Civil Drafters
SOC: 17-3011.02


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
94,000 employed

Projected (2024):
91,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "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.

Alternate Titles:

  • CAD Draftsman (Computer-Aided Design Draftsman)
  • Civil CAD Designer (Civil Computer Aided Design Designer)
  • Civil CAD Tech (Civil Computer-Aided Design Technician)
  • Civil CADD Technician (Civil Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technician)
  • Civil Design Specialist
  • Civil Design Technician
  • Civil Designer
  • Civil Drafter
  • Civil Drafting Technician
  • Civil Draftsman
  • Civil Technician
  • Computer Aided Drafter
  • Computer-Aided Design Designer (CAD Designer)
  • Computer-Aided Design Drafter (CAD Drafter)
  • Computer-Aided Design Operator (CAD Operator)
  • Computer-Aided Design Technician (CAD Technician)
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Designer (CADD Designer)
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Drafter (CADD Drafter)
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Draftsman (CADD Draftsman)
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Operator (CADD Operator)
  • Design Draftsman
  • Directional Survey Drafter
  • Drafting Technician
  • Draftsman
  • Draftsperson
  • Geological Drafter
  • Geophysical Drafter
  • Plumbing Designer
  • Steel Detailer
  • Structural Designer
  • Truss Designer

  • 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.

    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.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • 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.
  • Draw maps, diagrams, and profiles, using cross-sections and surveys, to represent elevations, topographical contours, subsurface formations and structures.
  • Correlate, interpret, and modify data obtained from topographical surveys, well logs, and geophysical prospecting reports.
  • 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.
  • Supervise and train other technologists, technicians and drafters.
  • Supervise or conduct field surveys, inspections or technical investigations to obtain data required to revise construction drawings.
  • Determine the order of work and method of presentation, such as orthographic or isometric drawing.
  • Calculate excavation tonnage and prepare graphs and fill-hauling diagrams for use in earth-moving operations.
  • Explain drawings to production or construction teams and provide adjustments as necessary.
  • Locate and identify symbols located 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.
  • Determine quality, cost, strength and quantity of required materials, and enter figures on materials lists.
  • Plot characteristics of boreholes for oil and gas wells from photographic subsurface survey recordings and other data, representing depth, degree and direction of inclination.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Architects' scales
  • Backlit digitizers
  • Compasses
  • Computer aided design CAD multi-unit display graphics cards
  • Desktop computers
  • Electronic scales
  • Estimating keypads
  • Flexible curves
  • French curves
  • Graphics tablets
  • Handheld calculators
  • Large-format digitizers
  • Notebook computers
  • Plotters
  • Print servers
  • Protractors
  • Sonic digitizers
  • T-squares
  • Three-dimensional laser digitizers
  • Triangles
  • Wide-format document scanners
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe LiveMotion
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Animation software
  • ARCOM Masterspec
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk Land Desktop
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Autodesk Softdesk
  • Bentley GeoPak Bridge
  • Bentley InRoads software
  • Bentley Microstation
  • Bentley WaterCAD
  • Bill of materials software
  • Boundary survey software
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • ENERCALC FastFrame
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Graphic presentation software
  • Intergraph Image Analyst
  • Landscape modeling software
  • McNeel Rhino software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Word
  • Motion graphics software
  • Non uniform rational b-splines NURBS software
  • Piping and instrumentation design PID software
  • PTC Pro/ENGINEER software
  • Scanning software
  • Specification software
  • SpecsInTact Software
  • Three-dimensional modeling software
  • Topographic map software

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980