Research, Compliance and Ethics Careers | Mechanical / Electrical Drafter

Mechanical / Electrical Drafter

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Drafters and CAD Designers

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Mechanical / Electrical Drafter earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $51,918

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $55,649

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Prepares detailed drawings needed to manufacture or repair machinery and equipment, with dimensions and other specific engineering data. Uses computer aided design software. May create diagrams for products that include mechanical and electronic components, such as cars or computers, or prepare the diagrams used to install wiring and electrical equipment in buildings or in electrical distribution systems.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina392+11.2%
Nationwide10958+5.2%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Mechanical / Electrical Drafter is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft.
  • Detail-Oriented: A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way.
  • Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • AutoCAD: AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application.
  • Mechanical Design: Mechanical Design or Machine Design is the branch of Engineering Design. Machine design or Mechanical Design can lead to the formation of the entirely new machine or it can lead to improvement of the existing machine.
  • SolidWorks: Working experience of SolidWorks, which is a solid modeler, and utilizes a parametric feature-based approach which was initially developed by PTC (Creo/Pro-Engineer) to create models and assemblies. The software is written on Parasolid-kernel.
  • Revit: Working experience of Revit. Autodesk Revit is building information modeling software for architects, landscape architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, designers and contractors developed by Autodesk. It allows users to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model's database. Revit is 4D BIM capable with tools to plan and track various stages in the building's lifecycle, from concept to construction and later maintenance and/or demolition.
  • 3D Modeling / Design: In 3D computer graphics, 3D modeling (or three-dimensional modeling) is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any surface of an object (either inanimate or living) in three dimensions via specialized software. The product is called a 3D model. Someone who works with 3D models may be referred to as a 3D artist.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Mechanical / Electrical Drafter that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Engineering Drawings: Working experience of Engineering Drawings, which are a type of technical drawing, is used to fully and clearly define requirements for engineered items. Engineering drawing (the activity) produces engineering drawings (the documents). More than merely the drawing of pictures, it is also a language - a graphical language that communicates ideas and information from one mind to another.
  • Architectural Drafting: Working experience of Architectural Drafting. Architectural drafters use sketches, notes and dimensions from architects and engineers to create detailed drawings used for reference throughout the design and construction process. Drafters need to have knowledge of engineering principles, mathematics, building materials and construction techniques.
  • Shop Drawings: Working experience of Shop Drawings. A shop drawing is a drawing or set of drawings produced by the contractor, supplier, manufacturer, subcontractor, or fabricator. Shop drawings are typically required for prefabricated components. Examples of these include: elevators, structural steel, trusses, pre-cast concrete, windows, appliances, cabinets, air handling units, and millwork.
  • Bill of Materials: A bill of materials or product structure (sometimes bill of material, BOM or associated list) is a list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture an end product.
  • PTC Creo: Working experience of PTC Creo, which is a family or suite of Computer-aided design (CAD) apps supporting product design for discrete manufacturers and is developed by PTC. The suite consists of apps, each delivering a distinct set of capabilities for a user role within product development. Creo runs on Microsoft Windows and provides apps for 3D CAD parametric feature solid modeling, 3D direct modeling, 2D orthographic views, Finite Element Analysis and simulation, schematic design, technical illustrations, and viewing and visualization.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years40%
3 to 5 years43%
6 to 8 years7%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Mechanical Designer
  • Drafter
  • Mechanical Drafter
  • Architectural Drafter
  • Piping Designer

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