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2020 Drafting & Design Engineering Technology Degree Guide

The planning process that goes into constructing a building is more extensive than we might assume. There are many hours of work and last-minute changes that take place before the actual blueprints are approved. If you would like to have a hand in crafting designs for buildings and projects, Drafting and Design Technology could be the major for you.

The study of Drafting and Design Technology teaches students the creative drawing, planning, and computer modeling that is used to construct a building or manufacture a product. Students won't only learn how to create plan for buildings, they also have the potential to learn how to draft dams, aircrafts, and machinery. Learning includes instruction in manufacturing materials and processes, drafting calculations, manufacturing circuitry, blueprint reading, and technical communication. While learning these new skills you will be taking classes in Architectural drafting, Construction materials, Product design, and Engineering Design graphics.

There are different concentrations within this major. A few of these concentrations include, CAD/CADD Drafting and Design Technology, Architectural Drafting, Civil Drafting, and Mechanical Drafting. This major is commonly offered as an Associate's degree, however can also be offered a Bachelors degree.

Drafting & Design Engineering Technology Degrees On The Rise

#96 Most Popular Major
10.8k Degrees Awarded
2.6% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, drafting and design engineering technology was the 96th most popular major nationwide with 10,842 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 277 over the prior year, a growth of 2.6%.

There are 73 schools offering degrees in drafting and design engineering technology in the United States. Explore this or one of our many other custom design engineering tech rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Drafting & Design Engineering Technology

Students who have strong mathematic and scientific skill are commonly successful within this major, as this makes up the basis for the major. It is important for students pay close attention to detail. While designing and drafting one small error can cause major concerns, therefore detail and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time is significant. The ability to take criticism and work in teams is a large part of this field, as well.

Students who are interested in this major should take prior classes in Computer/graphic arts, Geometry, Physics, and Industrial Art if available. The courses will help prepare students for the future course work they will be studying.

Design Engineering Tech Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic drafting and design engineering technology program qualifications, to serve in some design engineering tech careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Drafting & Design Engineering Technology Degree

There are various different levels of design engineering tech degrees. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in drafting and design engineering technology to the highest design engineering tech degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. The time it takes to complete a design engineering tech degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

An associate's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to design engineering tech, with approximately 39.3% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to design engineering tech tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 36.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 23.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate 20.3%
Some College Courses 9.0%
High School Diploma 5.7%

Most workers in design engineering tech have at least a associate's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in drafting and design engineering technology have received.


The education level required is different depending on the design engineering tech career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Design Engineering Tech Majors

Average Number of Jobs
$37.9k Average Starting Salary
7% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

If you are interested in pursuing Drafting and Design Technology, you can expect a career as an electrical drafter, civil drafter, process piping or pipeline drafter, aeronautical drafter, or mechanical drafter. All these drafters work with different structures. For example an Aeronautical drafter designs aircrafts and missile parts. A civil drafter will design bridges, highways, and other structures.

Growth Projected for Design Engineering Tech Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your design engineering tech degree? Drafting & Design Engineering Technology careers are expected to grow 7.1% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to drafting and design engineering technology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Architectural and Civil Drafters 107,700 8.1%
Mechanical Drafters 68,200 5.2%
Electrical and Electronics Drafters 29,300 6.9%
Drafters 17,200 8.2%

How Much Money Do Design Engineering Tech Grads Make?

Recently graduated drafting and design engineering technology students earned an average of $37,897 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $21,600 to as high as $59,800. As you might expect, salaries for design engineering tech graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Design Engineering Tech Majors

Salaries for drafting and design engineering technology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers design engineering tech grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Electrical and Electronics Drafters $64,400
Mechanical Drafters $59,010
Architectural and Civil Drafters $56,700
Drafters $54,240

Getting Your Drafting & Design Engineering Technology Degree

With over 1,572 different design engineering tech degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased design engineering tech school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Drafting & Design Engineering Technology

One of 17 majors within the Engineering Technologies area of study, Drafting & Design Engineering Technology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Design Engineering Tech

Related Major Annual Graduates
Industrial Production Technology 14,418
Electromechanical Engineering Technology 10,032
Electronics Engineering Technology 9,880
Environmental Control Technology 9,388
Mechanical Engineering Technology 7,628

View All Design Engineering Tech Related Majors >


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