In today’s post, you will learn how to work as a freelance architectural drafter and find remote jobs to help you embark on your new career. Once you’ve decided to work as a freelance architectural drafter, you need to know a few basics first.
What is a freelance architectural drafter?
A freelance architectural drafter or expert who designs the structural specifications of a building or landscape. Some of the responsibilities of these freelancers include preparing color boards, drawing CAD sketches, drafting a design that adheres to code standards, and performing calculations.
You develop a plan around the set budget, evaluate the limitations of the construction site, and guarantee client satisfaction with the final product. As a freelance architectural drafter, you must collaborate with the construction team and engineers throughout the process. Freelance architectural drafters work from home or have a temporary contract with a company throughout the project’s duration.
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How to get started as a freelance architectural drafter
To become a freelance architectural drafter for a 3d architectural drafting company, you will need a bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, or construction management. You also need to complete the Architect Registration Exam to get your license. Creativity, a portfolio of designs, and professional experience are also essential. You should also know how to write and read blueprints, and you must also have technical expertise.
Other qualifications include graphic design and illustration skills, understanding 3D modeling platforms and troubleshooting visibility and modeling problems, and familiarity with industry standards, policies, and codes.
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4 Tips on how to find a job as a freelance architectural drafter
1. Consider your local connections
Having an online presence and maintaining local connections are essential. If you want to work with clients in your local area, consider advertising in local directories (i.e., other architects and prospective clients searching for 3D architectural drawing services). You can also attend local architectural events where you might be able to meet other potential clients or architects.
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2. Tap into your existing network
Why not tap into your existing network? Think of the people you have met through the years, including:
- Tutors and lecturers during your studies
- Clients you have worked with
- Developers you have met
- Guest speakers and lecturers
- Alumni connections
- Past practices or employers you have worked for
- Past work colleagues who set up businesses
- Work colleagues during internship or placement
Contact people in your network through LinkedIn, social media, or over the phone. Inform them that you will be freelancing, inform them of your services, and how you can assist them. Reach out to existing contacts periodically and show genuine interest in their work accomplishments.
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3. Form a new network
You can form new network connections through existing contacts or by reaching out to more new people. LinkedIn is a valuable resource for creating new network connections. However, building your brand and profile on the platform requires effort and time. Keep things professional, share helpful information, and show your interest and passion in the industry. While it takes time to form connections, it will be worth it. Staying in touch with prospective business connections and those who might need your freelance services will help create a regular flow of new work and projects.
4. Check remote job websites
Depending on the specific type of freelance architectural drafting services, remote job websites, or online freelance platforms, are the best places to find work. Now, plenty of websites let you bid for projects, showcase or present your work to prospective employers, and provide a secure way of working with new clients without worrying about getting paid. Remote jobs allow more freedom and flexibility in working remotely from anywhere worldwide. Here is a summary of some platforms where you can search for work as a freelance architectural drafter:
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Cad Crowd has freelance architectural projects if you are an experienced architectural drafter with an impressive portfolio. Small and large businesses rely on Cad Crowd when looking for freelance architectural drafting services, and the platform provides opportunities for freelancers to find hourly work and new projects. Cad Crowd connects companies with suitable professionals for their projects.
If you are confident in your skills, background, and education, you can create an account on the platform and start your search for remote jobs. Professionals within the Cad Crowd community are available to support you when you can’t take on additional projects and provide flexibility when you need some time off. If a project requires a different skill set, you can leverage the community to help with it.
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99Designs.com was founded in 2008 in Melbourne, Australia, and focuses on connecting clients with freelancers who are platform members. Clients start project contests with set parameters like price range or hire designers directly by choosing skill level, industry, and category. While the options may be limited for architects, it is still a good option if you are skilled at 3D architectural rendering.
Behance is a social media platform utilized for creative projects under the ownership of Adobe. The best way for architects to thrive on the site is to post images of their designs to earn upvotes and possibly hire followers aside from browsing the library of available jobs.
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You might have already come across DevaianArt when searching for stock images you can use for a presentation or article or beautiful wallpapers for your drafting computer. DeviantArt is now one of the largest and most renowned online community marketplaces where illustrators and artists can sell, promote, and post artwork.
Dribbble is a job marketplace catering to creative professionals, including architectural designers, illustrators, website designers, and animators. People who thrive on the platform share their work or portfolio and browse the job board for more company-specific positions, most of which provide full-time employment. Potential clients might also discover you through your publicly shared designs, and you can find remote jobs if you dig deeper.
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Fiverr is an Israel-based platform that has now reworked itself to offer better experiences for both sellers and buyers. Fiverr posts projects and jobs as gigs that freelancers can browse. It also has a marketplace for clients to search for the best designers, programmers, writers, business consultants, and more.
The aptly named Freelancer is among the most renowned online content marketplaces today. A client or employer will post projects ranging from catchy marketing slogans to novel architectural concepts, and Freelancers then bid on projects suitable to the services they offer. The client chooses among proposals and hires the right Freelancer for the project. However, the site is quite generalized and may not be your best option if you are looking for jobs more catered to architectural designs.
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GoPillar is a self-described crowdsourcing website for architectural design services, as implied by the term pillar. This is established for clients where they can post contests or projects for which the architects registered on the site will then compete. After submitting designs, payment is provided with different monetary rewards for the ranks.
GraphicRiver is an online marketplace specializing in designs, images, and logos. This is open to professionals and hobbyists, which can be a good way for architects to promote themselves and their creations. However, the low rates make it more challenging to earn the same income as other options. The site can give you publicity and other freelancing work.
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Guru is a freelancing platform that works reciprocally. The jobs are usually fulfilled through freelancers by choosing preferred jobs or clients looking for freelancer profiles. As a freelance architectural drafter, include a strong portfolio with your strengths and the services you offer. You can also make pitches and browse jobs as clients check your profile.
Houzz is a marketing service committed to assisting clients in finding architects, home remodelers, and interior designers. The website is based on professionals and businesses called Pros. Pros create profile pages that may include compiled portfolios, reviews, and awards for employers and clients to select. To have a thriving career on Houzz, consider browsing the most in-demand professionals and businesses so you can replicate their techniques or strategies.
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To start working as a freelance architectural drafter on PeoplePerHour, you must submit an online application. After approval, you will get free access to various international projects and start working. Freelancers can set hourly rates for services or rates per project. The platform is made with general freelancing, so ensure your profile contains details of the architectural services you offer and the types of projects you provide.
ShapeWays is a breakthrough online marketplace focusing on novel production and 3D printing technologies to develop various customized items for consumers and businesses, including models and machine parts. Firms and freelancers design parts that consumers can buy and will be turned into working models through on-demand 3D printing services.
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Short for Top Talent, Toptal is a freelancing service founded in 2020 that encourages clients to use its website to find and hire the top 3% of freelance talent. The site claims they follow stringent testing to identify experts in its domains. Toptal is among the more selective freelance sites, offering a salary for the select few admitted, including architects, programmers, and consultants. The website layout is made for freelancers and provides a streamlined means for clients to browse profiles.
Upwork is among the most frequently cited freelancing sites today for a good reason. The platform uses a remarkably effective algorithm. When a client posts a project requirement, the site presents a list of candidates. Upwork offers different types of projects spanning various fields and industries.
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WorkingNotWorking is a marketplace that helps companies hire talent and is an option for architects looking for a stable income through freelancing. The website asks clients who they want to work with using keywords and emphasizes using a visual portfolio to attract clients and businesses.
5. Advertise and look for local work
If you prefer working locally, there are several options you can consider for promoting your freelancing services, i.e., advertising in local newspapers or magazines. If you offer support services to other local architects, you can introduce yourself and provide services and samples of your previous work. Highlight how your services are beneficial for clients’ projects. If there are local architectural events, become an involved member of the local architecture community. If you support the local architects, they may not require your services immediately. However, be visible to ensure you are on top of their mind whenever they need assistance.
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6. Strengthen your online presence
Finally, strengthen your online presence by creating a website and blog to showcase your experiences and knowledge in the industry. Your site can include your portfolio, work samples, and more. Consider social media channels to increase awareness regarding your services while showing the projects you’ve worked on. Being on several platforms allows you to connect with clients over their preferred networks. Your chosen forms of online presence will vary according to your target clients and the projects you wish to work on.
How much should you charge as a freelance architectural drafter?
Pricing and fees continue to be challenging aspects of freelancing. You aim to be competitive without undervaluing your skills as a 3D architectural modeling professional. A great way to negotiate your rate is to build a relationship with your clients. However, the rates depend on the project’s platform, i.e., Upwork may be competitive, so you might try lowering your rates to gain traction.
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Some freelancers offer a lower bid for their initial projects but increase their fees as they become more popular and receive more positive reviews. You can also try contacting fellow freelancers and inquire about their fees. Ask people in the industry that you know regarding the going rate for your services. If you have a bid for a project that wasn’t successful, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask why. You might want to check and evaluate your pricing if this is related to the fees and adjust your rates as you go.
The bottom line
Working as a freelance architectural drafter and finding remote jobs may not be straightforward, and it takes commitment and time to establish relationships and connections. For this reason, getting a steady flow of projects is more manageable if you maintain network connections.
How Cad Crowd can assist
Our architectural design freelancer network has worked with some huge names, including Tiffany & Co. and Tupperware. If you’d like assistance with your project, find out how it works.