(WACO, Texas) – Drafting and design involves creating technical drawings, plans and models used for the construction and creation of products and structures in architecture, engineering and manufacturing.
Texas State Technical College offers its Drafting and Design program online and in a hybrid format at the Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas and Waco campuses.
“The online format has more students in it, but the hybrid programs are gaining ground,” said Josh Stampley, chair of TSTC’s Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics department.
Here are four facts to know right now about the program:
More students will have an opportunity beginning this fall to pursue the program at TSTC.
The program will move toward a hybrid format, which includes a combination of in-person and online learning, for the first time at TSTC’s North Texas campus, where students can earn a certificate of completion, an occupational skills achievement award or an Associate of Applied Science degree in Architectural/Civil Drafting Technology.
Students at TSTC’s Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses will have access in a hybrid format to pursue associate degrees and certificates of completion in the Architectural/Civil Drafting Technology, Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology, and Engineering Graphics and Design Technology programs.
Program faculty continue to review and update the curriculum as needed. They are paying attention to technology being used in surveying and the development of additive manufacturing, the process of building a three-dimensional object by adding materials in layers, and 3D printing, a specific type of additive manufacturing that involves objects being printed from digitally created designs.
Stampley said the Drafting and Design programs in Harlingen, Marshall and Waco have new 3D printers that students can use to get experience in additive manufacturing.
“I think it (3D printing) is a beneficial skill to have, especially if you stay in the mechanical and architectural side,” he said. “You can create scale models to look at.”
Students use AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks design software in the program.
Employers need workers
Architectural and civil drafters in Texas made a yearly median salary of more than $59,000 in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website. The Midland metropolitan area had the highest yearly median salary in the state in 2021, according to the website.
More than 60 architectural and civil drafting job openings in Texas have been posted in the last two weeks on Indeed.com. Some of the skills that Texas employers are looking for include experience in AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation, along with work in 3D model development, land surveying, and the Microsoft Office suite.
Texas will need more than 13,400 architectural and civil drafters in 2030, according to the labor department’s CareerOneStop website.
The Drafting and Design program is looking for people in the architectural and engineering design field to serve on its program advisory board. Every program at TSTC has an advisory board made up of industry representatives offering input on what students need to learn to be successful in their fields. For more information on the advisory board, contact Ashley Salinas in TSTC’s Career Services department at email@example.com.
Fall registration continues at TSTC. For more information, go to tstc.edu.