Training available for a career in drafting
Drafters are a cornerstone of design teams and work closely with engineers, designers, planners and architects. Experts in this field work with computer-aided design and drafting systems to prepare drawings, but also need the knowledge of manual drafting and sketching.
The most common types of drafters are architectural, civil and mechanical, and this region is experiencing a surge of job opportunities for drafters.
“The 2015 Houston Employment Forecast predicts 9,300 jobs to be added this year in the professional, scientific and technical fields,” said Ricardo Uribe, Brazosport College Assistant Professor of Drafting Technology. “The advantage of our location in Texas is its flexibility. A student might start out in pipe drafting as a career and then move into the health care industry creating drawings and designs. There are many different options.”
Brazosport College offers a one-year certificate program, which can be applied toward a two-year degree in Drafting Technology at Brazosport College. A few basic classes, such as AutoCAD and Solidworks, are used by most of the local industrial employers, and can be enough to secure an entry-level position in this creative and thriving field.
“Our labs have the latest Autodesk and Solidworks programs for the drafting industry and we offer a wide variety of drafting courses that cover many different career paths,” Uribe said. “Be it pipe drafting, architectural, mechanical, civil or 3D Modeling, students can get a well-rounded education.
“Among the benefits are the many doors this will open for one’s earning potential,” Uribe added.
Drafters prepare technical drawings and plans used by production and construction workers to build everything — from automotive to aerospace, houses to high-rise buildings and oil/gas piping to complex chemical plants.
Who is a good fit?
Drafters have a good visual eye and enjoy very detailed work. Drafters utilize skills in computers, design techniques and mathematics, as well as engineering science and technology.
Most drafters have some college training, a certificate or an associate degree. Brazosport College offers a one-year certificate program, with the courses able to be applied toward a two-year associate degree in Drafting Technology.
$30.20 hourly; $63,000 annual.
Job opportunities for mechanical drafters are expected to grow by 4.4 percent over the next four years. Twenty-one percent of mechanical drafters are over the age of 55 and will probably retire soon.
Source: Career Coach (Brazosport.edu/CareerCoach)
* Median wages and job outlook data collected for Mechanical Drafters
Student Success Story – Yamilex Nieto
Angleton grad a natural for BC drafting program
For Brazosport College student Yamilex Nieto, drafting is an easy career choice.
Yami, which is her preferred name, comes from a family of builders and drafters. Her father, Enrique, owns the Brazoria County-based YMI Home Builders and has extensive knowledge about designing homes. Her brother is also a drafter.
As a result, a love of design was brought on at an early age.
“My father builds custom homes and I really enjoy making house plans,” Yami said. “I just decided that I wanted to go for that in school.”
As a senior at Angleton High School, Yami began preparing for her future by taking dual credit drafting courses through Brazosport College. These classes gave her a head start toward not only college credits, but also understanding the demands of college life.
Today, Yami is finishing up her first year at BC. She’s already earned her basic certificate in drafting and is now working toward her advanced certificate. She isn’t planning to stop until she has an Associate Degree in Drafting Technology in her possession.
“Yami has had a solid performance in our drafting technology courses,” said Ricardo Uribe, Brazosport College Assistant Professor of Drafting Technology. “I encourage students to problem solve and troubleshoot just like they would in the workplace, and Yami always helps fellow students when they need assistance or have questions.”
Occasionally, people are surprised to find that Yami is pursuing a degree in drafting, which some view as a predominately male field. This doesn’t faze her in the least. Actually, Brazosport College has many women in its drafting program, as well as all of its workforce programs.
“I believe that if a man can do it, a woman can do it, too,” Yami said with a smile. “I plan to find a job in pipe drafting or to help my dad.”