Becoming an Electromechanical Drafter: Salary & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of an electromechanical drafter career? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary information to see if becoming an electromechanical drafter is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of an Electromechanical Drafter Career

Electromechanical drafters, sometimes referred to as electronics or mechanical drafters, assist engineers in the design and development process. Evaluate the pros and cons of an electromechanical career to decide if this is the right career path for you.

Pros of an Electromechanical Drafter Career
Good median salary ($52,200 in May 2014)*
Engineering and drafting service firms will have moderate demand for electrical and mechanical drafters*
Drafters can enter the field with an associate's degree*
May find work in industries other than engineering*

Cons of an Electromechanical Drafter Career
Slow job growth for drafters in manufacturing firms*
Manufacturing jobs are subject to the volatility of the industry*
Continuing education required to remain current in drafting software**
Project deadlines may impose occasional long work hours*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Mesa Community College.

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

As an electromechanical drafter, you will create drawings of electromechanical components and devices. These drawings may consist of materials and parts lists, dimensions, tolerances and methods for assembly. Electromechanical drafters use computer aided design software to create the drawings based on engineering requirements. Designs that are created with software may be programmed into automated production equipment. These designs are used by assembly or production workers to build the electromechanical products or components. You may update existing designs based on changes in technology or customer requirements.

Job Prospects and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that employment opportunities for all drafting disciplines were expected to increase one percent from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The BLS cites slow growth for mechanical and electronics drafters in manufacturing to a decline in that industry. Specialty drafters may also have some difficulty securing jobs as systems become more user friendly and engineering technicians become preferred replacements. In May 2014, the BLS reported that the median salary for electrical and electronics drafters was $58,790, while mechanical drafters earned a median salary of $52,200.

What Are the Requirements?

The BLS states that employers prefer electromechanical drafters with an associate's degree in drafting. Some employers may hire drafters with a high school education plus experience in drafting and computer aided design software. Certificate and associate's degree programs are available for electromechanical drafters in community colleges and technical institutes. Drafting programs include courses in design, computer aided design software, drafting theory, mathematics and materials.

Besides being knowledgeable about drafting technology, electromechanical drafters need additional interpersonal and communication skills. The BLS states that these individuals also need to be detail oriented and good with time management.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employers typically require electromechanical drafters to have experience with design software. Another common requirement is experience in the electronics industry. Below are some examples of job listings for electromechanical drafters that were posted in April 2012:

  • A Massachusetts employer is seeking an electromechanical drafter to update and improve existing technical drawings. The candidate must have experience with design software, including Solidworks.
  • An aerospace company in California is looking for an electromechanical drafter to create designs and drawings for electronics packaging, motors and gear boxes. The candidate must have a bachelor's degree and five to seven years experience in the field.
  • A Minnesota employer is looking for a drafting designer to create drawings of electromechanical devices. The candidate must have a minimum of an associate's degree and two to five years experience in drafting.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Get Certified

The BLS reports that employers typically do not require certification for drafters but earning a credential can provide proof of your knowledge and expertise in the field. The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) provides credentials for professional drafters who pass an examination. Formal education and training is not necessary to qualify for the certification examination. The ADDA exam test drafters on topics like geometric construction and drafting standards.

Other Careers to Consider

Electronic Engineering Technician

A position as an electronics-engineering technician provides an opportunity to perform a greater variety of duties than an electromechanical drafter. Engineering technicians work under the supervision of an engineer. They design, test and install electronic devices and equipment, such as computers and medical devices. Employers may require an associate's degree in electronics technology to qualify for a position. The BLS states that the median annual salary for an electronic engineering technician in 2011 was $57,000.

Electronics Engineer

Electronics engineers research and develop electronic components used in the aerospace, telecommunications and commercial electronics industries. A career as an engineer requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering, electrical engineering or a related major. In May 2011, the BLS indicated that the median annual salary of an electronics engineer was $92,000.

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineering is a broad discipline that offers opportunities to work in areas like research and development. These individuals design mechanical devices, which can include tools, machines or engines. They may also make improvements to existing devices. Similar to other disciplines, mechanical engineers must have a bachelor's degree. In May 2011, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for a mechanical engineer was $79,000.

Popular Schools

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    1. The Art Institutes

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      • Drafting Technology & Design (AS)
      • Drafting Technology & Design (AS)
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    3. Penn Foster Career School

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Featured Schools

The Art Institutes

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • MSTIM - Engineering Magagement
  • MBA - Management of Engineering and Technology

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Penn Foster Career School

  • Career Diploma: Drafting with AutoCAD

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Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

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CDI College

  • Diploma in Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Specialist

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