Architect Vs. Draftsman: What Are The Differences?

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An architect designs and plans construction components while a draftsman converts ideas into detailed technical drawings, sketches and blueprints for machines and buildings. Becoming an architect and a draftsman may be a fulfilling career choice for professionals who enjoy being creative and have excellent designing skills. If you have an interest in becoming an architect or draftsman, understanding the difference between these two roles can help you make an informed decision. In this article, we discuss what an architect and draftsman are, understand architect vs. draftsman key differences and explore how their design approach, education and work environment differ.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.


Architect Vs. Draftsman: Definition

It is essential to compare architect vs. draftsman to know how these job roles differ. These professionals differ in many ways, including:

What is an architect?

An architect is a professional who designs and supervises a building design, including residential, commercial, housing, libraries, bridges and hospitals. These professionals prepare the design and drawings of architectural structures and get approval from project stakeholders. Architects create buildings that help meet the space goals while complying with the safety codes and regulations. These professionals see the design from initiation to the completion phase while ensuring that buildings are safe to use. Some common job responsibilities of these professionals are:

  • Develop construction plans, schematics and drawings

  • Use technical knowledge to create the design of a building concept based on the client's requirement

  • Manage architectural projects from concept to completion phase

  • Adjust designs and plans to meet the client's requirement

  • Comply with safety standards and local building regulations

  • Create project estimates

  • Visit the construction site to oversee the progress and recommend design changes

  • Maintain and organise permission paperwork

  • Alter current plans and elevations to meet the client's demand

Related: How To Become An Architect (Career Steps And FAQs)

What is a draftsman?

A draftsman is a professional who creates technical drawings for different objects, structures and machines. These professionals work in various fields and work closely with scientists, engineers and architects. They provide technical guidelines for different aspects of manufacturing, construction, including blueprints, schematics, workflow designs and building dimensions. Their job involves creating complex designs. They use software to simplify the design process. Some typical job responsibilities of a draftsman are:

  • Use CAD software to create 2D and 3D models for architectures, engineers and designers

  • Survey construction sites and measure them

  • Suggest material for construction

  • Provide technical advice on structural load and building dimensions

  • Produce technical manuals for maintenance and repair requirements

  • Ensure final designs comply with building regulations

  • Perform calculations for material and structural load limitations

  • Calculate estimates of construction equipment, material and other project resources

  • Ensure projects meet company policies and government regulations

  • Create charts and layouts to show the workplace plan for a construction project

  • Improve the functionality of an existing building or design structure

  • Archive previously used building schematics to use and reference in the future

Related: What Does A Draftsman Do? (With Skills And Salary)

Architect Vs. Draftsman: Key Differences

Here are some key differences between an architect and a draftsman:

Educational qualification

An architect is a speciality role requiring a unique skill set and education. These professionals require a bachelor's in architecture (B.Arch) that takes five years to complete. During the completion of the courses, these candidates can study courses in design principles, math, engineering and principles. Draftsman does not require a bachelor's degree.

After completing their 10+2, these professionals can pursue a two-year diploma in mechanical or civil engineering or computer-aided drafting and design. Though many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in engineering and related areas, it is not necessary. Also, drafters who do not pursue these courses can complete technical classes and gain expertise through training and internships.

Related: How To Write An Architect Resume (With Template And Example)

Certifications

Earning a professional certification helps a draftsman gain mastery over geometric and drafting principles. A widely used certification course is the Draughtsman Civil ITI course, a two-year certification course. Certifications help a draftsman learn the step to prepare a blueprint of the architectural structure. Some certifications an architect can complete includes Certificate Course in Architectural Design and Certified Course in Interior Designing and Decoration.

Related: What Are Professional Certificates? (With 10 Certificates)

License

To work as an architect, a candidate requires a license after completing their B.Arch degree. These professionals register with the Council of Architecture (COA), fill out the required form and submit the documents to become a licensed professional. Before applying, search for the eligibility criteria because it requires a professional to complete one year of internship as a part of the five-year B.Arch degree. A draftsman does not require a license to operate and perform their job duties.

Salary

The national average salary of an architect is ₹23,312 per month and the national average salary of a draftsman is ₹16,730 per month. Their salary depends upon the industry in which they work, their employer, experience, educational qualification and location. Usually, some cities pay a higher salary than others. For instance, the average salary of an architect in Hyderabad is ₹93,871 per month, while the average salary in Noida is ₹68,146 per month.

Also, the average salary of a draftsman in Chennai is ₹18,543 per month, whereas the average salary in Mumbai is ₹17,575 per month. Interestingly, the salary of a draftsman depends on their specialisation and industry. For instance, the national average salary of a mechanical drafter is ₹13,105 per month and the national average salary of a CAD drafter is ₹15,728 per month.

Related: 9 Different Types Of Interior Design Jobs With Salary Info

Design approach

A draftsman works with an architect, but they both use different approaches. A draftsman works with CAD software to create technical drawings that an architect can use. An architect focuses more on the aesthetic and creative side of a project. A draftsman focuses on creating drawings based on an architect's initial design. So, a draftsman work under the supervision of an architect. In short, a draftsman considers the technical aspect of a project, whereas an architect focuses on the artistic side.

Work environment

Architects work in a personal office at home or in a commercial place. These professionals work with various tools, such as geometric measuring devices and drafting tables to get precise design calculations. This helps in accomplishing workplace goals. A part of their workday involves commuting to job sites to oversee the project's progress and make necessary alterations.

Unlike an architect, a draftsman works only indoors and occasionally outdoors to take measurements of utility systems and buildings. They spend most of their time on computers and might rarely visit a site to collaborate with engineers and architects. Both these professionals work in a nine-to-five job.

Types of drafters and architects

If you want to become a draftsman or architect, you can specialise in different areas. Here is a list of some industry-specific drafters and the types of work they perform:

  • Architectural draftsman: Professionals in this field create schematics and architectural construction documents and drawings for their projects. They incorporate building codes and measurements to create 3D design models.

  • Aeronautical draftsman: They create technical drawings to produce and create aeronautical related products like aeroplanes and mechanical projectiles.

  • Electrical CAD draftsman: These professionals prepare and draw technical drawings of different wiring systems. They work on projects related to power generation and transmission.

  • Civil engineering draftsman: They prepare maps and drawings used in civil engineering projects, such as piping systems, bridges, underpasses and highways.

  • Mechanical draftsman: These professionals are responsible for creating technical drawings related to robotics, machinery and other devices used in the manufacturing industry. They use CAD software to create these designs.

Here is a list of some industry-specific architects and the types of work they perform:

  • Residential architect: These professionals cover the spatial and functional requirements to design, plans, elevations and layouts. They develop stylish and functional dwellings for homeowners.

  • Commercial architect: They specialise in designing building projects, such as office towers, hotels, public buildings, government centres and other non-residential properties.

  • Sustainable architect: A sustainable architect focuses on creating environment friendly and energy-efficient buildings. Using various green building methods, they create innovative building features.

  • Urban designer: These architects help in city planning and focus on designing an entire area rather than a single building. They decide where the city can plan its commercial shops, residential buildings, bridges and other infrastructure.

Related:

  • Project Architect Vs. Project Manager: Find The Difference

  • How To Write An Architect Resume (With Template And Example)

  • How To Write An Architect Resume Objective In 7 Steps


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