Architectural and Civil Drafters

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$59,820 Median Wage (2022)
10,000 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
0.60% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Prepare detailed drawings of architectural and structural features of buildings or drawings and topographical relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, and public works. Use knowledge of building materials, engineering practices, and mathematics to complete drawings.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • 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.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • 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.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Create graphical representations of civil structures.
  • Create graphical representations of structures or landscapes.
  • Evaluate technical data to determine effect on designs or plans.
  • Create maps.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
  • Verify mathematical calculations.
  • Determine operational methods.
  • Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
  • Explain engineering drawings, specifications, or other technical information.
  • Collect data about project sites.
  • Estimate operational costs.
  • Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
  • Prepare procedural documents.
  • Review technical documents to plan work.
  • Analyze costs and benefits of proposed designs or projects.
  • Create graphical representations of energy production systems.
  • Prepare technical reports for internal use.
  • Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Review details of technical drawings or specifications.
  • Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.

Work Values

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

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.

Tasks

  • Produce drawings, using computer-assisted drafting systems (CAD) or drafting machines, or by hand, using compasses, dividers, protractors, triangles, and other drafting devices.
  • Draft plans and detailed drawings for structures, installations, and construction projects, such as highways, sewage disposal systems, and dikes, working from sketches or notes.
  • Coordinate structural, electrical, and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.
  • Analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs.
  • Draw maps, diagrams, and profiles, using cross-sections and surveys, to represent elevations, topographical contours, subsurface formations, and structures.
  • Lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software.
  • Supervise and train other technologists, technicians, and drafters.
  • 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.
  • Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings, and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets, and other data.
  • Correlate, interpret, and modify data obtained from topographical surveys, well logs, and geophysical prospecting reports.
  • Check dimensions of materials to be used and assign numbers to lists of materials.
  • Determine procedures and instructions to be followed, according to design specifications and quantity of required materials.
  • 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.
  • Obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
  • 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.
  • Create freehand drawings and lettering to accompany drawings.
  • Calculate excavation tonnage and prepare graphs and fill-hauling diagrams for use in earth-moving operations.
  • Prepare colored drawings of landscape and interior designs for presentation to client.
  • Calculate weights, volumes, and stress factors and their implications for technical aspects of designs.
  • Plot characteristics of boreholes for oil and gas wells from photographic subsurface survey recordings and other data, representing depth, degree, and direction of inclination.
  • Reproduce drawings on copy machines or trace copies of plans and drawings, using transparent paper or cloth, ink, pencil, and standard drafting instruments.
  • Calculate heat loss and gain of buildings and structures to determine required equipment specifications, following standard procedures.
  • Prepare cost estimates, contracts, bidding documents, and technical reports for specific projects under an architect's or engineer's supervision.
  • Represent architect or engineer on construction site, ensuring builder compliance with design specifications and advising on design corrections, under supervision.
  • Review rough sketches, drawings, specifications, and other engineering data to ensure that they conform to design concepts.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

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.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.