Occupation Summary

Architectural Drafters

O*NET 17-3011.01


Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 20.30%.
Education Level:
Bachelor's Degree. According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.

  1. Analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs.
  2. Operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms, and records.
  3. Coordinate structural, electrical, and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.
  4. Obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
  5. Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings, and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets, and other data.
  6. Lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software.
  7. Supervise, coordinate, and inspect the work of draftspersons, technicians, and technologists on construction projects.
  8. Represent architect on construction site, ensuring builder compliance with design specifications and advising on design corrections, under architect's supervision.
  9. Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to lists of materials.
  10. Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  11. Analyze technical implications of architect's design concept, calculating weights, volumes, and stress factors.
  12. Create freehand drawings and lettering to accompany drawings.
  13. Prepare colored drawings of landscape and interior designs for presentation to client.
  14. Reproduce drawings on copy machines or trace copies of plans and drawings, using transparent paper or cloth, ink, pencil, and standard drafting instruments.
  15. Prepare cost estimates, contracts, bidding documents, and technical reports for specific projects under an architect's supervision.
  16. Calculate heat loss and gain of buildings and structures to determine required equipment specifications, following standard procedures.
  17. Build landscape, architectural, and display models.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Architectural Drafters employed Annual Growth Rate
Residential building construction 3.1 1.51
Nonresidential building construction 2.6 1.44

Labor Market Information

2018 Statewide average hourly wage $26.98
2018 National average hourly wage $27.26
2016 National employment 99,600
2016 Texas employment 11,457
Texas projected employment by 2026 13,783
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 1,287

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Flexibility of Closure
The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

  • Interacting With Computers
    -- Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
    -- Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
    -- Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
    -- Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Other Activities

  • Analyze technical designs or specifications
  • Calculate grades and elevations
  • Collect scientific or technical data
  • Communicate technical or scientific information
  • Conduct geological surveys
  • Conduct topographical surveys
  • Convert design specifications to cost estimates
  • Create drafting or mechanical drawings
  • Create mathematical or statistical diagrams, charts, or tables
  • Design construction projects
  • Design office layout
  • Determine material or tool requirements
  • Determine specifications of product, project, or service
  • Develop informational maps or charts
  • Develop plans for programs or projects
  • Direct civil engineering projects
  • Direct geological surveys
  • Draw design, letter, or line graphics
  • Draw prototypes, renderings, plans, or maps to scale
  • Draw subject or item sketches
  • Edit documents for completeness, accuracy, or conformance to standards
  • Employ characteristics of graphic design materials
  • Estimate costs of design or construction materials
  • Evaluate HVAC design and sizing
  • Inspect project site and operations to determine compliance
  • Inspect property for construction, condition, or design
  • Integrate field notes into technical drawings
  • Interpret aerial photographs
  • Interpret artifacts, architectural features, or structures
  • Interpret information from blueprints, diagrams, schematics, or technical drawings
  • Interpret information from maps or drawings for architecture, construction, or engineering projects
  • Lay out electrical wiring for buildings or facilities
  • Obtain land survey data using surveying instruments
  • Operate computers to enter, calculate, access, and retrieve data
  • Perform basic plumbing
  • Plan construction of structures or facilities
  • Prepare contract documents
  • Prepare cost estimates
  • Prepare technical or scientific reports
  • Read technical, operating, service, or repair manuals or publications
  • Recommend solutions to technical problems
  • Research property records
  • Review codes and specifications
  • Review construction specifications
  • Review engineering information from data or reports
  • Study artifacts
  • Study the architectural features of various structures
  • Supervise subordinate personnel or contractors
  • Train workers in use of equipment or computers
  • Write business project or bid proposals

  • Achievement
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.


Compasses: Compasses;

Computer mouse or trackballs: Three-dimensional motion controllers;

Curves: Flexible curves; French curves;

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Graphics or video accelerator cards: Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards;

Multimedia projectors: Three-dimensional stereoscopic projectors;

Plotter printers: Plotters;

Pocket calculator: Handheld calculators;

Print servers: Print servers;

Protractors: Protractors;

Scales: Architects' scales; Electronic scales;

Scanners: Three-dimensional laser digitizers; Wide-format document scanners; Large-format digitizers; Sonic digitizers; Backlit digitizers;

T squares: T-squares;

Tablet computers: Graphics tablets; Pressure-sensitive graphic tablets;

Touch pads: Estimating keypads;

Triangles: Triangles;


Computer aided design CAD software: Alias Wavefront Design Studio; Autodesk 3d Studio Viz; Autodesk Architectural Desktop; Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D; Autodesk AutoCAD software; Autodesk Revit Architecture; Bentley MicroStation; Dassault Systemes CATIA software; Google SketchUp software; Graphisoft ArchiCAD; Logitech 3D Pro; UGS Solid Edge; VectorWorks ARCHITECT;

Data base user interface and query software: ARCOM Masterspec;

Desktop publishing software: Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign;

Development environment software: C; Microsoft .NET Framework;

Document management software: Document management system software; Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat;

Electronic mail software: Microsoft Outlook;

Enterprise resource planning ERP software: ERP software;

Graphics or photo imaging software: Graphic presentation software; McNeel Rhino software; Landscape modeling software; Microsoft Paint; Microsoft Visio; Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe LiveMotion; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Animation software; AutoDesSys form Z; Corel Paint Shop Pro; Motion graphics software; Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software; Softimage Extreme; Sun Microsystems Cobalt;

Map creation software: Geomechanical design analysis GDA software;

Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software: Bill of materials software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Optical character reader OCR or scanning software: Digitizing and photogrammetric software; Scanning software;

Pattern design software: 100 Plus Hatch Pattern Library;

Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Architectural Drafters include:
  • 17-1021.00 Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
  • 17-3011.02 Civil Drafters
  • 17-3022.00 Civil Engineering Technicians
  • 27-1021.00 Commercial and Industrial Designers
  • 17-3012.02 Electrical Drafters
  • 15-1199.05 Geographic Information Systems Technicians
  • 27-1025.00 Interior Designers
  • 17-3031.02 Mapping Technicians
  • 17-2121.02 Marine Architects
  • 17-3013.00 Mechanical Drafters

Contact Texas Workforce Commission
Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.