Summary Report for:
17-3011.02 - Civil Drafters
Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
Sample of reported job titles: Civil CAD Designer (Civil Computer Aided Design Designer), Civil CAD Tech (Civil Computer-Aided Design Technician), Civil Drafter, Computer-Aided Design Designer (CAD Designer), Computer-Aided Design Operator (CAD Operator), Computer-Aided Design Technician (CAD Technician), Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Drafter (CADD Drafter), Drafting Technician, Draftsman, Draftsperson
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Produce drawings, using computer-assisted drafting systems (CAD) or drafting machines, or by hand, using compasses, dividers, protractors, triangles and other drafting devices.
- Draw maps, diagrams, and profiles, using cross-sections and surveys, to represent elevations, topographical contours, subsurface formations and structures.
- Draft plans and detailed drawings for structures, installations, and construction projects, such as highways, sewage disposal systems, and dikes, working from sketches or notes.
- Determine the order of work and method of presentation, such as orthographic or isometric drawing.
- Finish and duplicate drawings and documentation packages according to required mediums and specifications for reproduction, using blueprinting, photography, or other duplicating methods.
- Review rough sketches, drawings, specifications, and other engineering data received from civil engineers to ensure that they conform to design concepts.
- Calculate excavation tonnage and prepare graphs and fill-hauling diagrams for use in earth-moving operations.
- Supervise and train other technologists, technicians and drafters.
- Correlate, interpret, and modify data obtained from topographical surveys, well logs, and geophysical prospecting reports.
- Determine quality, cost, strength, and quantity of required materials, and enter figures on materials lists.
- Locate and identify symbols on topographical surveys to denote geological and geophysical formations or oil field installations.
- Calculate weights, volumes, and stress factors and their implications for technical aspects of designs.
- Supervise or conduct field surveys, inspections, or technical investigations to obtain data required to revise construction drawings.
- Explain drawings to production or construction teams and provide adjustments as necessary.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Curves — Flexible curves; French curves
- Desktop computers
- Graphics or video accelerator cards — Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards
- Notebook computers
- Plotter printers — Plotters
- Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
- Print servers
- Scales — Architects' scales; Electronic scales
- Scanners — Backlit digitizers; Sonic digitizers; Three-dimensional laser digitizers; Wide-format document scanners (see all 5 examples)
- T squares — T-squares
- Tablet computers — Graphics tablets
- Touch pads — Estimating keypads
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D ; Bentley Microstation ; Piping and instrumentation design PID software (see all 12 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — ARCOM Masterspec; Microsoft Access
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Intergraph Image Analyst; Landscape modeling software; McNeel Rhino software; Microsoft Visio (see all 12 examples)
- Map creation software — Boundary survey software; ESRI ArcGIS software ; Geomechanical design analysis GDA software; Topographic map software (see all 6 examples)
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Bill of materials software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project ; SpecsInTact
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word; Specification software
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Create graphical representations of civil structures.
- Create maps.
- Prepare detailed work plans.
- Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
- Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
- Prepare procedural documents.
- Analyze costs and benefits of proposed designs or projects.
- Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
- Estimate operational costs.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Review technical documents to plan work.
- Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
- Explain engineering drawings, specifications, or other technical information.
- Create graphical representations of energy production systems.
- Electronic Mail — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Contact With Others — 33% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Time Pressure — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 33% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “40 hours.”
- Letters and Memos — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Minor results.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 29% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Level of Competition — 43% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Physical Proximity — 76% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|5||Some college, no degree|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: RCI
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Architectural and Civil Drafters.
Employment data collected from Architectural and Civil Drafters.
Industry data collected from Architectural and Civil Drafters.
|Median wages (2015)||$24.38 hourly, $50,710 annual|
|Employment (2014)||94,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||11,100|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Drafters . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) , 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 302, Arlington, VA 22201. Phone: (703) 247-4212. Fax: (703) 247-4533.
- American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) , 105 E. Main St., Newbern, TN 38059. Phone: (731) 627-0802. Fax: (731) 627-9321.