Apr 28, 2023
What’s the Difference Between a Draftsperson and Architect?
Architects and draftspeople work in the same field and often on the same projects. However, the skills they have and the services they provide can differ greatly. If you’re considering a building, renovation or extension project, it’s important to work out whether you need an architect or a draftsperson.
To help you decide, we’re going to have a look at some of the differences between the two roles.
Education and Licensing for Architects
To become an architect in Australia, you must complete a recognised architecture degree. Most architecture programs are five years in length and result in a Bachelor of Architecture, although some programs may be longer and result in a Master of Architecture degree. The degree must be accredited by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).
In addition to completing a recognised architecture degree, architects must also gain practical experience through an internship or similar program. The AACA requires candidates to complete a minimum of two years of practical experience working under the supervision of a registered architect.
Once qualified, you must register with the AACA and the relevant state or territory registration board before you can practise as an architect. Registration requirements vary by state or territory, but generally include completion of a recognised architecture degree, practical experience, and completion of a professional practice examination.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is also a requirement for architects to maintain their registration. CPD can include attending seminars, workshops, or courses related to the architecture profession.
Education and Licensing for Draftspeople
Educational and licensing requirements for draftspeople are quite different to those of architects. In Australia, a draftsman is generally required to have completed a technical or vocational program, but may not require a licence to practise, depending on the state or territory in which they work.
Typically, a draftsman will have completed a technical or vocational program in drafting, such as a Certificate III in Engineering – Technical or a Diploma of Building Design. Depending on the state or territory, a draftsman may require a licence or registration to practise. For example, in New South Wales, draftspeople are required to be registered with the Building Professionals Board, while in Victoria, they are required to be registered with the Victorian Building Authority.
Design vs. Technical Skills
Architects are responsible for the overall design of a building or structure and are involved in the conceptualisation and planning stages. Draftspeople, on the other hand, are responsible for creating technical drawings and plans based on the architect’s designs.
Architects are generally responsible for designing and overseeing the construction of buildings and other structures. Architects are trained to think creatively and holistically about a building project, considering factors such as the client’s needs and budget, the site, environmental impact, safety, and building codes. They use their knowledge of materials, building techniques, and engineering principles to develop plans and specifications that meet these requirements.
A draftsperson, on the other hand, is responsible for creating technical drawings and plans based on the architect’s design. They use computer-aided design (CAD) software and other tools to produce detailed blueprints that show the dimensions, materials, and construction methods required for a project. They also create technical drawings of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and coordinate with other professionals such as engineers and contractors.
In terms of skills, an architect typically has a broader range of knowledge and expertise than a draftsperson. They must have a strong understanding of design principles, construction techniques, and building codes, as well as an ability to communicate effectively with clients, contractors, and other professionals. They also need excellent project management skills to oversee the construction process from start to finish.
A draftsperson, on the other hand, needs strong technical skills and attention to detail. They must be proficient in using CAD software and other technical drawing tools, and have a thorough understanding of engineering and construction principles. They also need good communication skills to collaborate effectively with architects, engineers, and contractors.
Level of Responsibility
Architects typically have a higher level of responsibility than draftspeople, as they are responsible for ensuring that a building or structure meets safety and code regulations, as well as the needs and wants of the client. They are responsible for the overall design of a building or structure. They are involved in the conceptualisation and planning stages and work closely with clients to ensure that the design meets their needs and specifications. Draftsmen, on the other hand, are responsible for creating technical drawings and plans based on the architect’s designs.
Architects are also responsible for ensuring that a building or structure meets safety and code regulations. They must ensure that their designs comply with local, state, and federal regulations and that the building is safe for its intended use.
Architects are often responsible for managing the overall project, including coordinating with other professionals, such as engineers, contractors, and interior designers. They are responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Draftspeople may be responsible for managing specific aspects of the project, such as creating technical drawings, but do not typically have overall project management responsibility.
Architects often collaborate with other professionals, such as engineers, contractors, and interior designers, as well as with clients, to ensure that a project is completed successfully. Draftspeople typically work under the direction of an architect and may have limited interaction with other professionals or clients.
In summary, while both draftsman and architect play important roles in the design and construction of buildings, an architect has a higher level of responsibility and education and is involved in the overall design process, whereas a draftsman is responsible for technical drawings and plans.