Planning Career - Understanding Drafter's Planning Jobs

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A drafter’s planning career is not that easy as you think. In fact, he’s the one who prepares a clear, complete, and accurate action plan of work and detailed illustrations from a clear objective sketch, specification, engineer’s calculation, architects’ and designers’ perspective to be used for engineering or manufacturing purposes according to the specified dimensions. The drafter utilizes knowledge of various machines, engineering practices, mathematics, building materials, and other physical sciences to complete the drawings.

Since ancient times, people have relied on drawings to communicate ideas. In fact, many times humans have been able to communicate their thoughts more adequately through drawings than through language. Even today, many people find it much easier to give directions by drawing than by telling or writing. Many find it easier to assemble new equipment if the instructions include diagrams and drawings. In industry, drafting is the conversion of ideas from people’s minds to precise working specifications from which products can be made. The industrial world has come to rely on drafters to develop the working specifications from the new ideas and findings of those in the laboratories, shops, and factories of America.

Furthermore, part of his planner jobs, the drafter sets up certain plans with details and drawing specifications derived from the concepts, notions, and perspective drafts of the engineers, architects, even from a scientist and designer. Sometimes drawings are developed after visiting a project in the field or as the result of a discussion with one or more persons involved in the job. The drawings, which usually provide a number of different views of the object, must be exact and accurate. They differ in certain sizes which depend on the kind and variation of the drawing. Some layout or assembly drawings are twenty-five to thirty feet long, while others are very small. They must contain enough detail, whatever their size, so that the part, object, or building can be constructed from it. Such drawings usually include information concerning the quality of materials to be used, their cost, and the processes to be followed in carrying out the job. In developing their drawings made to scale of the object to be built, drafters use drawing tables and a variety of instruments, such as protractors, compasses, triangles, squares, drawing pens, and pencils.

Drafters are often classified according to the type of work they do or the level of responsibility. Senior drafters use the preliminary information and ideas provided by engineers and architects to make the design layout. They may have the title of chief drafter and assign work to other drafters and supervise their activities. Detailers make complete drawings, giving dimensions, material, and any other necessary information of each part shown on the layout. Checkers carefully examine drawings to check for errors in computing or in recording dimensions and specifications. Likewise, tracers who are usually assistant drafters make corrections and prepare drawings for reproduction by tracing them on transparent cloth, paper, or plastic film.

Drafters may also specialize in a particular field of work, such as mechanical, electrical, electronic, aeronautical, structural, or architectural drafting. Although the nature of the work of drafters is not too different from one specialization to another, there is a considerable variation in the type of object with which they deal. Thus, within this career field workers may focus on and apply some of their own special interests.

Drafting involves planning jobs that rely heavily on one’s education. In high school it is especially important to elect science and mathematics courses, mechanical drawing, and wood, metal, or electric shop. If they are not offered at school, a community college or training college may offer non-degree classes as well as college level courses. Most high school students will find it possible to take English, social studies, science, mathematics, and one or more of these specialized courses each year.

Training beyond high school is possible through apprenticeship, junior college, or technical institute programs. Apprenticeship programs usually run three to four years. During this period, the apprentice works on the job and is required to take related classroom work in theory and practice. Information about apprenticeship programs can be obtained from a school instructor, or from the local, state, or national apprenticeship training representatives.

Students interested in drafting should have a good sense of space perception (ability to visualize objects in two or three dimensions), from perception - the ability to compare and to discriminate between shapes, lines, and forms, and shadings, and coordinated eye-finger-hand movements. They should also appraise their preference for situations dealing with things or objects, their interest in things, scientific, technical, or mechanical in nature, and their preference for activities of an abstract or creative nature.

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