Also known as architectural drafters, the occupation of architectural technicians involves carving and interpreting structural designs, planning residential and commercial developments and drafting technical instructions for contractors. They work jointly with professionals like engineers, architects, and quantity surveyors in selecting building materials. Essentially, they’re consulted for their exceptional prowess in the application of technology in designing building structures. Their also involves gathering, collating and probing technical data for use in construction. They draft drawings, building plans and specify construction with the aid of computerized methods. Architectural technicians bargain and oversee the progress of a development plan, including appraising client’s needs, rendering legal advice, creating surveys and crafting project briefs.
Highly competent architectural technicians involved in design drafting should possess a relevant undergraduate degree like the Bachelor of Architectural Design and associate degree or certificate from a technical institution. One should have thorough training in building design drafting and correlated technologies. In their course units, students are exposed to CAD drafting, construction concepts, building codes, development planning and other applicable disciplines such as cost analysis and project management. Programs also straddle other areas like mechanical systems and engineering as well as landscape drafting.
Getting hired as an architectural technician entails academic credentials and relevant background experience. Promising amateur architectural technicians affirm specifications and spawn rough sketches for edifices, landscapes and substratum. Proficiency in applying software applications such as CAD and REVIT to draw, tweak and replicate designs and layouts is an added advantage. With years of experience, architectural technicians can undertake sophisticated tasks such as evaluating building codes, estimating stress factors or assessing structural integrity. New hires are deployed to oversee job site progress, gather information and establish a repository of designs. Architectural technicians also help architects with coming up with project quotations, bids and legal contracts.
Accreditation as a qualified architectural technician is elective; however, it comes handy to prove expertise to potential employers. In the US, the American Design Drafting Association or ADDA is the certifying entity for architectural technicians and building design engineers. ADDA provides a variety of designations depending on expertise and work experience. Though formal educational training does not count for eligibility in certification testing, experience hours in the profession is a requirement for certificate renewal. Other requirements include impeccable analytical skills, computer literacy and high command of mathematical concepts as well as in-depth knowledge in building codes and construction regimes.
As a skill of its own niche set in building and construction, architectural technology has witnessed a surge owing to increased demand by architectural firms, federal and local government housing societies, property development companies, and building contractors. However, owing to the integration of highly developed CAD technology crowding out architectural technicians in designing, a rising number of these professionals have ventured in other industries such as manufacturing, processing and mechanical engineering. Conversely, technicians who are well-versed in applicable technology are wildly sought for overseeing the design process and other post-construction tasks as well as reviewing progress construction.