Is A Draftsman The Same As An Architect?

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While it’s common to hear those not in the industry use the terms ‘architect’ and ‘draftsman’ synonymously, they are not the same thing. There are significant differences between the role of an architect and that of a draftsman, and it is important to understand both so you can make an informed decision about which one to call upon for your next building project.

Architects and draftsmen play similar and important roles in the Australian building industry; both prepare CAD (computer-aided design) drawings, and both can work on construction projects. However, the two positions also have very different responsibilities and require different skills, experience and educational backgrounds.

Drafting and architecture are both essential parts of building design and construction, but they are not one and the same. These two equally necessary parts of the process are usually done by different people and the two jobs, although they cross paths regularly, involve many different skills and responsibilities. The two people who take part in drafting and architecture, predictably, are drafters and architects.

In the world of construction, two terms that commonly get thrown around are Draftsman and Architect. Most of us have heard both of these titles before, and some of us even clump them together. In the grand scheme of things, they are pretty much the same. Well, that is wrong. Draftsmen and Architects have some similarities, but along with those come distinct responsibilities which distinguish them from one another.

What Is Architecture?

Architecture is a passion, a vocation, a calling – as well as a science and a business. It has been described as a social art and also an artful science. Architecture must be of the highest quality of design.

The profession of designing buildings, open areas, communities, and other artificial constructions and environments, usually with some regard to aesthetic effect. Architecture often includes design or selection of furnishings and decorations, supervision of construction work, and the examination, restoration, or remodelling of existing buildings. At MJS Construction Group, we have the best dual occupancy selection to make your house a dream come true.

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What Is Drafting?

The drafting refers to creating technical drawings that communicate how something is constructed or functions. Drafting is intended to have one particular meaning, which is made clear with symbols and measurements. Hence, it is different from a visual drawing such as art because visual drawing is open to interpretation.

While sketching and diagramming can both be considered drafting, AutoCAD software makes these ideas more clear and turns them into sophisticated models in either 2-D or 3-D.

Draftsman – Defined

An easy way to remember the role of a Draftsman is simply by looking at their title. To draft is to create a preliminary version of something to help guide you towards the final result. Draftsmen are the masterminds behind both mechanical and structural drawings in the early process of a project.

What an individual Draftsman does is dependent upon their area of expertise. Some Draftsmen work with Architects on structural constructions, while others may specialise in drawings of circuitry. In residential homebuilding, Draftsmen can often handle all of the client’s needs on drawing a home for permit and construction.

Architect – Defined

Beautiful buildings, sturdy homes and impressive structures would be nothing without the men and women who design them. Architects are professionals who design, plan, and oversee the construction of buildings every step of the way. Architects can also specialise in fields such as landscape design, in which their role is essentially the same, just placed in a different setting.

Architects create drawings in the sense that Draftsmen do, only these drawings must ensure that the project follows ordinances such as zoning laws and building codes. Once the design is complete, Architects follow along with the construction as it progresses, seeing it through to completion.


These professionals design and build structures for people to work, live, eat, shop and worship in. These structures include office buildings, homes, schools, and complexes for outdoor, indoor, public, or private use. Aside from producing aesthetically pleasing structures, architects must also make sure buildings are functional, safe, and economical. They are involved in every phase of the project, from planning to completion.

Architects use computer-aided design (CAD) software along with building information modelling (BIM) to render construction drawings. They must ensure these designs adhere to ordinances like zoning laws, fire regulations, and building codes. Architects must also keep persons with disabilities when creating these structures to make sure it is accessible.

Educational Requirements

The educational and licensing requirements for an architect are much higher than for a draftsman. They need at least a bachelor’s degree, but some might also have a master’s in the field. Some course topics might be CAD, construction methods, architectural history, math, and technology. They must also gain work experience before they graduate through internships. Working architects are expected to periodically continue their education through conferences, classes, and workshops.


Also known as drafters, they perform some similar tasks to architects and will often work alongside them. They too prepare CAD renderings, but their work can be applied to other areas besides architecture and construction. Drafts are also used to create drawings of circuitry and different mechanical layouts. Their illustrations include technical features and specs like dimensions, materials, and procedures. Draftsmen also use tables, formulas, and technical handbooks to help them make their renderings.

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The type of work a draftsman does will depend on their chosen field. Architectural drafters, for example, produce drawings for new builds and could specialise in either residential or commercial buildings. Or, they could specialise in a particular material like timber, steel, or reinforced concrete. Civil drafters, on the other hand, prepare drawings for civil engineering projects like bridge and highway construction, flood-control, and sewage system projects. Aeronautics and electronics are also common drafting fields.


Educational Requirements

Draftsmen obtain their education through college training and get a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree at technical institutes or community colleges. Draftsmen can also get training in the field through military service. Topics of study typically include sketching, design, and CAD. Unlike architects, draftsmen do not need to apply for licensing. They can also get certification in a specialised area.

Education and Training

The major difference between an architect and a draftsman is the educational background. An architect must complete an undergraduate university degree (generally a three-year course), followed by a two year Masters of Architecture. After this, the graduate is required to complete a minimum of two years of practical experience before he or she can register as an architect in their chosen state and be granted a license to practice architecture.

A draftsman, on the other hand, is only required to complete a TAFE or similar course that will teach them CAD design. The study to become a draftsman is not nearly as rigorous as an architecture degree and the average time required to become a qualified drafter is two years, as opposed to seven.


With more time spent studying, architects have more responsibility and are generally able to tackle more complex designs than a draftsman. An architect may be involved in a project from start to finish, helping out with anything from planning, design and documentation, to contract administration and project management.

In contrast, a  raftsman is someone who produces drawings for construction projects, whether it is a brand new build or a renovation. They are specialists in the field, who work closely with clients to create clear and concise drafts for builders to follow. Some draftsman also gets involved in the construction site of the project on the more complex designs; this is always helpful for the builder when any minor issues arise.

Should I hire an architect or a draftsman?

If you’re looking to embark on a big construction project, particularly if it’s a commercial build, you should probably look to hire an architect. This is to ensure your construction is built safely, with the correct materials and abides by all necessary building regulations. However, if your project is relatively simple or you’re merely looking to renovate your home, an experienced draftsman can be an excellent option at a fraction of the price.

Ultimately, the decision of architect or draftsman should be a personal one and should largely depend on your budget and the complexity of your project. An architect undergoes seven years of study for a reason, so if you’re looking to create something incredibly intricate or out of the ordinary, it pays to hire a trained professional. As with all parts of the building process, it always best to get quotes from both parties first and weigh up your options before making a final decision.

Professional Advancement In Architecture:

After working for multiple years, an architect can advance and promote as Architectural and Engineering Managers. These jobs include greater responsibilities in terms of project coordination and employee supervision.

Professional Advancement In Drafting:

Drafters may be able to advance their job prospects by earning a professional certification from any certified institute. Drafters may become certified in a specialty area.

What To Expect From A Draftsman?

A draftsman is proficient in all aspects of technical and material designs, dimensions, and procedures. If you choose to work with a draftsman, you can expect construction-ready design drawings, technical schematics, and material design drawings. Generally, you can’t expect a draftsman to have an artistic or comprehensive background to go beyond making minor changes to your plan.

What To Expect From An Architect?

You can make drastic artistic changes to your plan with the expert advice of your architect. An architect is better able to see the entire scope of your project and design to meet all your needs, contemplating not only the size of space but how you move and live inside it. The flow of the layout, the functionality of the space, and how the architecture adds character throughout.

A draftsmen’s training is primarily focused on technical issues, while an architect is trained artistically, technically, and holistically.

How Does An Architect Work?

Architects mainly come up with plans for construction projects involving commercial and residential buildings and spaces. His/her responsibility is to determine the specifications and measurements of the structures to be made as well as the materials that should be used for the project. An architect also provides the details of the project’s interior and exterior designs as well as the cost of construction. He plans for the estimated time for completion of the project.

An architect must have knowledge about building codes, fire ordinances and zoning restrictions. The designs should also be made to comply with these rules and regulations. He is responsible for discussing with the clients first to determine their (the clients’) plans for the project or any other specific design requests they (the clients) may have. Architects may even perform tasks that are not part of designing the structure but also related to it and are done before construction commences. These include selecting the site, conducting feasibility studies and undertaking environmental impact studies. MJS Construction Group has the best range of home builders Melbourne services to help you create your dream house.

How Does A Draftsman Work?

A Draftsman or drafter, typically, translates the concepts or designs of architects to technical drawings or blueprints. Although architects are trained to make these drawings, in a real-world setting, this task is often assumed by drafters. Draftsmen use Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) software to come up with the technical specifications of the designs planned by the architects. Most often, architects and engineers come up with rough sketches of the designs that their clients want. They then communicate these to the drafters who will take care of making the schematic diagrams or outline. Schematic diagrams/outline refers to the main form and features of something, usually in the form of a drawing, which helps to interpret it.

Draftsman uses their knowledge of building and construction to create very accurate drawings that are to scale. The draftsmen are also able to make three-dimensional drawings, with the help of CADD, that can be incorporated into building information modelling (BIM) systems and product data management (PDM). These software programs make it easier for drafters and architects to work together and track changes made. BIM and PDM software programs facilitate speedier progress of the project since it has made simultaneous collaboration possible. Before the advent of these programs, architects and drafters could not work together at the same time since the drawings have to be made, and then any changes reflected again in a new illustration before any discussion or approval can be given. With CADD, BIM and PDM, however, changes can be made in real-time.

In a nutshell, the difference between the responsibilities of an architect and a draftsman is that an architect can do almost all types of tasks involved in building. In contrast, drafters are specialists who focus their attention on creating beautiful designs and clear, concise drafts for the builders to follow.

Does An Architect Take longer Than A Draftsman?

Well, yes. An architect may take several months for designing the process, discussing as well as clarifying all the details with the clients, analysing the site and determining its ambience, and revising a design until fully resolved, through consultation(s) with the clients and other relevant professionals. In contrast, a draftsman may take just a few weeks to produce a set of drawings for construction with little emphasis placed on the context and the sense of place.

Is An Architect More Costly?

An architect’s role is much broader and time taking than that of a draftsman. This extra work at the designing stage, of course, has an implication on the cost. However, an Architect provides long term value for money.

An Architect Over A Draftsman Or Vice-Versa?

Ultimately the choice of whether to use an Architect or a Draftsman will depend on many factors and individual client’s priorities. Suppose the client places a high value on aesthetics, usage of space, energy efficiency, a unique or artistic look. In that case, it’s worthy enough to invest more resources at the design phase by hiring an architect.

On the contrary, if the client is happy with a slightly modified model of any previously done design or needs to use the services of a renovation or extension company, then a draftsman is more than capable of completing the task at hand.

Relation Between An Architect And A Draftsman:

Previously, an architect-designed a structure from scratch and then passed off their rough sketches to a draftsman to refine into workable drawings for actual builders. Originally this was all done on paper. Hence, draftsmen had very little to do with design decisions back then. They used to translate the architect’s concept into a “how-to” sort of schematic diagram on paper.

Nowadays, CAD has made construction drawings faster to create, easier to modify, and simpler to reproduce. Draftsmen of the modern era are now able to design simple buildings on their own by using the templates and software-assisted engineering,

Over time, as draftsmen have become savvier with the tools of their trade, it’s been common for the structures to be conceptualised and constructed from start to finish even without ever consulting a certified architect.

How Does Design Presentation Work?

DP has been a trusted service partner to our clients with our superior architectural drafting services, consistent and accurate drawings, timely delivery as well as competitive pricing. We offer the most reliable computer-aided design or CAD drafting expertise to work for a wide range of projects for your various structural projects of varied scale and volumes. This Architects vs Draftsmen debate doesn’t impact us — we focus on CAD and serve both architects and draftsmen.

We convert all your architectural drawings hand sketches, complex paper drawings, hand scribbles and survey notes into a set of architectural plans using AutoCAD drawings. By digitising your architectural plans, we help you to reduce your costs, optimise time, and increase profitability. We utilise a wide variety of architectural CAD software such as AutoCAD MicroStation, ArchiCAD, Revit Architecture, Bentley Architecture and Chief Architect to provide architectural drafting services. Our proficiency with software such as Photoshop, 3D Max – Walkthrough, 2D & 3D stands us in good stead. DP has achieved significant domain experience by completing a wide variety of architectural drafting projects. These include architectural residential design, Commercial Design and Industrial Design for various design and construction firms. At MJS Construction Group, we have the best home builders selection to make your house a dream come true.

However, an Architect will provide long term value for money, as you will receive a well thought out building that functions according to its brief, that is well constructed using good quality materials, and perhaps most importantly – it will look beautiful. All this will mean that you should not need to spend additional money remodelling ill-functioning areas of the building. There is also the added benefit that ‘Architect designed homes’ are typically worth more than other houses – should you ever wish to sell.

In comparison, a poorly conceived building design, that does not function as the users require it to, could end up costing you a lot more in the long term, as you may need to make adjustments and improvements to it.

A big advantage to using an Architect in a construction project is that they have the ability and skills required to be involved in the project through from initial concept design to the project completion. They will have knowledge of construction on-site and be experienced in project management – which should mean the project runs smoothly. This is a service that you will not receive from a Draftsman, who will be trained to produce the drawings and get them through the planning process and building regulations as quickly as possible.

Ultimately the choice of whether to use an Architect or a Draftsman will depend on many factors and different client’s priorities. Through the design process, is speed important? Or cost? Perhaps you place importance on the design and aesthetics? It is important to note that although both are involved in the construction industry, the services that each can provide will be very different.

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