Architectural Technology Required Skills/Job & Salary Outlook

Prepare detailed drawings of architectural and structural features of buildings or drawings and topographical relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, and public works. Use knowledge of building materials, engineering practices, and mathematics to complete drawings.

Sample of reported job titles

Intern Architect, Drafter, Architect, Draftsman, Architectural Designer, Architectural Drafter, Architectural Intern, Project Manager, Architectural Draftsman, CAD Technician (Computer-Aided Design Technician) 


Tasks
  • Operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms and records.
  • Analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs.
  • Coordinate structural, electrical and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.
  • Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets and other data.
  • Lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software.
  • Obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
  • Supervise, coordinate, and inspect the work of draftspersons, technicians, and technologists on construction projects.
  • Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  • Represent architect on construction site, ensuring builder compliance with design specifications and advising on design corrections, under architect's supervision.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to lists of materials.

 Tools used in this occupation
  • Curves - Flexible curves; French curves
  • Scales - Architects' scales; Electronic scales
  • Scanners - Backlit digitizers; Sonic digitizers; Three-dimensional laser digitizers; Wide-format document scanners
  • Tablet computers - Graphics tablets; Pressure-sensitive graphic tablets
  • Triangles

Technology used in this occupation
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Alias Wavefront Design Studio; Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley MicroStation; Logitech 3D Pro
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; Corel Paint Shop Pro; Softimage Extreme; Sun Microsystems Cobalt
  • Optical character reader OCR or scanning software - Digitizing and photogrammetric software; Scanning software
  • Pattern design software - 100 Plus Hatch Pattern Library
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Knowledge
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Work Activities
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Work Context
  • Electronic Mail - How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
  • Spend Time Sitting - How much does this job require sitting?
  • Telephone - How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  • Work With Work Group or Team - How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

Interests
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Work Values
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

State and National Wages & Employment Trends
Location Pay
Period
2011
10% 25% Median 75% 90%
United States Hourly $15.16 $18.47 $22.72 $28.60 $35.52
Yearly $31,500 $38,400 $47,300 $59,500 $73,900
Pennsylvania Hourly $15.03 $18.00 $21.50 $26.70 $32.59
Yearly $31,300 $37,400 $44,700 $55,500 $67,800

 

United States Employment Percent 
Change
Job Openings 1
2010 2020
Architectural and Civil Drafters 92,700 95,700 +3% 2,090
Pennsylvania Employment Percent 
Change
Job Openings 1
2008 2018
Architectural and Civil Drafters 5,800 5,300 -9% 170 

1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.


Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.


Information provided by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration