A mechanical engineering draftsperson needs:
- an aptitude for mechanical problems
- problem solving skills
- good logic and reasoning skills
- good communication skills
- a high level of detail and accuracy.
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.
On average, mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
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.
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. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.