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Working as a Drafting Technologist / Technician [NOC 2253]

Job Description

Working as a Drafting technologist you perform the following duties:

  • Develop and prepare engineering designs and drawings
  • Operate computer-assisted design (CAD) and drafting workstations
  • Complete documentation packages and produce drawing sets
  • Check and verify design drawings to conform to specifications and design data
  • Write technical reports
  • Prepare contracts and tender documents
  • Prepare construction specifications, costs, and material estimates
  • Supervise and train other technologists, technicians, and drafters.

Working as a Drafting technician you perform the following duties:

  • Develop and prepare engineering drawings, plans, diagrams, or layouts
  • Operate computer-assisted drafting (CAD)or a conventional drafting station

From: NOC,2253

Industry Overview

In British Columbia, opportunities for drafting technologists and technicians will continue to increase through 2020.

In BC, the majority (70%) of drafting technologists and technicians work in the Lower Mainland.

Source: Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC)

Job Outlook in BC

job outlook for drafting technologists and technicians

Chart from WorkBC

The BC Regional Employment Projections, 2010-2015, provides job openings projections for drafting technologists and technicians (NOC 2253) within BC regions:

Region 2010
Estimated Employment
Estimated Employment
Avg Annual % Change, 5 Years, 2010-2015
Vancouver Island 670 690 0.6%
Lower Mainland /Southwest 3,190 3,640 2.8%
Thompson-Okanagan 480 470 -0.1%
Kootenay 80 110 5.6%
Cariboo 110 100 -0.6%
North Coast & Nechako 80 70 0.7%
Northeast 60 60 -1.1%

Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions. [accessed October 2014]

You can learn more about drafting technologists/technicians in BC from

Types of Employers

Drafting technologists and technicians are employed by architect firms, engineer firms, consulting and construction, utility, resource, and manufacturing companies, all levels of government, and by a wide range of other establishments.


In BC, the average annual salary for drafting technologists and technicians is between $44,000 and $53,000. Drafters in senior and management positions can earn over $75,000 a year.

In addition to a salary, drafters employed on a full-time usually receive benefits such as health and dental coverage, paid vacations, and paid sick days. Some may also receive contributions to retirement income plans.

Sources: WorkBC & Career Cruising

Across BC, drafting technologists and technicians can expect to make:

drafting technologist technician regional wage

Source: Job Bank Canada

Working Hours

Drafting technologists and technicians typically work regular hours, 7 or 8 hours a day, five days a week. However, you may be required to work longer hours  to meet project deadlines.

Skills, Education and Experience


  • Mechanically inclined
  • Able to visualize three-dimensional objects
  • Artistic, Creative
  • Knowledge of manufacturing or construction
  • Works well in a team environment
  • Oral communication and written skills

Source: Career Cruising

Education and Experience

Drafting technologists

  • Completion of a 1 to 2 year college program in drafting
  • Completion of a 2 to 3 year college program in engineering design and drafting technology or in a related field is usually required for drafting and design technologists
  • Completion of a 3 to 4 year apprenticeship program

Drafting technicians

  • Completion of a 1 to 2 year college program in drafting
  • Completion of a 3 to 4 year apprenticeship program in drafting. Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training and experience with in-class instruction
  • Completion of 4 to 5 years of related experience plus completion of college or industry courses in drafting are usually required for drafting technicians.


The profession is not regulated in British Columbia.

Certification with the provincial technology association is voluntary and not mandatory in order to gain employment. However, it is illegal to use specific professional designations without being certified. In British Columbia certification is carried out by the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) in accordance with national standards set by the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT). Professional designations granted under the ASTT Act include Applied Science Technologist (AScT) and Certified Technician (CTech).

AScT and CTech certification requirements include academic qualifications either as a technologist (diploma) or a technician (certificate) from a recognized The applicant also requires a minimum of 2 years of related work experience, with at least 1 year at the level of certification. In addition, one year of the work experience must be in Canada.

For more information see: ASTTBC

Internationally Trained Drafting Technologists and Technicians

Internationally trained professionals may qualify for provisional membership through Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), provided that your foreign academics and experience are acceptable.

For information on the certification process for internationally trained technologists and technicians:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

  • Indeed
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards

 Professional Associations’ Career Resources

  • CTEN – Canadian Technical Employment Network
    Online job posting and applicant screening service that brings together skilled technicians and technologists and prospective employers.
    Registration is required to access this site. Registration is free to members of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia or other provincial technology associations.

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For drafting technologists/technicians, look for these related job titles (from NOC code 2253):

  • architectural draftsperson
  • computer-assisted drafting (CAD) technician / technologists
  • design and drafting technologist
  • draftsperson
  • electrical / electronic draftsperson
  • engineering design and drafting technologist
  • supervisor, drafting office

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “drafting services” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following pathfinders:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for drafting technologists and technicians in BC and Canada provide assistance to individuals. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library:

  • Contact
    Available at the Central Library, 380 Bu9cBg
  • Journal of Commerce (Western Canada’s construction newspaper)
    Also available at Central Library, 338.47 J86Bu