Today's drafter and designer are multitaskers. Working under a tight deadline while juggling more then one project is the norm in this profession. There are no excuses for late work and, often times, no second chances for product perfection.
More often than not, you will not be working directly with the customer. Instead you will work under a junior or senior engineer. This position requires you to learn the particulars of the company. Standards, styles, and software will vary among prospective employers.
Detailing is often part of this position. Being able to take someone else's idea and break it down into dimensions and pieces is crucial.
To complete assigned work, drafters and designers use technical handbooks, tables, and computers to complete their work. Today, most work is done with the aid of computers. Often referred to as CAD, computer-aided design and drafting systems are tools used to prepare drawings. CAD allows drawings to be stored electronically, making revisions and updates convenient.
While there are some part-time job opportunities, the majority of drafting and design positions are full-time. Typical work setting include large manufacturing corporations as well as smaller manufacturing operations.
Most drafters and designers work a standard 40-hour week, Monday through Friday. Overtime situations may arise during high production periods.
This is a group-orientated field so be prepared to work in teams. You typically will have access to your own space, desk, and computer, but there is a high value place on group cohesiveness and collaboration.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the national need for mechanical drafters is increasing. Nationally, employment is predicted to increase by eleven percent by 2020.
Those individuals who have a two-year degree and extensive knowledge working with CAD will have an advantage in the job market. A Lake Michigan College two-year degree will show employers that you have a strong background in fundamental drafting principles, and the ability to apply these principles.
According to LMC program coordinator Steve Huycke, an associate's degree will lead you to a stable and well-respected career. If your ambition is to become an engineer, then LMC's program can be the first step in your journey to the bachelor's degree you'll need to enter the engineering field.
"Experience and well-tuned skills will give you mobility in the field if that is your desire," states Steve. "Many area employers will even pay for your continued education."