What they do
Mechanical engineering draftspersons prepare drawings, designs and plans that enable the manufacture and construction of a range of mechanical parts and equipment. They work with computer-aided design software, as well as using more traditional technical-drawing approaches to create plans for machinery and mechanical equipment and the components of which they are comprised. They consult with engineers about the best way to develop and plan a design, and once the design has been created, they create the drawings that machinists use as reference when building a tool or piece of machinery. They may also undertake some basic administrative work such as creating and updating lists of parts.
Specialisations include: Airconditioning Drafting Officer, Heating and Ventilating Technical Officer, Tool Design Draftsperson, Tool Designer
Mechanical engineering draftspersons usually work in engineering workshops or manufacturing businesses, but they may also work in factories, power plants, offices or building sites. They usually spend a large amount of time using computers and design software, but they may also spend time in workshop or factory environments, which can be hot, dirty and noisy, and may feature dangerous equipment. They may travel for work, either to inspect the manufacture of products they have drafted, or to learn about the design and manufacture of mechanical products. They usually work regular hours, but may also do shift work.
Tools and technologies
Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson usually use CAD (computer-aided design) technology to draw and design the parts and equipment that they design, although they may also use more traditional technical drawing techniques that utilise tools such as drawing boards, rulers, protractors, compasses and pencils. They may also use some hand tools and measuring equipment, as well as wearing safety equipment such as gloves, goggles and boots when working in a workshop environment.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a mechanical engineering draftsperson you usually need to complete a qualification in technical or mechanical engineering.
The Certificate III in Engineering – Technical, Diploma of Engineering – Technical, and the Diploma of Engineering – Technical (Mechanical) are offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a traineeship. The draftsperson (mechanical detail), mechanical engineering technician and the engineering associate – mechanical traineeships usually take 12 to 36 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.