Salary Insight: How Much Do Drafters Make?

drafter working on a drawing

Table of Contents

Drafters are responsible for drawings and blueprints, ensuring the structural integrity of large-scale and small-scale construction projects. An AEC drafter is responsible for creating the guidelines and precise schematics for both new builds and renovations. They perform their work either using computer-aided design software like AutoCAD or drawing by hand. 

We’ve got you covered if you’re interested in becoming a drafter or wondering what the average Drafters salary is. Drafters’ salaries vary by industry and experience, so it’s difficult to put a specific number to it. We’ll explore their average salary per industry and what you can expect to make as a qualified Drafter.

Becoming a Drafter in California: What to expect

To become a certified Drafter in California, you must pass a Drafters Certification Test. These tests are periodically done at ADDA-authorized sites, covering topics like drafting concepts, architectural terms and standards, and geometric construction. 

The average salary for California-based drafters is $61,820 per year. Depending on your employer, you may also be eligible for health insurance, sick leave, and retirement plans. Working with a technical staffing agency in the search for employment as a Drafter can ensure you get a job that is right for you.

Drafters’ salary by industry: Insights for 2023

Drafters in the United States make about $54,240 annually, which equals $28.04 per hour. Several factors can influence this figure to trend higher or lower. Factors such as your industry or location influence salaries. Drafters with the same skills and experience can make more than others in some states. Here’s a look at how much drafters make according to their industry. All figures are obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics salary estimates for drafters in 2021.

The electrical industry 

These drafters work with engineers to create drawings used for electrical wiring for projects like power plants. They’ll typically visit the project site to assess the structure and create drawings for proper wiring per industry regulations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Electrical Drafters make about $77,780 per year as of 2021.

The civil industry

Civil drafters develop sketches and drawings for infrastructure development projects like highways. The average salary for drafters in this industry is $61,630 in 2021.

The architectural industry

These Drafters create drawings for construction projects, such as school buildings and factories. They work with architects and engineers to turn their plans into blueprints to ensure they are completed according to industry stands. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Architectural Drafters made $61,630 per year as of 2021.

The marine industry 

These Drafters define where critical systems like plumbing and electrical should be so the facilities comply with industry regulations. Drafters in this industry earn $57,660 per year as of 2021.

The mechanical industry 

In the mechanical industry, Drafters work on drawings and diagrams for mechanical products. They outline the required dimensions of the products and also give details for assembling them. Mechanical Drafters earn $52,450 as of 2021.

Certis: Guiding you toward your dream role

A technical staffing agency like Certis Solutions can help new and experienced Drafters find their ideal job. Whatever your industry may be, we can help you land the perfect job from our extensive database of industry connections. Contact us today to get started.

Recent Jobs

Staffing for construction, engineering, environmental, etc.

Construction Materials Tester

Heavy Civil

Superintendent - San Mateo, CA