A drafter is the person who creates the drawings and details for another person’s creations. It is the drafter’s
responsibility to use the proper line and lettering quality and to properly lay out the required drawings necessary
to complete a project.
Such a task requires great attention to detail as the drafter draws the supervisor’s sketches. Although the terms are used interchangeably, professionals often use the term drafter to refer to a person who draws manually using pencils or pens.
The term CAD technician is used to describe a person who creates the same type of drawings using a computer. Throughout this book, the term drafter will be used to describe both those who draw manually and those who create drawings using a computer.
The Beginning Drafter:
Your job as a beginning or junior drafter will generally consist of making corrections to drawings created by
There may not be a lot of mental stimulation to making changes, but it is a very necessary job. It is
also a good introduction to the procedures and quality standards within an office.
As your line and lettering quality improve, your responsibilities will be expanded. If you’re working at a firm that uses computers, in addition to mastering understanding of the drawings that you are making and gain confidence in your ability, the sketches that you are given generally will become more simplified.
Eventually your supervisor may just refer you to a similar drawing and expect you to be able to make the necessary adjustments to fit it to the new application.
The decisions involved in making drawings without sketches require the drafter to have a good understanding
of what is being drawn.
This understanding does not come from a textbook alone. To advance as a drafter and become a leader on the drawing team will require you to become an effective manager of your time.
This will include the ability to determine what drawings need to be created, selected from a stock library, and edited; and to estimate the time needed to complete these assignments and meet deadlines established by the team captain, the client, the lending institution, or the building department.
An even better way to gain an understanding of what you are drafting is to spend time at a construction site watching projects that you’ve worked on become reality.
Gaining an understanding of what a crafts person must do as a result of what you have drawn will greatly aid you as you assume more responsibility on projects.
Depending on the size of the office where you work, you may also spend a lot of your time as a beginning drafter editing stock details, running prints, making deliveries, obtaining permits, and doing other such office chores. Don’t get the idea that a drafter does only the menial chores around an office. But you do need to be prepared, as you go to your first drafting job, to do things other than drafting.