Drafting and Machining Technology


Drafting and Machining Technology is a four-semester, two-year associate of applied science degree program designed to prepare students for the growing number of jobs in these fields.

It’s the perfect choice for someone who wants to understand the entire process of how mechanical parts are designed, drawn, and created. The program also gives students skills in other areas of drafting so they will be ready for a wide variety of jobs when they graduate.

Whatever path graduates choose, they will enter a growing job market. Labor market information for South Dakota shows the demand for workers in the computer-aided drafting and machining fields is strong now and in the future.

  • Through 2020, the number of mechanical drafters is expected to grow by 11.1 percent.
  • Through 2020, the number of machinists is expected to grow by 13.8 percent.

And graduates can make a great living. The average hourly wage for mechanical drafters in the Rapid City area is $17.94. The average wage for machinists is $17.35.

Many private companies complete both the design and manufacturing of equipment, parts, and related items. This program will graduate skilled technicians who are able to bring value to those employers in multiple ways because they will be skilled enough to participate in multiple areas of the business. These workers will be flexible and will be seen as a valuable asset by any of these employers.

Students will take coursework in mill and lathe operation, advanced manufacturing, drafting fundamentals, architectural drafting, mechanical drafting, and other technical skills.

In the drafting area, graduates will be able to meet the growing demand from industry for skilled technicians who can demonstrate skill and knowledge in 2D and 3D computer-aided drafting. In addition, graduates will leave the program prepared to apply the basic fundamentals of drafting and blueprint reading.

In the machining area, graduates will be able to set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools. Machinists use machine tools that are either conventionally controlled or computer numerically controlled, such as lathes, milling machines, and grinders, to produce precision metal parts. Although they may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches or one-of-a-kind items. The parts that machinists make range from simple bolts of steel or brass to titanium bone screws for orthopedic implants. Hydraulic parts, anti-lock brakes and automobile pistons are other widely known products that machinists make.