Is taking a draftsman position at a larger company a step down?


Hi all, I graduated in 2018 and worked at a local architecture firm for a year and a half as a Junior Architect. It was a small 4 people firm that mainly did residential architecture. I liked it a lot but I think its time for me to move on to gain more experience.

With that said I have been applying and was offered the chance to interview with a much larger company in NYC probably like a 100 person firm. But the position is for a Draftsman, would this look like a step down if my career if I took that position? I know any experience is good experience, I guess im wondering if that would be an acceptable position for someone with 1.5 full time experience.


Oct 24, 19 12:22 pm
Non Sequitur

You have less than 2y experience... very few gigs can be considered a step down at this stage of your career... but it'll depend on how they define draftsman.  Gaining experience in drawing production is always a good thing because tho.  Just don't stay there too long if you don't see the opportunity to raise to PA after a few years.  Something to ask.  

Oct 24, 19 12:28 pm

Drafters can be everything from someone absolutely entry-level to someone with 30+ years of experience, so that title doesn't inherently connote anything at all about seniority, though it does suggest someone unlicensed and not in a manager role. 

Almost anything with "junior" in it suggests a relatively entry-level role.  When I see "junior"-anything on a resume I assume less than 5 years of experience.  (The one exception would be "junior partner", which in some corporate structures just means a partner with a lower % of ownership than others, or a partner who has fewer certain privileges or responsibilities per the corporation's agreement.)

And anyway, the first firm probably shouldn't be calling anyone "junior architect" as most states' statutes prohibit use of "architect" in any title for an unlicensed person, and the firm's insurance company would probably disallow it too because of potential misconstruing of the employee's credentials, supervision, and levels of responsibility.

Oct 24, 19 1:31 pm

Heh, at this early stage, titles are meaningless. I've seen employees with titles (regardless of junior, intermediate or senior) ranging from "designers" to "architects" that essentially draft and produce drawings and are essentially part of the production team in addition to the management of the project. Heck even some Senior Architects are involved with the production and management of drawing sets who periodically dabble inside Revit. It really depends on the actual job tasks that you're going to be responsible for.

Oct 24, 19 6:29 pm

I'll very well take up a BIM Modeler Job over any Underpaid Architectural Designers Job. 

We all are not going to Architects, even if we all are, someone has to make that blob concept 'buildable'

Nov 13, 19 5:09 am

At a large corporate office the culture will be the exact opposite of what you’ve experienced so far, and rather being part of a team you will likely be a disposable cog pigeonholed into redlines. 

At the very least you should inquire about what you would be doing and opportunities for learning and growth.

Draftsmen are vital to architecture but only if they know how a building goes together. With two years res the corporate firm isn’t interviewing you for that.

Nov 13, 19 9:30 am

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