Occ. Code 5111501













New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Principal Drafting Technicians perform drafting work in a specialized area of architecture or engineering as indicated by the parenthetic designation, and function as job captains in the preparation of drawings, detailings, contract plans, layouts or designs from various sources including rough sketches and oral and written instructions.


Engineering and architectural drawings are used to supply information needed to fabricate, construct, maintain, repair, install and procure equipment, structures and facilities.


Principal Drafting Technicians are located in only a few agencies with the greatest number of positions in the Department of Transportation and the Office of General Services.




Principal Drafting Technicians are the top level drafting technicians in a specialized field who plan, develop and execute their work with considerable technical independence and with little or no supervisory assistance. Incumbents function as job captains on a project basis, train subordinate technical staff, and do less complex design work for smaller projects. Appropriate technical guidelines, precedent designs, standards and regulations are used by incumbents to resolve drafting problems. Incumbents typically select and utilize the full range of projection techniques to portray unusual and complex designs and determine such things as appropriate arrangements, scales, views, spacing and location of dimensions and notes. Principal Drafting Technicians select, interpret and apply technical guidelines in situations where precedent drawings are not applicable.


As a job captain, incumbents discuss the project objectives and design concepts with the architect or engineer in charge to obtain the information needed to make the drawings and may discuss these project objectives with persons outside the employing agency. Methods of approach to the project are planned, assignments made to lower level drafting technicians, and instruction and technical assistance are provided to staff as necessary. Incumbents review the work prepared by the staff, and are responsible for the technical adequacy and accuracy of the drawings produced, and that project schedules are met.


All Principal Drafting Technicians have a parenthetic associated with the title designating the field of specialization to which they are assigned, i.e., Architectural, Electrical, General, Mechanical and Structural. Although incumbents typically perform drafting work in a specialized area as indicated by the parenthetic designation, Principal Drafting Technicians may occasionally perform drafting activities in an area outside of the designated specialty.


The predominant occupational activity epitomizing each parenthetic designation is described as follows. Technicians with the Architectural parenthetic prepare drawings, plans and designs for buildings, facilities and landscapes. The work of positions with the Electrical parenthetic is characterized by the preparation of drawings, plans and designs for electrical projects and layouts. Incumbents with the General parenthetic are involved in the preparation of drawings, plans and designs for general civil engineering work, while those with the Mechanical parenthetic prepare drawings, plans and designs for plumbing, heating, ventilating and other mechanical engineering projects. Positions classified with the Structural parenthetic are involved in the preparation of drawings, plans and designs for bridges and other structural engineering projects.




Within a specialty as described above, Principal Drafting Technician functions as job captain on a project basis.


·      Receives assignments from the project chief with instructions relating the intent of the project and the clients' requirements.


·      Reviews existing plans on file to obtain drawings of subject property or structure, or of any completed projects with similar architectural or engineering problems.


·      Inspects project site to make sketches, take and confirm measurements, take photographs and otherwise document actual site conditions to aid in developing a final architectural design solution and prepares factual written reports of findings.


·      Confers with architects, engineers and others concerned with the project to set both the project scope and requirements and to schedule and otherwise coordinate such support activities.


·      May prepare written correspondence to client and others concerned with the project for the project chief's approval and signature.


·      Prepares drawings and directs staff in the preparation of drawings according to the statement of requirement and other relevant documents and instructions.


·      May prepare preliminary designs for approval by the project architect or engineer following the statement of requirement.


·      Assures that staff work assignments are carried out accurately and according to schedule by providing instruction, technical coordination and assistance to the project drafting staff and by reviewing work while in progress and when completed.


·      Discusses work related problems with the project chief and implements solutions as directed.


Principal Drafting Technicians prepare and assist architects or engineers in the preparation and revision of drawings and specifications in a designated architectural or engineering specialty utilizing appropriate drafting tools and following accepted drafting procedures and departmental policy.


·      Prepares drawings following rough sketches, oral or written instructions and prepares architectural or engineering specifications utilizing standard reference materials.


·      Draws contract plans of buildings, structures, landscapes, mechanical or electrical systems, determining appropriate detail and scale and the size and spacing of freehand and mechanical lettering.


·      Makes simple mathematical computations using standardized tables and formulas.


As directed by the project chief, incumbents review plans prepared by contractors for compliance with contract specifications.


May assist in preparing the architect/engineer's estimate by computing the quantities of material necessary for the project.




Principal Drafting Technicians have close working relationships with design architects and engineers characterized by frequent discussions and meetings concerning the understanding of design concepts, and to obtain other information needed to make drawings. As a job captain, incumbents work closely with the assigned staff as well as with the architects, engineers and others responsible for the project.




Principal Drafting Technician positions are supervised by architects or engineers responsible for the project. Incumbents typically work with considerable independence and with little or no supervisory assistance. Completed work is reviewed by the supervisor, architect, or engineer in charge for achievement of project objectives.


Principal Drafting Technicians typically function as job captains on a project by assuring that work assignments are carried out by providing technical guidance and assistance, instructing staff in specific tasks and job techniques, making available written instructions, reference materials and supplies, and reviewing and approving drawings produced by the project staff.




Principal Drafting Technicians use the drafting tools, instruments, materials and supplies including but not limited to the T square, triangles, circles, compass, dividers, rulers, lettering templates and ruling pens and pencils, and the technical reference materials and guides appropriate for the assigned area of specialization.




·      Good knowledge of drafting procedures, methods and techniques.


·      Good knowledge of the use of standard technical reference materials used in an assigned drafting specialty.


·      Good knowledge of the symbols, terms and accepted standards used in the assigned drafting specialty.


·      Working knowledge of the methods of supervision.


·      Working knowledge of the care and use of drafting instruments and materials.


·      Working knowledge of departmental policy relating to drafting activities.


·      Basic knowledge of the equipment, facilities and systems of the particular field of engineering or architecture in which they work.


·      Ability to supervise and train drafting personnel.


·      Ability to prepare drawings that are neat and accurate.


·      Ability to print neatly and legibly both by freehand and by the use of mechanical devices in accordance with accepted drafting standards.


·      Ability to make simple mathematical computations using standardized tables and formulas.




One year of permanent service in a drafting or engineering technical position allocated to Grade 11 or higher.





Reviewed:  3/03






NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.