Drafters work with architects, engineers, designers, and technicians as part of construction, manufacturing, and engineering teams. By earning your degree in drafting at Lane Community College, you’ll be ready to enter the workforce and start your career.
Are you detail-oriented, and like thinking about how things work? Do you enjoy visualizing things? Through Lane’s drafting program, you’ll develop your ability to work collaboratively as a design paraprofessional, where you’ll be the connecting link between design professionals, like engineers and architects, and makers, such as machinists, welders, contractors, and construction workers. You’ll use a variety of software platforms and you’ll build skills in problem-solving, analysis, technical graphics, and basic design.
When you’re ready to get started, just apply! Our Admissions office staff will guide you through the steps to enroll to get you started right. You can also contact Admissions with any questions you have about the college, to schedule a tour of the campus, or just to say hello. If you’re not ready to apply today, you can request more information on the program and we’ll get in touch to make a plan that works for you.
View the Drafting Course Prerequisite Chart
Your classes will include both theory courses, where you’ll learn background knowledge and improve your understanding of drafting practices, and practical courses, where you’ll put that knowledge to work, creating drawings and 3D models using computer software. You’ll learn:
- To use computer programs including AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Revit
- Visualization: how to start with a two-dimensional drawing to visualize the three-dimensional object it represents, and how to start with a three-dimensional object and create a two-dimensional working drawing so the object can be made
- Drawing standards used by mechanical designers
- How to put dimensions on drawings
- How to determine tolerances, clearances, and fits for mechanical parts
- How to apply symbols on mechanical drawings including surface finish, weld symbols, and geometric tolerances
- How to make parts lists and revisions
- How to use speed ratios to design belt drives and gear trains
- Hands-on familiarity with electrical circuits and hydraulic systems
- Drawing standards used by architects
- How to make drawings as part of a set of house plans
- How to set up drawings as part of commercial building projects
- Principles of the systems used in green buildings, including energy, water, light, heat, and cooling
- How to communicate in a professional office setting
- How to communicate with engineers and architects using the right vocabulary
- Basic engineering calculations including force and stress
You’ll also take elective courses, where you can focus on areas like computer networking, graphic design, or hands-on shop skills. These courses will help set you apart, and provide you an opportunity to specialize.
Your classes will cover a diverse range of skills and topics that employers ask for in a professional drafter. When you’ve completed your degree, you’ll be ready to go to work making drawings for manufacturing or construction projects as a qualified member of a professional team.
Local employers are eager to hire drafters. Drafters have found careers in a variety of specialties, from microscope parts to hydraulic cylinders to heavy equipment; from alarm systems to trusses, custom ceiling design, retail store interiors, structural steel, or general contractors.
Once you start work, your skill set will continue to grow as you learn on the job, and over time you will take on increasing levels of responsibility. Some drafters even choose to further their career by pursuing a degree in engineering, industrial design, or architecture. The courses you study in your drafting degree will provide a solid foundation of knowledge for your career.
Drafting classes are taught by instructors with years of professional experience who are passionate about the field and committed to your success. Both your faculty and advisors will help guide you throughout your educational journey. Your drafting classes will never have more than 30 students, and most will be even smaller. Throughout your classes, you’ll develop connections with your instructors and fellow students that will help build your professional network and prepare you for your career.
The faculty and advisors for the program can help you meet your career goals. They can answer any program specific questions you might have, and help you find opportunities outside of the classroom. Advisors will help you schedule your classes and plan for the future. You’ll work with them to create a term by term planner that meets your needs and goals to ensure you complete your degree.
Employers are interested in more than just your degree. It’s important that you’re able to show that you have relevant, real world work experience. Our Cooperative Education department partners with local businesses and organizations to provide internships for students in their field of study. Many students even continue to paid employment at their former internship site.
As you complete certain combinations of drafting classes you’ll be able to earn 12-credit Career Pathway Certificates. These certificates include Drafting for Residential Construction, Drafting for Commercial Construction, and Drafting for Manufacturing. You can also earn any of these certificates on their own! Learn more about Career Pathways at Lane.
Once you complete the first year of the Drafting program, you’ll earn a Drafting one-year certificate. After you complete the second year of the Drafting program, you’ll earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Drafting.
Drafting courses are taught in two computer labs. Each computer is outfitted with the current version of AutoCAD, Revit, and SolidWorks software and is connected to letter-size and 11 x 17 printers. Small 3D printers are also available. The drafting area includes personal lockers, a lounge area, and a break room. You’ll even have access to the program’s own 1100-volume library from which you can check out drafting, engineering, and architecture related books.
Lane’s main campus is tucked into the foothills of the Oregon Cascades, providing a stunning landscape for your education. With incredible resources on campus like advising, tutoring services, the library, First Year Experience and so many more, you have the opportunity to make the most out of your degree. Lane also offers student housing at Titan Court, located at our downtown campus. Ready to learn more? Schedule a campus tour to explore our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.