Architectural Plans | What is an Architectural Drafter Or Draftsman?

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Have you ever stood and watched a high building being erected in a large city? It is interesting to see the elevator carry a person with materials like sheet rock and metal studs to the upper floors and the crane lift huge steel girders high in the air. But have you ever stopped to wonder how each person knows where to place each particular girder, wall, stair, window, etc.? If you asked one of the supervisors, they might show you the plans that show them where and how each and everything should be placed.

Or how about watching a house grow from a ditch in the ground to a fully finished home for a family. Most likely you will see these builders reading from large pieces of paper containing each element of the proposed home. These are called Architectural Plans.

From ancient days to the present, almost all structures of any type, from a outbuilding to a high rise apartment have been built with a plan. In modern building, the architect or designer plans every detail from the roofing material right down to the floor coverings. They have to show in their drawings exactly how the finished building will look both inside and out. They must indicate the kinds of material that are used and the exact spot where each element needs to be placed. Everything in those building plans must be so clear that any builder, by looking at the drawings and reading the written instructions will know exactly what to do.

In order to make the huge amount of plans required it is many times necessary that the architect or designer hire a number of people known as architectural drafters. From the architects or designers sketches they make the drawings or plans, and in many cases do original designing themselves. A master drafter is in charge of all the others in the drafting room and are considered the architects "right-hand man."

To become an architectural drafter a person may enter an architects office as an apprentice. This is rare these days but still happens from time to time. At first they are given only basic office work to do. After a while they are put to the task of making small tracings and other less important work. Once they have the basics, they are probably then trained to do original drawings on the drafting board or trained to use a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) program on the computer.

Another method of learning to be an architectural drafter is to enter a vocational school. Here is where the beginner will be given practical work like in an office, and will be exposed to the principles of all kinds of architectural drafting. As a result of this they will be better equipped to enter almost any architectural office and would not be restricted in their choice of a field. There are many fine drafting schools over the internet to choose from also.

There is an ever increasing need for drafters. Even if the weather or season is unfit for building, there is always need of drafters in designing and planning buildings. There are thousands of buildings and homes built every year and each of them requires a certain number of drafters.

My name is Tim Davis and I draw architectural plans for a living. I also teach others how to draw house plans, site plans, mechanical and shop drawings and other types of drafting that I have been trained to do in a virtual classroom on the internet called 101 Info Dot Org at

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