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What do you pay drafters?

What do you pay drafters?

What do you pay drafters?

(OP)
I'm looking at hiring my first drafter for structural work. What do you pay drafters? Do you pay them hourly or a salary?

RE: What do you pay drafters?

money normally.

I would suggest you need to consider the lifecycle of the position, are you expecting them to be only a drafter or will the develop into a designer or are they just a stop gap measure. Once you have figured out the position and likely future than the above question become easier.

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

RE: What do you pay drafters?

(OP)
Money, why didn't I think of that?

I would want them to develop into a designer. I don't really believe in just having someone that can only do exactly what I tell them. That seems like such a waste. I would like them to eventually be able to go through some of the same thought processes I do when laying out framing and foundation plans. Thanks for your thoughts.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

In my experience:
-- $15/hr gets you a decent CAD technician who likely has no real experience in putting together drawing packages, can only draft what you show him; favors speed over accuracy. If you're lucky, you may find one who has a long-term perspective.

-- $20/hr gets you someone with a good knowledge of design packages, knows how to communicate design intent with drawings; backchecks his own work thoroughly; still not a designer in the structural context.

-- $25/hr should get you someone who understands what he is drafting and can design within reason, simple structures, supports, etc. Should be able to direct lower-level people and check their work.

Not many ways for a drafting to gain any structural knowledge unless he has worked under someone who is a strong mentor. Not a lot of schools teaching basic structures.

I wouldn't expect anyone getting $15/hr to hang around longer than it takes to get an offer for 50 cents an hour more.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

RossABQ: Where are you located? I assume drafters are cheaper in Des moines IA than Boston MA.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

Drafters may also be harder to find in Des moines IA.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

We use our junior interns as Drafters... We've been looking to add a senior draftsman, but so far, no luck.

We pay the interns $25/hour. I guess that is therefore our drafting rate. For this we get an Engineering student specializing in Structures (or Architectural Engineering) and can rely upon them not to be completely clueless. Once or twice such an intern has caught an error, albeit a reasonably simple one which would have likely been caught in review. The point is that the intern DID catch the error, and likely learnt more than most...

FYI: We intend to be paying $35 to 40 per hour for a "real", ie: five to fifteen years of pure structural drafting experience, draftsman. We just haven't found them yet.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

I'm in the Southwest, in a down market. I doubt the pay is a lot different regionally, the company I worked for was national and there was not much difference across offices. I do know Boston is a high pay/high cost market.

In my experience, pure CAD drafters (line drawers) are everywhere. Designers are very hard to find and are worth the extra money.

In my time hiring, I had (Mech) drafters who went from the bottom up to very skilled Senior Designers over a period of 15 years. Within 6 months you know if a guy is going to be that way. Others who were great drafters, and asked to be coached into a designer position, got so confused by simple calculations that we knew they were going to cap out as a Senior Drafter 5 years down the road. (They could also become Project Managers, LOL)

RE: What do you pay drafters?

Are you bringing the drafter on full time? We are in a similar situation. Everyone I have talked to about this has said bring them on as 1099 contractors. Good generic drafters that I have worked with were making around $30/hr back in 2006.

B+W Engineering and Design | Los Angeles Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer http://bwengr.com

RE: What do you pay drafters?

I agree with brandon and CEL that a 10yr experienced drafter/designer is worth more like $30/hr with benefits or $40/hr without.

A key question is how generic vs unique is your work? If you are unique, you need to be thinking about giving this person a career trajectory worth their while to stick around for, and invest a bunch in training. Even if you have generic technical requirements, its still worth thinking about the long term with staff because you need their loyalty when things get tough.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

(OP)
I could hire an experienced engineer for $40/hour. That's around $75,000 a year. I live in the south where the cost of living is not too high. I can get a new engineer graduate for somewhere around $40,000 to $45,000.

I would be bringing them on full time. I have thought about a contractor, but I would rather have someone in house because I need to be able to depend on them.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

Why not look on one of the sites like salary.com (based on surveys like Radford) to get a rough idea.

Take it with a big pinch of salt, but may be no less accurate than some of the above posts given the limited information you give us to work with.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: What do you pay drafters?

An experienced engineer is not always going to get you a decent drafter. Depending on what you need, teaching an engineer how to efficiently draft makes more sense than teaching a drafter how to design. Probably cheaper as well. Couldn't a contractor still be in house?

I wouldn't mind making $75k in the South. Is that like $200k in LA? I kid I kid. Sort of.

B+W Engineering and Design | Los Angeles Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer http://bwengr.com

RE: What do you pay drafters?

$40/hr x 40 hrs/week x 52 weeks/year = $83,200.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

You could check to see what temp houses are billing for drafters. Typical billing rate is about 1.8 times wage.

batHonesty may be the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.bat
http://www.EsoxRepublic.com-SolidWorks API VB programming help

RE: What do you pay drafters?

I had temp drafters, some were straight out of ITT Institute. They cost us $25/hr at that level of expertise, and some of them were very good at drafting, but most had had no exposure to the AIA standards for layer/level management. But they were perfect for incorporating redlines for record drawings quickly and cheaply. More experienced drafters (5 years or so in a production environment) were as much as $50 - $75, and we'd make permanent hires out of about half of those. It's a very good way to weed out the losers. But these people typically don't even know what a spreadsheet is, haven't sized pipes or equipment, need to be taught to think for themselves (not simply work from redlines), and usually have not done the same type of drafting (mech/piping, mech/HVAC, architectural, etc) for more than 6 months straight.

When I started with my last employer in '93, their policy was to not give engineers AutoCad, on the premise drafters were so much faster and more knowledgeable in the CAD standards. So even a minor correction/change had to go thru the redline/checkprint process. By the time I left, we all had it and were encouraged to make minor changes.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

Parametric modelling capabilities (or Building Information Management if you like) has changed the perception of what is 'drafting' and what is 'designing' these days as well. It should be worth considering what package you're using and whether you're happy with redline markups in a 2D system (such as AutoCAD) or whether you're heading into programs like Revit, as the results and operator requirements are vastly different and often not directly transferable.

Last place I worked that did structural design, the 'designers' using Revit and similar tools were getting at least as much as the (engineering) graduates for similar experience levels.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

Excellent point, Freddy!

RE: What do you pay drafters?

What rate do you intend to bill your drafter out at per hour? Divide that by 4 and that is about the maximum you should be paying them. E.g. if you charge them out at $60 an hour then you should only be paying them maximum $15 an hour. If they bill them out at $120 an hour then you should be paying them maximum $30 an hour etc.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

The factor around here is generally taken to be 3, not 4.

RE: What do you pay drafters?

The classic consulting engineers multiplier is 3X. I think for lower cost staff the multiplier is higher like 4. In depressing low margin businesses its like 2.2X.

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