Updated January 2021.
If you have an interest in architecture and engineering, and like the idea of being part of the building design and planning process, training as an architectural technician/draftsperson could be your ideal career path.
Your first step is to understand the professional role of architectural designers, get a sense of the most in-demand skills in this field, and of course, whether there is demand for architectural technicians in your area.
Read on to learn which core skills matter most for entry level designers, and to take a look at the latest government research on demand for this profession in Ontario.
Most Wanted Skills for Entry-level Architectural Technicians
Generally speaking, architectural designers are analytical by nature, good problem-solvers, highly detail-oriented, and comfortable working with technical data.
They are quick to learn computer programs and applications, and work well in teams. Although individual job requirements may vary somewhat depending on a company's area of specialty.
But there are certain skills that are consistently demanded across most entry-level architectural technician positions.
These are the skills taught in comprehensive architectural drafting training, and the competencies employers look for most in new grads.
☑️ 2D and 3D drawing with AutoCAD
An architectural drawing is a guideline or schematic for how a structure should be built.
CAD technicians produce architectural drawings, sketches, and diagrams to communicate design concepts to clients, and provide measurements and other key specifications for builders.
Architectural design programs teach students how to create drawings that depict a range of standard "views", including floor plans, site plans, elevations, cross sections, isometric and axonometric, and survey drawings.
The ability to produce hand drawn sketches is still highly valued by many employers; but comprehensive knowledge of AutoCAD for two and three dimensional renderings is absolutely essential in this field.
☑️ Building Information Modelling (BIM) with Revit
Building Information Modelling (BIM) programs help architects, engineers, designers, and construction professionals visualize the physical and functional features of a structure.
BIM uses 3D models to show architectural features, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing frameworks, as well as structural engineering and construction.
Revit is the industry's leading BIM software, and is used to design and manage buildings throughout their entire lifecycle, from conception to demolition.
Knowledge of Revit is a must for today's architectural technicians.
☑️ Knowledge of building codes
Architectural drafters must be aware of building codes in their province or territory, in order to produce compliant, safe, efficient design plans.
Students studying architectural drafting in Ontario can expect to dive deep into the Ontario Building Code.
Anyone wishing to work as a "building practitioner" must take the Building Code exam (including designers) so this part of the curriculum will help prepare students to challenge the test.
☑️ Superior communication and teamwork skills
Strong communication and teamwork skills are featured on almost every job listing for architectural CAD technicians.
Contrary to what new students might assume, architectural technicians do not work in isolation. Part of their role is to coordinate closely with many project stakeholders, including clients, project supervisors, and construction professionals.
Technicians must gather data from clients to ensure the designs they produce align with the desired requirements, standards, and policies.
They must contribute ideas and recommendations to lead architects and designers, and help with tasks like materials selection and system research.
Architectural drafters are often called upon to conduct site visits and checks, and will work closely with builders throughout projects, adapting designs as needed.
Bringing a construction project to life takes a team effort—so job candidates can expect to see excellent written, verbal, and project coordination skills as top requirements for design positions at all levels.
Job Outlook for Architectural CAD Technicians in Ontario
The latest data released by the Government of Canada Job Bank forecasts steady demand for architectural CAD technicians in Ontario.
New jobs for architectural drafters are expected to come from growth in both the residential and commercial construction sectors.
Investments in building projects for hospitals, transit systems, and educational institutions will provide steady demand for architectural CAD technicians—and in some areas, population growth will drive jobs in housing development.
Architectural drafting grads in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can expect to benefit most from residential construction booms, as population in the region continues to soar.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the population of the GTA is projected to grow a whopping 42.9% (up to 9.5 million) between now and 2041.
Interested in Architectural CAD training?
Consider Herzing College's Building Design Technician diploma, available at the Toronto campus.
This program is 12 months, including an 8-week internship.
Students get a solid foundation in AutoCAD and Revit software, drafting skills, and building codes. Training includes preparation for the BCIN (Ontario building code) exam.
Click below to explore the program and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We're here to help!