Did you know that a drafter designed that mouse in your hand?
Drafting and design are the backbone of American industry. For every product made or sold, drawings were used to describe it and communicate the design to the worker who made it. Drafters are trained to turn ideas, rough sketches, specifications, and instructions into detailed drawings used in manufacturing and construction. Drafters also prepare specifications for quality, quantity, cost of materials, production, and assembly. To do well in this program, you should have mechanical ability and visual aptitude. You should draw well and perform detailed work accurately and neatly. You should have good interpersonal skills because you will work closely with engineers, surveyors, architects, other professionals, and sometimes customers. The design drafter must be a creative and organized thinker who can:
- Interpret directions
- Draw to scale
- Calculate stress
- Analyze motion
- Size parts
What are my career choices?
You will develop skills that can be used in architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and manufacturing. Among the major specialties are architectural and mechanical drafting. Architectural drafters draw floor plans, elevations, foundation plans, plot plans, electrical and mechanical systems, pictorial illustrations and structural drawings. They transform ideas and sketches into precise plans. Mechanical drafters:
- Draw detailed drawings of mechanical parts
- Lay out and design machine assemblies
- Draft plans for industrial piping installations
- Draft detailed drawings for castings, welds, and structural elements
- Detail plans for the manufacture of tooling in various manufacturing disciplines
- Draft multi-view assembly and sub-assembly drawings as required for manufacture and repair of mechanical systems
What classes do I have to take?
The role of computers in the design process is constantly growing. A computer workstation is the principal tool of the drafter today, but he or she must know traditional techniques, too. You'll take computer-aided drafting and design courses with a heavy emphasis on lab work. You'll get hands-on experience in both individual and team projects. Drafters also must study math, science, computers, design, and graphics.
What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?
Degrees and Transfers
ECTC has numerous partnerships with 4-year universities. If you are interested in a transfer pathway in this field, check out our partnering university pathways. Find more information on transferring from ECTC.
- 3D Modeler Certificate (PDF)
- Computer Assisted Drafter Certificate (PDF)
- Detailer Certificate (PDF)
- Drafter Assistant Certificate (PDF)
Field Licensure Requirements
Some employers require Autodesk certification. Autodesk certification is not required to complete the program at the college, but students are encouraged to become Autodesk certified to improve their job prospects.
Where do I start?
Apply for admission to ECTC to receive information from the Admissions Office about submitting your placement test scores (ACT or other exams) and to schedule a meeting with an advisor to register for your classes.
Length of Program
You can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.
This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog (PDF, 408 pages). You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.