Mechanical Drafters
SOC: 17-3013.00


Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
65,700 employed

Projected (2024):
61,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Aeronautical Drafter
  • Auto Design Detailer
  • Autocad Designer
  • Autocad Technician
  • Automotive Design Drafter
  • Automotive Design Layout Drafter
  • Body Design Checker
  • Body Designer
  • CAD Designer (Computer Aided Design Designer)
  • CAD Designer (Computer-Aided Design Designer)
  • CAD Drafter (Computer-Aided Design Drafter)
  • CAD Draftsman (Computer-Aided Design Draftsman)
  • CAD Operator (Computer Aided Design Operator)
  • CAD Operator (Computer-Aided Design Operator)
  • CAD/CAM Specialist (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing Specialist)
  • CADD Drafter (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Drafter)
  • Castings Drafter
  • Computer Draftsman Mechanical
  • Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing Programmer (CAD/CAM Programmer)
  • Controls Designer
  • Design Checker
  • Design Drafter
  • Design Engineer
  • Design Technician
  • Designer
  • Detail Drafter
  • Detailer
  • Die Designer
  • Die Designer Apprentice
  • Drafter
  • Drafter Apprentice
  • Drafting Technician
  • Electro-Mechanical Designer
  • Engineering Manager
  • Engineering Technician
  • Furniture Detailer
  • Gage Designer
  • Installation Drafter
  • Machine Design Checker
  • Mechanical Design Drafter
  • Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Mechanical Design Technician
  • Mechanical Designer
  • Mechanical Detailer
  • Mechanical Drafter
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Mechanical Equipment Engineering Assistant
  • Mold Designer
  • Patent Drafter
  • Pattern Drafter
  • Piping Designer
  • Project Designer
  • Technical Designer
  • Technical Illustrator
  • Tool and Die Designer
  • Tool Design Drafter
  • Tool Designer

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Develop detailed design drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment, dies, tools, and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment.
  • Coordinate with and consult other workers to design, lay out, or detail components and systems and to resolve design or other problems.
  • Review and analyze specifications, sketches, drawings, ideas, and related data to assess factors affecting component designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed.
  • Compute mathematical formulas to develop and design detailed specifications for components or machinery, using computer-assisted equipment.
  • Position instructions and comments onto drawings.
  • Modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies or to reduce production problems.
  • Design scale or full-size blueprints of specialty items such as furniture and automobile body or chassis components.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to the materials.
  • Lay out and draw schematic, orthographic, or angle views to depict functional relationships of components, assemblies, systems, and machines.
  • Confer with customer representatives to review schematics and answer questions pertaining to installation of systems.
  • Draw freehand sketches of designs, trace finished drawings onto designated paper for the reproduction of blueprints, and reproduce working drawings on copy machines.
  • Supervise and train other drafters, technologists, and technicians.
  • Lay out, draw, and reproduce illustrations for reference manuals and technical publications to describe operation and maintenance of mechanical systems.
  • Shade or color drawings to clarify and emphasize details and dimensions or eliminate background using ink, crayon, airbrush, and overlays.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Architects' scales
  • Backlit digitizers
  • Compasses
  • Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards
  • Cutting plotters
  • Desktop computers
  • Electronic scales
  • Estimating keypads
  • Flexible curves
  • French curves
  • Graphics tablets
  • Handheld calculators
  • Large-format digitizers
  • Notebook computers
  • Plotters
  • Print servers
  • Protractors
  • Sonic digitizers
  • T-squares
  • Three-dimensional laser digitizers
  • Three-dimensional motion controllers
  • Triangles
  • Wide-format document scanners
  • 1CadCam Unigraphics
  • Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe LiveMotion
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • Autodesk Mechanical
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Bentley Microstation
  • Bentley Navigator
  • Bill of materials software
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA software
  • Document management system software
  • ERP software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Graphic presentation software
  • McNeel Rhino software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Word
  • Motion graphics software
  • Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software
  • Piping and instrumentation design PID software
  • PTC Creo Parametric
  • PTC Pro/Cable
  • Rapid prototyping software
  • Reverse engineering software
  • SAP software
  • Scanning software
  • Siemens Solid Edge software
  • SofTech CADRA
  • SolidWorks CAD software
  • Three-dimensional scanning software

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980