How to Become a

Mechanical Drafter

The complete career guide to be a Mechanical Drafter: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $56,610
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -6.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Mechanical drafters draw and use computer software to turn them into comprehensive images that specify product dimensions and also construct models of mechanical parts and materials.  They work with other engineers, architects, and manufacturing companies to draw and design blue prints for construction methods and building materials and the amount of materials needed.

Recommended Schools

What is a Mechanical Drafter?

The following responsibilities are common for individuals that want to become Mechanical Drafters:

  • Developing detailed drawings and specifications for mechanical devices, tools and machines using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment
  • Designing scale and full sized blue prints of mechanical equipment
  • Reviewing and analyzing specifications, drawing, blue prints and any other related data or factor affecting or regarding the mechanical equipment
  • Reproducing drawings and illustrations for operational and instructional manuals as well as maintenance description for the mechanical equipment
  • Using mathematical formulas to to develop detailed specifications for components and machinery

A Day In The Life

Mechanical Drafters often use software to convert the rough designs and sketches from engineers and architects and turn them into technical drafts.

Most drafters use CADD software to create, store and send technical drawings electronically.  These technical drawings consist of the dimensions, materials to be used, and what machines need used for the project.

The drafter will often collaborate and work closely with the engineers, architects and construction managers to create digital models of physical machines, tools or parts.  By using three dimensional software they are able to see how the different elements of the product will work.  They will also very often times create production molds for the various products they may be working on.

Typical Work Schedule

This job requires a 40 hour work week with much of that time spent on computers.

Projected Job Growth

Mechanical drafters are in demand in the constantly growing vehicle and medical equipment industries. There are various opportunities for them to grow expand from growth in the industries.

Typical Employers

Generally these individuals are employed as consultants, own their own firms or work for architecture or engineering firms.  While others are employed by the government.


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How To Become a Mechanical Drafter

Those considering a job as a mechanical drafter would typically want to obtain a bachelor’s degree.  Typically they will take classes like drafting, art, engineering and industrial design.

The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) offers drafting certification.  Although not mandatory, a certification in your skills demonstrates to potential employers of competency and universal skills and knowledge.


Mechanical Drafter Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Mechanical Drafter salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Mechanical Drafter's can make an average annual salary of $56,610, or $27 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $42,320 or $20 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #307 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Mechanical Drafter. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Mechanical Drafters

  • 1.3%   Doctorate
  • 3.9%   Masters
  • 21.8%   Bachelors
  • 33.2%   Associates
  • 28.4%   College
  • 10.2%   High School
  • 1.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Mechanical Drafter job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -4,500 jobs for a total of 61,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -6.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #722 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Mechanical Drafters

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Engineering services 13,400 100 0%
Architectural and structural metals manufacturing 4,700 -300 0%
Ship and boat building 3,400 -400 0%

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