California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Architectural and Civil Drafters in Ventura County

May also be called: Architectural Drafters; Civil Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technicians; Civil Drafters; Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) Technicians; CAD Technicians; CAD Operators; Drafting Technicians; Drafting Technologists; Draftsmen; Draftspersons

What Would I Do?

Architectural and Civil Drafters make detailed drawings of a variety of constructions including buildings, highways, bridges, landscapes, and public works.

Drafters use knowledge of building materials, engineering practices, and mathematics to complete drawings. These workers generally use computer-aided drafting (CAD) or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to draw plans for various projects. Sometimes, though, traditional drafting tools are the best implements for the job.

Most Drafters work a standard 40-hour week; a smaller number work part-time. Sometimes, though, they will work longer hours or on weekends or holidays to complete rush jobs. Drafters usually work in comfortable offices furnished with fast computers, appropriate software, and other equipment needed to do the job. Sometimes, though, they may visit a job site to take measurements and to better understand the unique conditions that may cause alterations in a design.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The occupation of Architectural and Civil Drafters will appeal to those who like activities involving practical, hands-on problems and solutions.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for Architectural and Civil Drafters in California was $63,289 annually, or $30.43 hourly. The median wage for Architectural and Civil Drafters in Ventura County was $54,474 annually, or $26.19 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Ventura County$44,974$54,474$63,963
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits offered by employers vary, with large employers generally offering a more comprehensive benefit package. These often include sick leave, vacation, health insurance, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment should decline slightly in this occupation over the forecast period. However, the need to replace those retiring or otherwise leaving the occupation will mean that job opportunities for Drafters are good.

Drafters are beginning to do work traditionally performed by engineers and architects, thus slowing job losses for these workers. Opportunities should be best for individuals with experience with CAD/CADD systems.

How Do I Qualify?

Employers prefer applicants who have completed training in drafting offered by technical institutes, community colleges, and some four-year colleges. Employers are most interested in applicants with well-developed drafting and mechanical drawing skills; knowledge of drafting standards, mathematics, science, and engineering technology; and a solid background in CAD/CADD techniques. In addition, communication and problem-solving skills are important.

Employers sometimes seek applicants with experience in a particular brand of design software. In addition, many employers strongly prefer experience in architectural drafting, rather than other types of drafting.

Finding a Job

Direct contact with employers is one of the best ways to locate a job in this field. Colleges or technical schools may offer career placement services. Those already working in the industry may recommend an interested candidate for jobs. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet provide additional sources for job listings.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

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