Engineering draughtsperson
Technical Specialists

Engineering draughtspeople produce detailed drawings and instructions for making a wide range of engineering products. They usually use computer-aided design (CAD) technology.

Work Activities

Engineering draughtspeople produce detailed drawings and instructions for making a wide range of engineering products, such as electronic, electrical or mechanical products.

There are two main types of draughtsperson: design and detail.

Design draughtspeople calculate the number, size and weight of parts. They check the design's safety, and come up with the most cost-effective manufacturing methods and materials. Next, they produce a 'scheme' or general outline scale drawing.

Design draughtspeople need to be familiar with the methods and production processes used on the shop floor, in order to produce a realistic drawing. During all stages of the design process, they consult with production managers and supervisors to see whether their suggestions are workable.

Detail draughtspeople produce the final accurate drawings for use by production workers. They use computer-aided design (CAD) technology in their work.

They break the scheme down into a series of drawings for each stage of production. They must produce drawings that are detailed, yet clear and easy for the production workers to understand.

To help them do this, they need a thorough knowledge of the machinery used on the shop floor. They need to understand what each machine is capable of, and the skill level of the shop floor workers.

Both design and detail draughtspeople use mathematical calculations and formulae in their work, and need to be comfortable working with calculators and computers. They may also have to do some basic admin tasks like making and updating parts lists.

Personal Qualities and Skills

  • To be capable of working accurately and carefully.
  • To pay great attention to detail.
  • To be able to concentrate for long periods.
  • Computer skills, for using computer-aided design (CAD) technology.
  • Technical drawing skills. Although used less often these days, they are useful for updating old drawings.
  • To be a good communicator.
  • To be able to liaise with supervisors and shop floor workers, listen to their points of view, and produce final drawings and instructions that are easily understood by craftworkers and operatives.

Your colour vision may be tested, for example, if you need to colour-code wires and parts on the plans.

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of engineering draughtpersons

Employers include manufacturers of electrical/electronic products, and firms in service industries and manufacturing and processing industries.

Other employers are electricity generation and distribution companies, and national and local government departments, for example, the Ministry of Defence, research establishments and the armed forces.

Opportunities for engineering draughtspeople occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Qualifications

There are no formal entry requirements for this career. However, many employers or training providers prefer applicants to have at least 4 GCSEs or National 4/5s (or equivalent), including English, Maths and a science, technology or engineering subject.

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