Difference Between Drafter and Architect

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


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Drafter 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.

Drafter vs Architect

The difference between a drafter and an architect is that a drafter is concerned with drawing the details of the structure whereas an architect is the one who plans, designs, and oversees the construction of a building. The main difference lies in the fact that an Architect is concerned only with buildings but a drafter has a wider horizon.

Drafter vs Architect

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

There are various types of drafters depending on the type of field they are working for. Civil drafter, Mechanical drafter, 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 then your work includes giving design details of a building and the area surrounding it.

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 qualities of the material that are 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 which makes 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 will be occupied by people in any manner.

To practice architecture, one must have a certificate from a recognized body which is often 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 necessitation 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 license achieved by an architect must be confined to individual use by the person himself. It is made mandatory 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 and this 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 only high school-level education.
  2. An architecture overlooks a building project whereas the work of a drafter involves working with different firms with different specializations.
  3. To become a practiced 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 an 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 for any type of 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
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