Arch drafter intro


Hi all,

I'm inquiring about getting into a job as design drafter. So far I've signed up for a certificate in architecture at the local CC which offers the following courses:

1. Arch Drawing 1
2. Arch Rendering
3. Elementary Engineering Graphics
4. Arch Drawing 2
5. Arch Drawing 3
6. Intro to Comp Aided Arch Drawing

Are these courses good enough to learn basics? I will obviously improve and develop my skills on my own outside the classroom but I was wondering if so far this would be enough to at least land an internship or an entry level job?

My father in law owns a construction company and knows ppl in the game so in the end I'm not too terrified about landing a job but that's in Texas and I'm in CA at the moment, so I'm looking to get started here before I ask for work in Texas.

I just want to know from anyone in the know about this stuff. Thanks.

Jan 8, 14 5:41 pm
Non Sequitur

I see a number of "drawings" by the local CC tech graduates in my area. I have never received anything I did not have to re-do completely. Learning how to use the software is wicked simple so there is an abundance of people who claim to know how to draft. Your advantage would be a more "hands-on" opportunity for understanding construction given your family connection. It takes far more than a few CC courses to know how to detail a building.

Jan 8, 14 6:53 pm

I figured as much so that's why I thought I would use the knowledge in the courses to improve my skills on my own. 

The family connection is in Texas while I'm studying in CA. I would want to cut my teeth at an internship first before exploring my options with my FIL. 

Would these courses still aid in my search for an internship or entry level work? What else should I do to help my job search?

Jan 8, 14 7:09 pm

Is the certificate enough or should I go full on for the associates. I'm not getting any younger and need some practical skills to cut my teeth. 

Jan 8, 14 7:28 pm

Anyone else? 

Jan 8, 14 8:22 pm

I agree with non Sequitur the amount of detail that is expected is extensive. It is a very cool job though.

Jan 9, 14 12:59 pm

Would the courses at least give me the basics to construct a portfolio and apply to arch school? 

I plan on learning outside of the classroom and not relying fully on the coursework alone. Can it be done? What I mean is can someone learn a lot more on their own and improve skills beyond what I'm being taught? 

i appreciate all the advice guys! Thanks. Keep it coming. 

Jan 9, 14 1:04 pm

For your teacher at school yes.

For a real architectural practice or this forum 



Jan 9, 14 1:10 pm

I don't mind if you're harsh but at least explain why I have no chance in hell. I'm not too terrified of getting a job considering my family is already in the construction biz. I'm determined to make this work somehow. 

would it at least be enough as a base to apply to arch school?  So this isn't even enough to merit an internship? 

Jan 9, 14 2:42 pm

First, I never said that you don't have a chance in hell

I said that the course work that you are doing is not going to prepare for the assault that the job is going to put upon you.

Jan 9, 14 3:40 pm

I figured it wouldn't be exactly like going on the job which is why I'm going to utilize their hands on stuff, internships and what not. I intend to do a lot improve my skills outside of the classroom too. 

on another point, would the coursework in the very least prepare me for arch school? 

Jan 9, 14 4:21 pm

No, non of the courses listed above will be transferred, unless your taking an architecture history course.

architecture design classes have model making, architectonics and such, If you are determined you'll make it I was in your position not long ago and I'm still going to school and i work as an architectural draftsman/ architectural illustrator 40 hrs a week.

the classes will get your foot in the door to knowing what a floor plan is  and you need a materials and processes course so you can understand construction methods and terminology and good luck.

Jan 9, 14 4:34 pm

Thanks! I knew none of the courses would transfer, I was just wondering if they would allow me to construct a portfolio to apply to school. Are the courses basic and can form a foundation from which to create a decent portfolio? 

Jan 9, 14 7:26 pm
Non Sequitur

Manoverde, look into a building science program instead. You can pick up drafting software/technique overnight.  It takes no skill to draft on a PC but putting together a building takes patience which you may not learn quickly enough working on site.

Jan 9, 14 7:59 pm

Excellent advice. 

Im going to learn most of the stuff on my own but I was just wondering if these courses would allow me to learn design in order to at least construct a decent portfolio to gain entrance into an arch school. I know the classes won't transfer but are they at least helpful?

Jan 9, 14 8:33 pm

What courses at the CC level are the best to take in order to hit the ground running and constructing a good portfolio for arch school?

Jan 10, 14 12:11 pm

manoverde84, if you are determined to go to architecture school why not look at architecture school websites?  not sure where in CA you live but you should also visit architecture schools and talk to the students and faculty and learn directly from them what it takes to be admitted.  carefully investigate what students are doing in architecture school.  visit the websites of architects and see what skills they are looking for in new graduated students.  

also, do you want to become licensed?  what are your expectations and intentions for going to architecture school?  maybe a Construction Administration or Building Science degree is more appropriate.  it sounds like you'll be much more engaged in the actual construction and management aspect of architecture.  while having an architecture degree brings its own contributions to a contracting business such as your family's does it make sense for you to invest your time and money into becoming an architect?  architecture school is usually a 4-7 or even 8 year time commitment depending on the accreditation of your degree.  then there is IDP and the licensing exams.  not saying you have to go for licensure but that is part of the process.  

good luck with your education and career. 

Jan 10, 14 12:34 pm

Thanks for the advice and yes I am a bit more interested in the construction management side of things but just wanted a basic foundation of arch. That's why I wanted to get a certificate or associates in it. 

I still want to pursue the certificate just to have a knowledge of Auto Cad and arch drawing and rendering. Afterwards I may just pursue a construction management degree. But what's the difference between administration and management? 

Jan 10, 14 1:42 pm

i use admin./management interchangeably but i'm sure someone here could explain the difference.  and you don't really need to do a certificate program to become proficient in autocad.  you could do linda tutorials and youtube tutorials.  not to mention spend some time at your family's business and you'll pick that up quick.  furthermore, in my opinion you're better off investing more time into learning revit.  again; some people will highly disagree with me, but if you look at the job market revit is the way to go.  and contractors have been using it for a long time now.  

your list has 3 arch. dwg classes and 1 cad class.  what does that mean?  again; people will disagree with me but if you're going to take 3 classes in how to hand draft with a parallel ruler and triangles it's a total waste of time.  likewise, i've seen what people draft in CC classes, mostly very simple ranch houses or a brick clad rectangle that represents an office building.  not very useful at all.  

i would just take a drawing class to improve your ability to quickly communicate an idea graphically and maybe that cad class.  the cad class mainly because i like to be able to ask questions and learn from other people in a classroom setting.  but if you're going into construction i'd take classes that are relevant to that, none of the above that you listed really seem to fit that.

check this curriculum out for construction management vs architecture design curriculum

big difference.  i'd pick your classes based on what you see in these programs.

good luck.

Jan 10, 14 2:07 pm

So you don't learn revitt in any of the arch drawing or rendering courses? 

Jan 10, 14 2:57 pm

nope.  i learned revit in my comprehensive design studio course and on my own with my classmates.  rendering courses focused on free hand drawing/sketching from life (not photos), 3d modeling with rhino, 3ds max, vray, adobe creative suite.  and lastly, no sketchup; though companies like it because it's cheap for a pro license and the older staff who don't know how to use computers can do it.    

Jan 10, 14 3:07 pm

So there is a difference between the arch drawing tech courses and actual arch design courses? There is another CC a bit further away from me, East LA College that has a huge arch dept and offers all that. I see that they list the arch drawing and arch design courses as seperate. 

Jan 10, 14 4:09 pm

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