How to Select a Good Drafting Course for Architecture

If you want to become an architectural drafter or building design technician, your first step is to find a quality drafting course.

Architectural drafters work under the supervision of an architect or engineer. They create the blueprints and technical drawings builders use to actually construct a new building.

Drafters participate in the design process from start to finish. After a few years of experience, a drafter or design technician may consult directly with clients to develop concepts and draft designs from scratch.

Looking for a fast training option? It makes sense to consider a college drafting course versus a university degree in architecture. 

But not all drafting programs are made equal.

So what should you look for? What skills will you need to get hired?

In this post, we break down exactly what to notice when comparing drafting courses and narrowing down your options.

Here's what you need to know.


WHat Do you learn in an architectural drafting course?

A quality drafting course takes between 1-2 years to complete. The goal is to prepare students for entry-level drafting jobs quickly.

So you don't spend much time on the theory or history of architecture (like in university degree programs).

The emphasis is on hands-on drafting. A good program provides plenty of practice creating technical drawings for actual structures, including homes and commercial buildings.

To do this, you'll need to learn industry software, building codes, and best practices in drafting.

Your coursework and projects should focus on:

☑️ AutoCAD

☑️ Revit Building Information Modelling (BIM) software

☑️ Principles of drafting

☑️ Ontario Building Code

☑️ 2D and 3D technical drawings, elevations, blueprints, and other architectural documents

☑️ Developing a solid portfolio of projects to show employers

This is the foundation of a good drafting course for architecture. Ensure any program you choose covers the software and technical knowledge on this list.


Key FEATURES of a quality drafting course

Along with the training we mentioned above, there are a few other key features to look for when comparing drafting courses.


1. A qualified instructor with industry experience

Ideally, you want to study with a licensed architect.

Not only will you learn a comprehensive skillset, you will also learn what your future employer (likely an architect) expects from drafters and design technicians.

This is the best person to prepare you for your first job.


2. An extensive internship

Internships are extremely valuable for getting real work experience and improving your drafting skills. Plus, students sometimes get hired straight out of their internship.

At the very least, you'll have something relevant to put on your resume. Look for a drafting course that includes a internship of at least two months.


3. Graduate employment rates

Find out how many students get hired after completing the drafting course. This is really the best way to know if employers trust the training and respect the college.

Look for graduate employment rates of at least 80%.


4. Preparation for the Ontario Building Code Exam

Not all drafting programs include preparation for the Ontario Building Code (BCIN) exam. Some programs teach building codes, but don't go deep enough to really prepare you for this challenging examination.

Why is passing the BCIN exam important?

Because certification proves your knowledge of the Ontario Building Code, and qualifies you to sign off on all construction drawings and specifications being submitted for permits.

This qualification is considered an asset by employers, and will give you an edge when applying for drafting jobs.


What's the career outlook for architectural drafters?

There is steady demand for architectural drafters and building technicians in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

In fact, the Government of Canada Job Bank reported a labour shortage in this field over the past few years. There weren't enough trained technicians to fill available drafting jobs.

Moving into 2021, things evened out a bit. The Job Bank now reports "moderate employment growth" for architectural drafters in the GTA.

The bottom line? You'll need sharp skills to compete for a good job. That's why solid training is so important.

Factors like Building Code certification, good knowledge of AutoCAD and Revit, and a strong portfolio of drafting work will give you an edge.

After graduating from a quality architectural drafting course, you'll be qualified for the following jobs:

☑️ Building Design Technician

☑️ Architectural Draftsperson

☑️ CAD Technician

☑️ Construction Designer


Typical employers include architects, engineers, and construction companies.


Explore Architectural drafting training at Herzing College

Herzing College Toronto offers a comprehensive drafting course for architecture.

The Building Design Technician program takes 12 months to complete, and includes an 8-week internship and Building Code exam preparation.

Is this training right for you?

Click below to explore the program and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. Learn about courses, careers, financial aid, how to apply, and more. We're here to help!

Explore the Building Design Technician Program


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