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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.

Also Known As

CAD Technician, Engineering Technician, Structural Detailer

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

  • 2253.2: Drafting Technicians

2006 NOC-S

  • C153: Drafting Technologists and Technicians

2011 NOC

  • 2253: Drafting technologists and technicians

2016 NOC

  • 2253: Drafting technologists and technicians

2021 NOC

  • 22212: Drafting technologists and technicians

2023 OaSIS

  • 22212.02: Drafting technicians
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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

  • Engineering plans
  • Architectural plans
  • Flow diagrams and schematics
  • Layouts
  • 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, infrastructure, and process piping. Architectural and interior design plans can be for residential, industrial, institutional, and commercial buildings.

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

  • Estimating project costs
  • Preparing shop drawings and submittals
  • Overseeing construction projects
  • 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)
  • Manufacturing (preparing shop drawings and submittals for construction fabrications)
  • Mechanical engineering (drawing machinery and mechanical devices)
  • Urban, regional, or park planning (drawing plans for urban or rural communities or parks)
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Drafting Technicians

2006 NOC: 2253.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Drafting technicians need:

  • Attention to detail
  • Precision and accuracy
  • Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
  • The ability to visualize objects in 3D from 2D drawings
  • The ability to see how parts in machinery and systems fit together
  • Speaking and writing skills
  • An aptitude for math
  • Problem-solving skills (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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Drafting technologists and technicians

2016 NOC: 2253

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 121 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Dec 01, 2023 and May 24, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Develop and prepare design sketches
Tasks: Prepare engineering designs and drawings
Tasks: Complete documentation packages and drawing sets
Tasks: Examine drawings for conformity and errors
Attention to detail
Tasks: Prepare construction specifications, costs and material estimates
Construction Specialization: Organized
Tasks: Write specifications
Tasks: Write technical reports
Construction Specialization: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

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.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Certified Technician

A Certified Technician (C.Tech.) is an applied science, information technology, or engineering technology professional. They perform 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 with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the protected title Certified Technician (C.Tech.).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself a Certified Technician.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Certified Technician.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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 like that of architectural technologists or engineering design technologists. However, their work is always supervised. They must work for several years and upgrade their education before they can take on as much responsibility as technologists.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2253: Drafting technologists and technicians occupational group, 77.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2253: Drafting technologists and technicians occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 134 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 08, 2022

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Drafting technologists and technicians

2016 NOC: 2253
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2253 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.00 $40.00 $26.66 $25.00
Overall $24.11 $47.19 $35.88 $35.62
Top $28.50 $65.20 $45.81 $43.96

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

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 Apr 08, 2022

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, 2022. 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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