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Drafting Design Technician program starts Sept. 1

With strong demand locally for individuals with drafting design skills, Nicolet College is launching a one-year technical diploma that teaches the entry-level job skills needed by area construction companies, manufacturers, and other businesses. Classes will start Sept. 1.

Drafting DesignOver the past year Nicolet staff met with numerous area employers to gauge job demand and determine the exact skill sets companies need, said Nicolet Dean of Trade, Industry, and Apprenticeships Jeff Labs.

“Through these discussions we found that there were a number of factors that businesses were dealing with,” Labs said. “One was how quickly the design software technology was changing. And the second was how the training was taking place to get individuals up to speed. Much of it was being done in-house, often in a piecemeal fashion. Everyone agreed there was a better way, and the decision was made for Nicolet to offer a formal Drafting Design Technician technical diploma.”

Along with demand at traditional residential and commercial construction companies, Nicolet discovered significant new demand for drafting designers in the manufacturing sector, specifically with metal fabrication companies, Labs said.

“Every piece of product they produce and sell starts with a visual plan or blueprint,” Labs explained. “That’s where drafting designers come in. They create the plans and layout the exact specifications for every piece.”

Software taught includes AutoCAD, AutoDesk Inventor, and an introduction to Solidworks. Other classes include architectural and engineering principles, blueprint reading for construction and manufacturing, along with math and communication classes.

The curriculum for the one-year Drafting Design Technician diploma was built so it ladders directly into the two-year Architectural Technology associate’s degree.

“This gives students the option of entering the job market after one year or applying the credits they earned to the more advanced two-year associate degree,” Labs explained.

Starting pay for graduates with the one-year technical diploma is around $15 an hour. This jumps to a starting range between $16.50 to more than $20 an hour for graduates with the two-year associate’s degree, he said.

Click here for more information about the program or call the college at (715) 365-4493; TDD 1-800-947-3529 or 711.