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Details for 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • 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.
  • 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.



  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.

Related Careers

  • Architectural Drafters
  • Civil Engineering Technicians
  • Electronic Drafters
  • Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers
  • Mechanical Drafters
  • Numerical Tool and Process Control Programmers
  • Surveying Technicians
  • Traffic Technicians
Wages for this career
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