MOUNT VERNON — In light of the Knox County Career Center’s plan to discontinue its engineering-drafting program, the News looked into the job prospects for students who are interested in the field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, drafting is expected to grow by four percent in the next five to eight years. However, sub-specialties in the computer aided drafting and design field are expected to see a nine percent increase in demand because of the need to improve the nation’s infrastructure. The demand for various types of drafters [architectural, civil, electrical, electronics, mechanical or pipeline drafters] depends on the needs of local industry.
Overall employment of engineering technicians is expected to grow by five percent by 2018. Jobs for environmental engineering technicians is expected to increase by 30 percent; civil engineering technician positions are projected to increase by 17 percent; and industrial engineering technicians are expected to have a seven percent employment growth.
“Students graduating with a foundation in CADD from a career center usually go into post-secondary programs to further their education in a specialty area,” said Glenna Cannon, superintendent of the Pioneer Career and Technology Center. “They specialize in areas such as architecture, civil drafting, electrical and electronics drafting, mechanical drafting, computer aided drafting and design and landscape design. Others further their education in engineering using CADD skills [learned in high school] as their foundation.
“About 70 percent of our CADD graduates continue their education in two- and four- year college programs. ... Most of our graduates find viable employment in the field.”