Drafter vs Architect: Difference and Comparison

Different areas require different expertise. Specialization helps to achieve the maximum out of any field.

Drafters and Architects are two different specialized professions, one of which is concerned with drawing the intricate details of a project and the other deals with planning, designing, and overseeing building structures.

Key Takeaways

  1. Drafters create technical drawings and blueprints, while architects design buildings and oversee construction projects.
  2. Architects require a professional degree and licensure, while drafters need an associate degree or certificate in drafting technology.
  3. Drafters focus on the technical aspects of design, while architects consider aesthetics, functionality, and compliance with building codes and regulations.

Drafter vs Architect

A drafter is a professional who creates technical drawings and plans using computer-aided design (CAD) software or by hand. An architect is a licensed professional who designs buildings and other structures, working closely with clients to understand their needs and preferences.

Drafter vs Architect

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A drafter can work with different companies with different specializations. A drafter can be working with an aircraft or missile company or can be found preparing detailed wiring diagrams.

There are various types of drafters depending on the field they work for. Civil drafters, Mechanical drafters, etc., are a few examples.

An architect is a person who oversees the entire building project and may have an Architectural drafter as his assistant. The term has been derived from the Latin word ‘architectus’, which roughly translates to ‘chief builder’.

If you are an architect, your work includes giving design details of a building and its surrounding area.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDrafterArchitect
Field of specializationThey specialize in drawing intricate designs.They are concerned with planning and designing buildings.
Area of expertiseThey can be working in multiple fields.They can only work on a building project.
EducationIt requires high school-level education.It requires high-level specialized education.
WorkplaceGenerally, drafters work in an office environment.Their work involves onsite visits as they oversee the entire project.
LicensingLicensing is not a must to practice drafting.Licensing is a must from a recognized body.

What is a Drafter?

A drafter is a person who draws different details of a project. They can be working in an architectural office, manufacturing company, construction company, etc., depending on the specialization.

To become a drafter, one needs to be able to visualize 3D pictures from 2D pictures.

The person must have an in-depth knowledge of the material’s qualities used to make structures. A strong understanding of manufacturing and technical knowledge helps one achieve the best out of the opportunities.

The work also requires good communication skills as well as writing skills.

Knowledge of CAD (Computer-aided Designs) is also necessary as it helps to speed up the process. It is widely used and preferred over the traditional method of drawing as it is faster and provides a lot of easy tools.

However, long working hours and exposure to computers for an extended period can cause medical issues.  

Many software such as AutoCAD, Revit, etc., is available in the market, making the work easier for the drafters.

The use of different drawings and blueprints readily available on the software mentioned allows the users to make the best designs with minimal effort. An experienced drafter can find a managerial position and can overlook the entire project. 


What is an Architect?

An architect is the chief of a construction project in terms of designing and overlooking the project. Their services include providing design details of the building and the area that people will occupy in any manner.

To practice architecture, one must have a certificate from a recognized body which is a government body. Non-licensed architects can work as designers for smaller structures such as houses.

To earn certification, one must have done an internship or a practicum after the required higher education.

The necessity of a certificate is there because the work of an architect affects public safety. To earn higher education, one can go to an academic institution.

The use of a license achieved by an architect must be confined to individual use by the person himself. It is made mandatory by the law.

The work of an architect requires an analytical mind, and it also requires effective communication as well. As soon as one starts working for a client, one must probe the requirements, which is where effective communication skills come in handy.

An architect can use various media in design products such as photos, collages, 3D scanning, etc. Traditionally architects used to use drawings, but nowadays, computer technology has become the standard.

Virtual Reality presentations and BMI technology are becoming popular as they provide a more realistic vision of the projects.


Main Differences Between Drafter and Architect

  1. An architect requires advanced learning, whereas a drafter only requires a high school education.
  2. Architecture overlooks a building project, whereas the work of a drafter involves working with different firms with different specializations.
  3. To become a practised architect, one must have a license which is not a prerequisite to becoming a drafter however, one can earn a certificate through internships for a drafter.
  4. An architect is the chief of a project, whereas a drafter is the assistant of the architect.
  5. An architect can work without a license, but the area of work will be restricted only to small buildings, whereas there are no such legal restrictions for a drafter they can work on any project regardless of license.
Difference Between Drafter and Architect
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501763.2017.1314537
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/bda6c341fb976e55f294cffd87763c22/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xcldAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR12&dq=what+is+an+architect&ots=3A4JXDagBc&sig=88P4UURBj4oUTV5UtPkEjlu7SWQ
  4. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=kjeXAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA77&dq=what+is+an+architect&ots=LoFBH4Y-Af&sig=oMr51Lr8ReobOKxPRbbQecKoFsk

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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