Civil Drafters

Architecture & Construction > Design/Pre-Construction

Projected Growth: Slower than average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Civil Drafters include:

Experience and Education

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.

  • 47.62% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

  • 19.05% said they needed a Some College Courses.


    Draw maps, diagrams, and profiles, using cross-sections and surveys, to represent elevations, topographical contours, subsurface formations, and structures.

    Review rough sketches, drawings, specifications, and other engineering data received from civil engineers to ensure that they conform to design concepts.

    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.

    Plot characteristics of boreholes for oil and gas wells from photographic subsurface survey recordings and other data, representing depth, degree, and direction of inclination.

    Explain drawings to production or construction teams and provide adjustments as necessary.

    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.

    Calculate weights, volumes, and stress factors and their implications for technical aspects of designs.

    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.

    Supervise or conduct field surveys, inspections, or technical investigations to obtain data required to revise construction drawings.


Wide-format document scanners


Three-dimensional laser digitizers


Sonic digitizers


Print servers

All Tools


Notebook computers

Large-format digitizers

Handheld calculators

Graphics tablets

French curves

Flexible curves

Estimating keypads

Electronic scales

Desktop computers

Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards


Backlit digitizers

Architects’ scales


Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Autodesk Land Desktop

Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Softdesk

Bentley MicroStation

Bentley WaterCAD


All Technologies

Piping and instrumentation design PID software

Three-dimensional modeling software

Adobe Systems Adobe LiveMotion

Animation software

ARCOM Masterspec

Bentley GeoPak Bridge

Bentley Systems InRoads Suite

Bill of materials software

Boundary survey software

ESRI ArcView

Geomechanical design analysis GDA software

Graphic presentation software

Intergraph Image Analyst

Landscape modeling software

McNeel Rhino software

Motion graphics software

Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software

Scanning software

Specification software


Topographic map software


Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

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