In 2008, the average annual salary for draftsmen, also known as drafters, was approximately $46,000 or more, according to the occupational employment and wages survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Electrical and electronics drafters had the highest average annual salaries, followed by mechanical drafters, uncategorized drafters and architectural and civil drafters.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, architectural and civil drafters were paid an average of $46,390 per year in 2008, or $22.30 per hour, while median wages were $44,490 per year or $21.39 an hour. The highest-earning 10 per cent of architectural and civil drafters made $67,110 per year ($32.26 per hour) or more, while the lowest-paid tenth earned $28,220 per year ($13.57 per hour) or less. California was the highest-paying state for architectural and civil drafters with an average annual salary of $53,750, with the others in the top five—Connecticut, District of Columbia, New York and Tennessee—all paying average salaries of $50,000 or more.
In 2008, the average annual salary was $53,770 for electrical and electronics drafters, equivalent to an hourly wage of $25.85. The best-paid tenth of electronics and electrical drafters made $79,790 per year ($38.36 per hour or more), while at the bottom of the scale the lowest-paid 10 percent had salaries of $32,050 per year ($15.41 per hour) or less. The median wage for electrical and electronics drafters was $24.67 per hour or $51,320 per year. Illinois was the top-paying state for this occupation, with an average annual salary of $70,810, with Massachusetts, Washington, New York and New Jersey rounding out the top five. All but New Jersey had average annual salaries of more than $60,000 for electrical and electronics drafters.
Mechanical drafters made an average annual salary of $48,600, or $23.36 per hour, in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with median salaries of $36,490 per year or $17.55 per hour. The top-earning 10 percent pulled in $71,340 ($34.30 per hour) or more, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $29,390 ($14.13 per hour) or less. Massachusetts had the highest annual salary for mechanical drafters, at $64,310, while the others in the top five were Washington, Delaware, South Carolina and New Mexico, all with average annual salaries in excess of $53,000.
The average salary for drafters in other categories not covered above is $22.73 on an hourly basis or $47,290 per year. The median wage is $44,930 or $21.60 per hour and annual salaries range from $28,040 ($13.58 per hour) or less for the lowest-paid 10 percent of workers in this occupation to $70,510 or more for the best-paid tenth of drafters in this category. The highest-paying state for drafters in this occupational category is Alaska, with an annual average wage of $61,380, followed by North Carolina, Washington, California and Oregon, which all have annual average salaries of more than $50,000.
Just under 115,000 people were employed as architectural and civil drafters in 2008, while 77,070 worked as mechanical drafters. There were 32,710 electrical and electronic drafters and 20,720 other drafters.
- May 2008 Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates:Architecture and Engineering Occupations
- Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008:Architectural and Civil Drafters
- Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008:Electrical and Electronics Drafters
- Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008:Mechanical Drafters
- Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008:All Other Drafters