Automotive engineering drafter

Automotive engineering drafter article illustration


Automotive engineering drafters convert the automotive engineers’ designs into technical drawings usually using software. Their drawings detail dimensions, fastening and assembling methods and other specifications used in the manufacture of automotive components, cars, buses, trucks and other motor vehicles.

Automotive engineering drafters typically do the following duties:

  • Develop detailed 2D and 3D technical drawings, schematics, and models of automotive parts, systems, and components using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Collaborate with engineers, designers, and other professionals to understand the design requirements, constraints, and specifications and provide technical support throughout the product development process.
  • Conduct design analysis, simulations, and testing to identify potential issues or improvements in the design and suggest solutions.
  • Prepare bill of materials (BOM) and other documentation needed for manufacturing, assembly, and quality control purposes.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and regulations in the automotive industry and apply them to the design and development process.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to automotive engineering drafter:

motor vehicle drafter
automotive engineering draughter
automotive draughtsperson
automotive drafting expert
automotive drafter
automotive drafting consultant
automotive engineering draftsperson
motor vehicle engineering drafter
automotive engineering draughtsperson
automotive draftsperson
automotive drafting adviser
automotive drafting specialist
automotive draughter

Working conditions

Automotive engineering drafters typically work in office settings, such as engineering or design firms, manufacturing plants, or automotive companies. They may spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, working on a computer, and collaborating with other professionals. They may need to work overtime or on weekends to meet project deadlines or address urgent design issues.

Minimum qualifications

To become an automotive engineering drafter, you typically need:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, or a related field
  • Proficiency in CAD software, such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or CATIA
  • Knowledge of automotive engineering principles, materials, and manufacturing processes
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Some employers may also prefer candidates with relevant work experience or professional certifications, such as Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) or Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP).

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.

Automotive engineering drafter is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Automotive engineering drafter career path

Similar occupations

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

rolling stock engineering drafter
marine engineering drafter
aerospace engineering drafter
product development engineering drafter
heating, ventilation, air conditioning (and refrigeration) drafter

Long term prospects

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

automotive designer
aerodynamics engineer
tooling engineer
container equipment design engineer
naval architect

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

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

  • Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
  • 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.
  • Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
  • CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computional Fluid Dynamics.
  • ICT software specifications: The characteristics, use and operations of various software products such as computer programmes and application software.
  • Manual draughting techniques: Techniques used for creating detailed drawings of designs by using specialised pencils, rulers, templates and scales.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of automotive engineering drafter.

  • 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 computer-aided engineering systems: Use computer-aided engineering software to conduct stress analyses on engineering designs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
  • Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
  • Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  • Material mechanics: The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.
  • Electromechanics: The engineering processes that combine electrical and mechanical engineering in the application of electromechanics in devices that need electricity to create mechanical movement or devices that create electricity by mechanical movement.
  • Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
  • Mechanics of motor vehicles: The way energy forces interact and affect components in motor vehicles such as cars, buses, invalid carriages and other motorised vehicles.
  • 3D modelling: The process of developing a mathematical representation of any three-dimensional surface of an object via specialised software. The product is called a 3D model. It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physical phenomena. The model can also be physically created using 3D printing devices.
  • CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
  • Guidance, navigation and control: The engineering discipline that deals with the design and development of systems that can control the motion of automobiles, ships, space- and aircraft. It includes control over vehicle’s trajectory from its present location to a designated target and vehicle’s speed and altitude.
  • Defense system: The various weapons and weapon systems used to protect citizens and to harm or shield incoming enemies and enemy weapons.
  • Product data management: The use of software to track all information concerning a product such as technical specifications, drawings, design specifications, and production costs.
  • Synthetic natural environment: The simulation and representation of components of physical world such as climate, weather and space where military systems exist in order to obtain information and perform tests.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
  • Create a product’s virtual model: Create a mathematical or three-dimensional computer graphic model of the product by using a CAE system or a calculator.
  • Archive documentation related to the work: Select relevant documentation related to the ongoing or complete work and take steps to archive it in a way that ensures its future accessibility.
  • 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.
  • Develop assembly instructions: Develop a code of letters and numbers to label diagrams for assembly instructions.
  • Render 3D images: Use specialised tools to convert 3D wire frame models into 2D images with 3D photorealistic effects or non-photorealistic rendering on a computer.

ISCO group and title

3118 – Draughtspersons

  1. Automotive engineering drafter – ESCO
  2. Featured image: No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain
Last updated on May 8, 2023