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Drafting Technician

Drafting technicians prepare engineering and architectural drawings, plans, diagrams and layouts. They may work independently as part of a multidisciplinary team or support the work of technologists, engineers, architects and other professionals.

  • Avg. Salary $69,520.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.03
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 5,500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

CAD Technician/Technologist, Engineering Design and Drafting Technician, Structural Engineering Technician/Technologist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Drafting Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Drafting Technicians
NOC code: 2253.2

Interest in compiling data on dimensions, locations, elevations, cross-sections, projections and other details to verify completeness and accuracy of final drawings


Interest in assisting technologists and engineers to prepare engineering drawings, diagrams and layouts


Interest in precision working to operate computer-assisted drafting equipment and conventional drafting stations, and to use measuring instruments

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 19, 2016

Drafting technicians use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) applications, scientific calculators and traditional manual drafting techniques to prepare:

  • engineering plans
  • architectural plans
  • flow diagrams and schematics
  • layouts
  • specifications
  • maps
  • detailed working drawings.

They also may be involved in related activities such as:

  • estimating project materials and costs
  • administering construction contracts
  • preparing and interpreting specifications
  • piping design - drawing piping and equipment layout and details.

Drafting technicians may work for companies that specialize in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • aerospace engineering - drawing aerospace vehicles and systems
  • architecture - drawing commercial and residential buildings
  • civil engineering - preparing drawings and maps for highways, pipelines, sewage systems and other construction projects
  • electrical engineering - preparing circuit board, wiring and layout diagrams
  • geomatics engineering - drawing plans for well sites, pipelines and real property reports
  • mechanical engineering - drawing machinery and mechanical devices
  • urban, regional or park planning - drawing plans for urban or rural communities or parks.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Drafting technicians usually work standard weekday hours in an office environment. They spend a considerable amount of time working with computers.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Drafting technicians need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to pay close attention to detail and be precise and accurate
  • good eye-hand co-ordination and manual dexterity
  • the ability to visualize three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional drawings and visualize the relationships between parts in machinery and systems
  • the ability to communicate design ideas and solutions clearly and concisely orally and in writing
  • aptitude for mathematics and physics
  • good problem solving abilities including clarity in calculations and documentation.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work, analyzing data and finding innovative solutions to problems, and working with equipment and instruments at tasks that require precision.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

The minimum educational requirement is a year of related post-secondary education or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Evergreen College - Calgary

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Certified Technician

Under general supervision, certified technicians undertake the routine application of industry recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices. They use established engineering, geoscience or applied science principles and methods of problem solving. Duties may typically include testing, troubleshooting, inspecting, calibrating, drafting, maintaining, modelling, compiling, estimating, surveying, ensuring quality control, supervising in the field and working in sales.


Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and ASET Regulation (PDF), you must be a registered member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the title Certified Technician (C.Tech.). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Technician.

What You Need

Registration requires:

  • graduation from an applied science, information technology or engineering technology program
  • at least 2 years of acceptable technical experience
  • 3 professional references
  • submission of a competency report, demonstrating at least 3 C.Tech. competencies
  • successful completion of ASET's Professional Practice Exam
  • demonstration of proficiency in English.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Technicians who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified technicians in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization above.

To learn about the certification process for internationally educated technicians, see Mechanical Engineering Technician Certification Process (PDF) on

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Drafting technicians are employed by:

  • engineering consulting firms
  • land survey or geomatic companies
  • private machine design firms
  • architectural firms
  • municipal, provincial and federal government departments
  • building fabricators and other manufacturing and assembly companies
  • companies in the petrochemical, food processing, pulp and paper and energy industries
  • electronic manufacturing companies.

Drafting technicians do the same types of work as architectural technologists and engineering design and drafting technologists. However, they work under supervision and require several years of experience before they may assume the same level of responsibility as technologists.

Drafting technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2253: Drafting technologists and technicians. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 9,300 Albertans are employed in the Drafting technologists and technicians occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 140 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As drafting technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for drafting technicians.  

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

For more information see ASET's annual salary survey.

Drafting technologists and technicians
NOC code: 2253

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $43.00 $25.28 $24.04
Overall $24.00 $52.28 $34.03 $32.00
Top $26.44 $78.18 $45.84 $45.67

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


2015 Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta - ASET website:

Construction Sector Council website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Dec 17, 2012. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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