What does a Draughtsperson do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A draughtsperson is a trained professional who creates technical drawings and drafts. Also known as a draftsperson, a draughtsperson can work in a number of industries, including engineering and architecture. Training for this type of work generally involves extensive schooling in the field the draughtsperson intends to work in, along with specific artistic training which will hone the trainee's skills at drawing and creating accurate drafts.

A draughtsperson creates technical designs and drawings.
A draughtsperson creates technical designs and drawings.

This type of work blends skills such as engineering and architecture with a high level of technical ability. Historically, draughtspeople worked by hand, and they needed a high degree of skill, as they had to create very precise drawings which accurately conveyed information. In the modern era, many work with computer aided design (CAD) software to execute their drawings, in which case they need to know how to use CAD software accurately.

It is important for a draughtsperson today to be an expert user of computer-assisted drafting software, so drafting classes should include these skills.
It is important for a draughtsperson today to be an expert user of computer-assisted drafting software, so drafting classes should include these skills.

When a draughtsperson is assigned a job, he or she uses the information provided to generate technical drawings of a subject under discussion. For example, an engineering firm might hire a draughtsperson to prepare technical drawings for publication. The drawings would include detailed views of the object the draughtsperson had been hired to profile, including cutaway views which showed the inside of the item, and views showing the item under construction or assembly.

Technical drawings must be held to scale, and they must utilize techniques and terminology which are widely accepted in the industry. The angles at which drawings are made, for example, are standardized so that people can instantly orient themselves when they look at a drawing, and draughtspeople also use standardized color coding, line appearance, and other techniques to make their work understandable and accessible. Failure to use industry-standard techniques and terms can render a drawing more difficult to understand.

A draughtsperson job can be very interesting, as it offers opportunities to see all sorts of projects underway. The work requires a keen attention to detail, a deep understanding of the field in which the draughtsperson works, and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Some draughtspeople work with people from all over the world, which can necessitate language skills to ensure that projects are carried out properly. Artistic skills and an interest in art are also helpful for people in this profession, because while a draughtsperson may not be generating works of art in the conventional sense, he or she actually needs a great deal of artistic talent to make useful drawings.

A draughtsperson is trained to design, understand and analyze CAD drawings.
A draughtsperson is trained to design, understand and analyze CAD drawings.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

ceilingcat

@starrynight - My best friends Dad works as a draftsman. I remember when we were in high school he was always bringing home these really intricate plans that were all hand drawn. I was always amazed at the level of detail that went into them.

Now of course his company does all their drawing with CAD. He says that CAD makes some things a lot easier but is more difficult than doing it by hand in some ways too.

starrynight

I had no idea a draughtsman had to be so skilled! This sounds like it could be a really great job for some who is both artistic and technically inclined. Even though software is used now I'm sure some artistic talent is still needed.

Speaking as someone who has created digital art before I can tell you that it takes just as much skill as creating art by hand does. And to top it off you have to learn how to use the computer program!

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