Architectural drafter

Architectural drafter article illustration


An architectural drafter is a professional who works in the field of architecture, assisting architects in creating detailed technical drawings of buildings and structures. Drafters are responsible for creating drawings that accurately depict the specifications and design of the structure, including floor plans, elevations, sections, and details.

In addition to creating technical drawings, architectural drafters are also responsible for ensuring that the drawings comply with building codes, regulations, and zoning laws. They work closely with architects, engineers, and other professionals to ensure that the drawings meet the needs of the client, while also complying with legal requirements.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to architectural drafter:

architectural drafting expert
architecture draughtsperson
architectural draughtsperson
architectural draftsperson
architectural drafting consultant
architecture draftsperson
architectural engineering drafter
architectural drafting adviser
architecture draughter
architectural drafting specialist
architecture drafter
architectural daughter

Working conditions

The working conditions of an architectural drafter can vary depending on the employer and the specific project they are working on. Many architectural drafters work in an office environment, using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create their drawings. They may also work on construction sites, visiting the site to take measurements and make observations to ensure that their drawings accurately reflect the existing conditions.

Minimum qualifications

Education and training requirements for architectural drafters vary depending on the employer and the specific job requirements. Generally, a certificate or associate degree in drafting, architecture, or a related field is required, along with proficiency in computer-aided design software. Some employers may require additional training or certification in specialized areas such as building codes or project management.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Architectural drafter is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Architectural drafter career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to architectural drafter.

civil drafter
printed circuit board designer
mechanical engineering drafter
product development engineering drafter
rolling stock engineering drafter

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of architectural drafter. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of architectural drafter with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

interior architect
urban planner
land planner
construction engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of architectural drafter.

  • Construction legal systems: The different legal systems and regulations governing construction activities across Europe.
  • CADD software: The computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation. CAD software replaces manual drafting with an automated process.
  • Design drawings: Understand design drawings detailing the design of products, tools, and engineering systems.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • Technical drawings: Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles, and page layouts used in technical drawings.
  • Building codes: The set of guidelines that determine the minimum standards for buildings and other constructions to protect public health and safety.
  • Zoning codes: The division of land into zones where various uses and activities are allowed, such as residential, agricultural, and industrial activities. These zones are regulated by legislative procedures and local authorities.
  • CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
  • Manual draughting techniques: Techniques used for creating detailed drawings of designs by using specialised pencils, rulers, templates and scales.
  • Construction methods: The various techniques and methods for erecting buildings and other constructions.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of architectural drafter.

  • Check architectural drawings on site: Ensure that the drawings of the architectural project reflect reality by visiting the construction sites and implementing adjustments.
  • Execute analytical mathematical calculations: Apply mathematical methods and make use of calculation technologies in order to perform analyses and devise solutions to specific problems.
  • Use technical drawing software: Create technical designs and technical drawings using specialised software.
  • Use CADD software: Use computer-aided design and drafting software to make detailed drawings and blueprints of designs.
  • Create technical plans: Create detailed technical plans of machinery, equipment, tools and other products.
  • Draft design specifications: List the design specifications, such as materials and parts to be used and a cost estimate.
  • Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
  • Create architectural sketches: Create architectural sketches for the design and detail specifications of interiors and exteriors to scale.
  • Draw blueprints: Draw layout specifications for machinery, equipment and building structures. Specify which materials should be used and the size of the components. Show different angles and views of the product.
  • Integrate engineering principles in architectural design: Integrate engineering principles in architectural design under the guidance of engineers from different fields. Integrate electrical, civil, etc. engineering in architectural drafting.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of architectural drafter. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Cartography: The study of interpreting the elements depicted in maps, the measures and technical specifications.
  • Topography: Graphic representation of the surface features of a place or region on a map indicating their relative positions and elevations.
  • Civil engineering: The engineering discipline that studies the design, construction and maintenance of naturally built works such as roads, buildings, and canals.
  • Architecture regulations: The regulations, statutes, and legal agreements existing in the European Union in the field of architecture. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of architectural drafter. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Advise on construction materials: Provide advice on and test a wide range of construction materials.
  • Create electrical wiring diagram: Draw the details of electrical circuits in order to aid construction workers with the erection and instalment of electrical wiring in building structures.
  • Communicate with construction crews: Exchange information with the construction crews or supervisors to ensure smooth progress of the construction project. Obtain updates on the progress and any obstacles, and inform the crews of any changes in the schedule or procedures.
  • Advise on building matters: Provide advice on building matters to the various parties involved in construction projects. Bring to their awareness important building considerations and consult on construction budgets.
  • Use manual draughting techniques: Use non-computerised draughting techniques to make detailed drawings of designs by hand with specialised tools such as pencils, rulers and templates.
  • Provide cost benefit analysis reports: Prepare, compile and communicate reports with broken down cost analysis on the proposal and budget plans of the company. Analyse the financial or social costs and benefits of a project or investment in advance over a given period of time.
  • Manage tender processes: Organise the process of writing and designing proposals or bids for tenders.
  • Meet building regulations: Communicate with construction inspection, e.g., by submitting schemes and plans, to make sure all construction regulations, laws, and codes are dealt with correctly.
  • Prepare construction documents: Draft, update, and archive documents concerning the planning and implementation of construction or renovation projects including information about security systems and accounting documentation.
  • Advise on architectural matters: Provide advice on architectural design, based on knowledge of matters such as spatial division, balance of construction elements, and aesthetics.
  • Apply digital mapping: Make maps by formatting compiled data into a virtual image that gives a precise representation of a specific area.
  • Prepare building permit applications: Fill in the forms and prepare any additional documentation needed to file an application to receive the construction permit required for erecting, renovating, and modifying buildings.
  • Develop a specific interior design: Develop a conceptual interior design fitting the global mood the room(s) must convey, according to the quality standards agreed on. Adhere to the order of a client for a domestic area or to the concept of an artistic production, such as a movie or a theatre play.
  • Estimate budget for interior design plans: Estimate the budget for interior design plans. Keep track of total costs and material requirements.
  • Use measurement instruments: Use different measurement instruments depending on the property to be measured. Utilise various instruments to measure length, area, volume, speed, energy, force, and others.
  • Advise architects: Give advice on design, safety issues, and cost reduction to architects during the pre-application phase.
  • Prepare assembly drawings: Create the drawings that identify the different components and materials, and that provide instructions as to how they should be assembled.
  • Coordinate construction activities: Coordinate the activities of several construction workers or crews to make sure they do not interfere with each other and to ensure that the works are done in a timely manner. Keep up to date on the progress of the teams and update the schedule if called for.

ISCO group and title

3118 – Draughtspersons

  1. Architectural drafter – ESCO
  2. What Does an Architectural Drafter Do? | Canada
  3. Architectural Drafter Job Facts –
  4. Featured image: By Hasanisawi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on May 7, 2023