Best paying jobs for Drafting and Design Technology/Technician

Overall competition for jobs is expected to be strong.Specifically, architectural and civil drafters may experience more competition for jobs than mechanical or electrical drafters because of the relatively high number of students graduating in those drafting specialties. Typically, the number of graduates in architectural and civil programs greatly exceeds the number of available positions.Demand for particular drafting specialties varies across the country because jobs depend on the needs of local industries. Job prospects for mechanical drafters should be best in large manufacturing hubs.Because many drafting jobs are in construction and manufacturing, job opportunities for drafters will be sensitive to fluctuations in the overall economy.Candidates proficient in CAD and BIM are likely to have better job opportunities.
Job Title 2016 median Pay Education Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
Architectural and Engineering Managers $134,730 Bachelor's degree 180,100 Employment of architectural and engineering managers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will largely reflect the growth of the industries in which these managers are employed. Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies.
Software Developers, Applications $102,280 Bachelor's degree 1,256,200 Employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
Software Developers, Systems Software $102,280 Bachelor's degree 1,256,200 Employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
Industrial Production Managers $97,140 Bachelor's degree 170,600 Employment of industrial production managers is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. Most of these managers are employed in various manufacturing industries, and may experience growth or decline along with the industries in which they are employed. Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.
Construction Managers $89,300 Bachelor's degree 403,800 Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Construction managers are expected to be needed to oversee the anticipated increase in construction activity over the coming decade. Those with a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering, coupled with construction experience, will have the best job prospects. Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.
Industrial Engineers $84,310 Bachelor's degree 257,900 Employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Firms in a variety of industries will continue to seek new ways to contain costs and improve efficiency. Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
Computer Programmers $79,840 Bachelor's degree 294,900 Employment of computer programmers is projected to decline 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. Computer programming can be done from anywhere in the world, so companies sometimes hire programmers in countries where wages are lower. Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.
Nuclear Technicians $79,140 Associate's degree 6,900 Employment of nuclear technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. Although technicians will be needed to help maintain and upgrade existing nuclear power plants, traditional forms of power generation will likely come under increasing pressure from alternative forms of energy. Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production. They operate special equipment and monitor the levels of radiation that are produced.
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary $75,430 1,314,400 Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Enrollment at postsecondary institutions is expected to continue to rise. The majority of employment growth is likely to be in part-time positions. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They may also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians $68,020 Associate's degree 12,100 Employment of aerospace engineering and operations technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many workers in this occupation work on projects that are related to national defense and therefore require security clearances. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians operate and maintain equipment used in developing, testing, producing, and sustaining new aircraft and spacecraft. Increasingly, these workers are using computer-based modeling and simulation tools and processes in their work, as well as advanced automation and robotics.
Commercial and Industrial Designers $67,790 Bachelor's degree 39,700 Employment of industrial designers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Consumer demand for new products and new product styles should sustain the demand for industrial designers. Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and usability of products when developing new product concepts.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists $66,820 101,800 Overall employment of occupational health and safety specialists and technicians is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Specialists and technicians will be needed in a wide variety of industries to ensure that employers adhere to both existing and new regulations. Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians collect data on and analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. Technicians work with specialists in conducting tests and measuring hazards to help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment, and the general public.
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists $62,750 Bachelor's degree 12,600 Employment of cartographers and photogrammetrists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects are likely to be excellent due to the increasing use of maps in government planning. Cartographers and photogrammetrists collect, measure, and interpret geographic information in order to create and update maps and charts for regional planning, education, emergency response, and other purposes.
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians $62,190 Associate's degree 137,000 Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment of these technicians is projected to decline in many manufacturing industries and in the federal government. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, and use measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.
Cost Estimators $61,790 Bachelor's degree 217,900 Employment of cost estimators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Overall job opportunities should be good because companies require accurate cost estimates in order to operate profitably. Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.
Surveyors $59,390 Bachelor's degree 44,800 Employment of surveyors is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Surveyors will continue to be needed to certify boundary lines, work on resource extraction projects, and review sites for construction. Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. They provide data relevant to the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, and construction projects.
Geological and Petroleum Technicians $56,470 Associate's degree 15,000 Employment of geological and petroleum technicians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for natural gas is expected to increase demand for geological exploration and extraction in the future. Geological and petroleum technicians provide support to scientists and engineers in exploring and extracting natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and natural gas.
Electro-Mechanical Technicians $55,610 Associate's degree 13,800 Employment of electro-mechanical technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Electro-mechanical technicians are generalists in technology, and their broad skill set will help sustain demand for their services. Electro-mechanical technicians combine knowledge of mechanical technology with knowledge of electrical and electronic circuits. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.
Mechanical Engineering Technicians $54,480 Associate's degree 46,100 Employment of mechanical engineering technicians is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. There should be opportunities for those who can master new software and technology in addition to traditional manual skills. Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines. They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report their findings.
Drafters, All Other $53,480 Associate's degree 207,700 Employment of drafters is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increased construction activity is projected to drive demand for drafters, but this is expected to be tempered as engineers and architects increasingly perform some tasks previously done by drafters. Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings. Most workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.