aurora – Broomfield $58430 $40K – $86K 510 0.04%
CO Fort Collins – Loveland $57210 $43K – $73K 50 0.03%
CT Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk $62800 $48K – $78K 70 0.02%
CT Danbury $58750 $37K – $89K 30 0.05%
CT Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford $57950 $35K – $77K 140 0.02%
CT New Haven $59150 $42K – $86K 90 0.03%
DC Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area) $55430 $37K – $84K 470 0.02%
DE Wilmington (Metro Area) $57800 $31K – $83K 150 0.05%
FL Crestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin $58170 $36K – $90K 40 0.05%
FL Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area) $46630 $28K – $59K 140 0.02%
FL Jacksonville $43200 $33K – $76K 80 0.01%
FL Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area) $53930 $40K – $74K 70 0.01%
FL Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford $43600 $29K – $75K 170 0.02%
FL Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville $51210 $33K – $76K 110 0.06%
FL Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent $41360 $32K – $60K 40 0.02%
FL Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater $48790 $41K – $74K 330 0.03%
FL West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area) $48710 $39K – $84K 60 0.01%
GA Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta $63670 $38K – $89K 370 0.02%
HI Honolulu $48030 $33K – $71K 160 0.04%
IA Des Moines – West Des Moines $47370 $33K – $73K 40 0.01%
ID Boise City – Nampa $56430 $35K – $110K 140 0.05%
IL Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area) $52960 $34K – $80K 310 0.01%
IL Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area) $63850 $38K – $88K 40 0.01%
IN Evansville $33130 $25K – $51K 60 0.03%
IN Gary (Metro Area) $60360 $42K – $144K 40 0.02%
IN Indianapolis – Carmel $53440 $31K – $87K 160 0.02%
KS Wichita $58910 $30K – $90K 140 0.05%
KY Lexington – Fayette $61920 $33K – $76K 50 0.02%
KY Louisville – Jefferson County $45430 $25K – $82K 100 0.02%
LA Baton Rouge $53640 $31K – $80K N/A N/A
LA Lafayette $44220 $40K – $54K N/A N/A
LA New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner $62260 $36K – $107K 40 0.01%
MA Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area) $64350 $41K – $90K 290 0.02%
MA Framingham (Metro Area) $61470 $37K – $76K 50 0.03%
MA Lowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area) $74650 $51K – $93K N/A N/A
MA Springfield $56990 $38K – $86K 50 0.02%
MD Baltimore – Towson $65020 $40K – $90K 550 0.04%
MD Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area) $62060 $41K – $88K 100 0.02%
ME Portland – South Portland – Biddeford $49650 $36K – $75K 60 0.03%
MI Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area) $46050 $33K – $68K 100 0.01%
MI Grand Rapids – Wyoming $56340 $36K – $75K 60 0.02%
MI Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area) $47980 $25K – $76K 120 0.01%
MN Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington $53320 $40K – $73K 470 0.03%
MO Kansas City $50590 $34K – $80K 460 0.05%
MO St. Louis $67690 $41K – $94K 430 0.03%
MS Jackson $50750 $37K – $74K 50 0.02%
MT Billings $44260 $34K – $59K 60 0.07%
NC Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill $54160 $28K – $82K 120 0.01%
NC Greensboro – High Point $58630 $35K – $77K 40 0.01%
NC Raleigh – Cary $54930 $18K – $71K 190 0.04%
NC Wilmington N/A N/A – N/A 70 0.05%
NE Omaha – Council Bluffs $42750 $31K – $61K 60 0.01%
NH Manchester $62880 $41K – $75K 30 0.03%
NJ Camden (Metro Area) $56190 $33K – $92K 60 0.01%
NJ Edison – New Brunswick (Metro Area) $53770 $37K – $79K 100 0.01%
NJ Newark – Union (Metro Area) $51610 $40K – $86K 70 0.01%
NM Albuquerque $54340 $35K – $87K 150 0.04%
NV Las Vegas – Paradise $52610 $32K – $74K N/A N/A
NV Reno – Sparks $52850 $38K – $71K 40 0.02%
NY Albany – Schenectady – Troy $47630 $33K – $83K 90 0.02%
NY Binghamton $65810 $40K – $92K 50 0.05%
NY Buffalo – Niagara Falls $52070 $29K – $85K 110 0.02%
NY Nassau – Suffolk (Metro Area) $59670 $42K – $90K 280 0.02%
NY New York – White Plains – Wayne (Metro Area) $64370 $41K – $93K 980 0.02%
NY Poughkeepsie – Newburgh – Middletown $69690 $50K – $91K 50 0.02%
NY Rochester $57790 $37K – $90K 150 0.03%
NY Syracuse $54290 $31K – $82K 120 0.04%
OH Akron $44880 $31K – $72K 40 0.01%
OH Cincinnati – Middletown $63200 $36K – $87K 150 0.02%
OH Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor $41420 $32K – $72K 180 0.02%
OH Columbus $51440 $29K – $74K 100 0.01%
OH Dayton $36750 $27K – $59K 40 0.01%
OH Toledo $49310 $33K – $71K 40 0.01%
OK Oklahoma City $50630 $28K – $68K 110 0.02%
OK Tulsa $55120 $41K – $84K 180 0.04%
OR Portland – Vancouver – Hillsboro $53000 $39K – $85K 310 0.03%
PA Allentown – Bethlehem – Easton $47560 $38K – $78K 100 0.03%
PA Harrisburg – Carlisle $59490 $40K – $74K 130 0.04%
PA Lancaster $47860 $27K – $74K 40 0.02%
PA Philadelphia (Metro Area) $62850 $43K – $90K 430 0.02%
PA Pittsburgh $52,850 $33K – $76K 500 0.04%
PA Reading $49,950 $38K – $88K 70 0.04%
PA York – Hanover $56,980 $35K – $75K 70 0.04%
PR San Juan – Caguas – Guaynabo $27,890 $25K – $37K N/A N/A
RI Providence – Fall River – Warwick $52,960 $34K – $85K 80 0.01%
SC Charleston – North Charleston – Summerville $50,290 $40K – $83K 70 0.02%
SC Columbia $51,070 $40K – $68K 70 0.02%
SC Greenville – Mauldin – Easley $57,470 $36K – $94K 50 0.02%
TN Chattanooga $62,260 $42K – $79K 50 0.02%
TN Knoxville $53,450 $32K – $67K 50 0.01%
TN Memphis $48,470 $39K – $78K 120 0.02%
TN Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin $55,000 $31K – $73K 70 0.01%
TX Austin – Round Rock – San Marcos $78,520 $37K – $114K 770 0.10%
TX Beaumont – Port Arthur $45,570 $36K – $57K 50 0.03%
TX Corpus Christi $54,840 $27K – $106K 30 0.02%
TX Dallas – Plano – Irving (Metro Area) $57,950 $43K – $105K 880 0.04%
TX El Paso $48,290 $23K – $61K 30 0.01%
TX Fort Worth – Arlington (Metro Area) $57,790 $39K – $89K 280 0.03%
TX Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown $57,160 $36K – $106K 1,170 0.04%
TX Longview $45,800 $34K – $90K N/A N/A
TX San Antonio – New Braunfels $49,350 $35K – $88K 140 0.02%
UT Provo – Orem $40,850 $27K – $70K 30 0.02%
UT Salt Lake City $54,050 $35K – $83K 70 0.01%
VA Richmond $51,920 $33K – $85K 60 0.01%
VA Roanoke $42,400 $33K – $81K N/A N/A
VA Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News $49,010 $31K – $77K 190 0.03%
WA Seattle – Bellevue – Everett (Metro Area) $78,090 $53K – $98K 890 0.06%
WA Spokane $52,330 $35K – $73K 60 0.03%
WA Tacoma (Metro Area) $51,020 $35K – $90K 50 0.02%
WI Appleton $55,430 $37K – $73K 50 0.04%
WI Green Bay $52,260 $37K – $72K 40 0.02%
WI Madison $46,300 $35K – $59K 70 0.02%
WI Milwaukee – Waukesha – West Allis $53,150 $37K – $73K 140 0.02%
WV Huntington – Ashland $54,240 $37K – $71K N/A N/A

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