The role of Design and Drafting Engineering Technology covers a lot of ground in the engineering world, which translates into strong demand for professional drafters. Examine any manufactured product, and it’s almost a certainty that a professional drafter was involved in its creation and development.
Drafters are responsible for the preparation of blueprints and technical drawings used to build everything from manufactured products such as computer keyboards and aircraft wings to structures such as houses and commercial buildings. If you seek a career that combines your skills in mathematics, computers and art into a high-paying position, drafting opens a world of possibilities.
Workforce Development Degree Information
Workforce development degree and certificate programs are designed to prepare students for direct entry into the workforce. They may advance students within their current career positions or open doors to new career opportunities. Coursework may apply towards a degree at a four-year university; check with an advisor for further information. The number of hours that apply to a degree will vary from one university to another.
In order to successfully complete a job, drafters rely on computer workstations and associated drafting programs collectively referred to as CAD or "computer-aided drafting." The drafter's drawings provide visual guidelines, while showing the technical details of the products and structures. The drawings specify the dimensions, materials and procedures required to take a product from conception to completion. Using technical handbooks, tables, calculators and computers, drafters fill in the technical details, specifications, codes and calculations previously made by engineers, surveyors, architects or scientists.
The Drafting and Design Engineering Technology Program at Tulsa Community College offers you the training to enter the Computer-Aided Drafting field. If you are already working as a CAD operator, TCC provides classes necessary to update skills and increase your value as an employee.
- Aeronautical drafters prepare engineering drawings detailing plans and specifications used in the manufacture of aircraft, missiles and related parts.
- Architectural drafters draw architectural and structural features of buildings and other structures.
- Civil drafters prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in major construction or civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewage systems.
- Electrical drafters prepare wiring and layout diagrams used by workers who erect, install, and repair electrical equipment and wiring in communication centers, power plants, electrical distribution systems and buildings.
- Electronics drafters draw wiring diagrams, circuit board assembly diagrams, schematics and layout drawings used in the manufacture, installation and repair of electronic devices and components.
- Mechanical drafters prepare detail and assembly drawings of a wide variety of machinery and mechanical devices, indicating dimensions, fastening methods and other requirements.
- Process piping or pipeline drafters prepare drawings used in the layout, construction and operation of oil and gas fields, refineries, chemical plants and process piping systems.
The industrial growth and increasingly complex design problems associated with new products and manufacturing processes will increase the demand for drafting services, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, the Bureau said drafters are beginning to break out of the traditional drafting role and increasingly do work traditionally performed by engineers and architects, thus increasing demand for drafters.
Degree or Certificate?
Since different levels of training are required for different jobs, both an associate degree program and a certificate option are available.
Specialized Training in 3-D Courseware
This training option focuses on the most current CAD programs in order to better prepare you to enter the job market. Expert faculty bring years of experience to ensure you have the theoretical and practical foundation to build your drafting skills. Many of the instructors currently work as CAD operators and are familiar with current trends and computer applications.
Associate Degree - Drafting and Design Engineering Technology
The American Design Drafting Association has fully certified this program to the level of design drafter. It provides you with a general education in mathematics, physics, English, engineering drawing and design, as well as specific training in Computer-Aided Design Drafting (CADD). Those completing the associate degree program will be prepared for exciting careers in the fields of mechanical, structural, electrical, or other graphics communication technologies. Upon completion of this program, you may apply for the ADDA National Examination for certification.
Certificate - Drafting and Computer-Aided Design
The Certificate of Achievement in Drafting and Computer-Aided Design Technology is designed to recognize the accomplishment of students who have completed the technical course work required for the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Design Engineering Technology, but not the General Education requirements. This certificate is a logical goal for students seeking the technical skill level of the associate degree, but whose circumstances impose a more limited time frame than the degree requires. It also provides documentation of exposure to both basic drafting and more advanced design theory and practice.