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Drafting Technician

Drafting technicians support the work of technologists, engineers, architects and other professionals. They prepare engineering and architectural drawings, plans, diagrams and layouts. They always work as part of a team and may be the only technician on the team.

  • Avg. Salary $72,157.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.72
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 8,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Drafting Technicians (2253.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Drafting Technologists and Technicians (C153) 
  • 2011 NOC: Drafting technologists and technicians (2253) 
  • 2016 NOC: Drafting technologists and technicians (2253) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

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

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 Mar 31, 2018

Drafting technicians use CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) software and scientific calculators. They also do manual (traditional) drafting. They prepare:

  • engineering plans
  • architectural plans
  • flow diagrams and schematics
  • layouts
  • specifications
  • maps
  • detailed working drawings
  • presentation drawings, renderings, and graphics.

The plans they create can be for many disciplines. Engineering plans can be for structural, mechanical, electrical, and process piping. Architectural plans can be for residential, industrial, institutional, commercial, and interior design.

Drafting technicians may also be involved in related activities, such as:

  • estimating project costs
  • overseeing construction contracts
  • preparing and interpreting specifications.

Drafting technicians may work for companies that specialize in:

  • aerospace engineering (drawing aerospace vehicles and systems)
  • architecture (drawing commercial, industrial, institutional or residential buildings)
  • civil engineering (preparing structural drawings for buildings, 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 Mar 31, 2018

Drafting technicians often work standard weekday hours in an open office setup. They spend a lot of time working with computers. They may work outside of standard hours to meet project deadlines. They may also need to visit construction sites.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Drafting technicians need to possess:

  • attention to detail
  • precision and accuracy
  • hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills
  • the ability to see objects in 3 dimensions when looking at drawings
  • the ability to see how parts in machinery and systems fit together
  • speaking and writing skills
  • an aptitude for math
  • the ability to solve problems (including clarity in calculations and documentation)
  • a logical yet creative mind.

They should enjoy:

  • taking a step-by-step approach to their work
  • studying data
  • finding creative solutions
  • working with equipment and instruments on precision tasks.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Many employers require a year of related post-secondary education. They may accept an equivalent combination of education and experience. Some programs can be completed in 6 to 8 weeks.

Related Education

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

Bay River College

Bow Valley College

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Certified Technician

A Certified Technician (C.Tech.) is an applied science, information or engineering technology professional who performs routine technical procedures with occasional direct supervision. They also may assume limited responsibility for decision-making processes.


Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and ASET Regulation [pdf], you must register as a 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 or demonstration of academic equivalency
  • At least 2 years of acceptable technical experience within the last 5 years of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • Completion of a competency report
  • Successful completion of ASET’s Professional Practice Exam

Other requirements may include:

  • Demonstration of proficiency in English
  • Working or seeking work in Alberta or the Northwest Territories
  • Proof of legal entitlement to work in Canada

For detailed official information about registration requirements, contact ASET.

Working in Alberta

Certified Technicians who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory body in another province may transfer to Alberta if the two jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies. To do this, they must complete a transfer form and pay the associated fee. For detailed information about transfer requirements, see ASET. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada?

To learn about the certification process for internationally educated certified technicians, see Mechanical Engineering Technician Certification Process.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C6

Call: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Drafting technicians work for:

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

Drafting technicians’ work is similar to that of architectural technologists or engineering design and drafting technologists. However, their work is always supervised. They must work for several years before they can take on as much 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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 2253: Drafting technologists and technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 136 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Drafting technologists and technicians

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 $39.00 $26.75 $25.00
Overall $24.04 $54.96 $35.72 $36.06
Top $28.72 $90.00 $48.64 $48.00

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
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) website:

BuildForce Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. 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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