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Become A Drafting Technician

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Working As A Drafting Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $72,042

    Average Salary

What Does A Drafting Technician Do

Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers to plan, design, and build the highways, bridges, utilities, and other infrastructure projects. They also help to plan, design, and build commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.

Duties

Civil engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Read and review project drawings and plans to determine the sizes of structures
  • Confer with engineers about preparing plans
  • Use computer aided design software under the charge of engineers
  • Evaluate pre-construction field conditions
  • Observe project sites and evaluate contractors’ work to detect problems with a design
  • Test construction materials and soil samples in laboratories
  • Help to ensure that project construction conforms to design specifications and applicable codes
  • Develop plans and estimate costs for constructing systems and operating facilities
  • Prepare reports and document project activities and data
  • Collect data and prepare analyses
  • Set up and help maintain project files and records

Civil engineering technicians typically work under the charge of licensed civil engineers. These technicians generally help civil engineers, performing some of the same tasks as the engineers. However, because they are not licensed, civil engineering technicians cannot approve designs or supervise the overall project.

Civil engineering technicians assume varied duties on the job. They sometimes estimate construction costs and develop specifications. Other times, they prepare drawings or survey land. They also may set up and monitor various instruments for traffic studies. These technicians’ duties often require familiarity with and use of various computer programs to design projects, collect and analyze data, prepare correspondence and reports, and manage file systems.

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How To Become A Drafting Technician

Although not always required, an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology is preferred for employment as a civil engineering technician.

Education

To prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school, prospective civil engineering technicians should take science and math courses, such as chemistry, geometry, and calculus. They should also have basic knowledge of the use of computers.

Employers generally prefer engineering technicians to have an associate’s degree from a program accredited by ABET, although a degree is not always required. Engineering technology programs are also available at technical or vocational schools that award a postgraduate certificate or diploma.

Courses at technical or vocational schools may include engineering, design, and computer software. To complete an associate’s degree in, students also usually need to take other courses in liberal arts and the sciences.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. As assistants to civil engineers, civil engineering technicians must be able to help the engineers identify and solve problems to develop infrastructure plans and to help agencies avoid wasting time, effort, and funds.

Decisionmaking skills. Pressures from deadlines mean that technicians must be able to quickly discern which types of information are most important for the work at hand, and which plan of action will help keep the project on schedule.

Math skills. Civil engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Observational skills. Civil engineering technicians sometimes have to go to jobsites and assess a project for the engineer. Therefore, they must know what to look for and how best to report back to the engineer who is overseeing the project.

Problem-solving skills. Like civil engineers, civil engineering technicians help design projects to solve a particular problem. Technicians must be able to understand and work with all the related systems involved in building a project.

Reading skills. Civil engineering technicians carry out plans and designs for projects that a civil engineer has approved. Thus, they must be able to understand all the reports, plans, and documents describing these designs.

Writing skills. Civil engineering technicians often are asked to relay their findings in writing. They must be able to write reports that are well organized and clearly written.

Other Experience

Although an associate’s degree is preferred by most employers, prospective civil engineering technicians may enter the occupation after gaining work experience in a related occupation, particularly as a drafter or CAD operator. A worker who begins as a drafter or CAD operator for an engineering firm may advance to a civil engineering technician position as his or her knowledge of design and construction improves.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is not needed to enter this occupation, but it can help technicians advance their careers. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is one of the primary organizations overseeing certification for civil engineering technicians.

Certification as a technician requires passing an exam and providing documentation, including a work history, recommendations, and, for most programs, supervisor confirmation of specific experience. NICET requires technicians to update their skills and knowledge through a recertification process that encourages continuing professional development.

Advancement

Civil engineering technicians can advance in their careers by learning to design systems for a variety of projects, such as storm sewers and sanitary systems. It is also useful for civil engineering technicians to become skilled at reading plans and profiles—the graphical depiction of proposed projects.

Civil engineering technicians can also benefit with increasing knowledge of computer systems and application, in particular familiarity with word processing and spreadsheet programs, as well as geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS).

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Drafting Technician Jobs

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Drafting Technician Career Paths

Drafting Technician
Design Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Control Supervisor
Assistant Quality Control Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Design Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Design Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Mechanical Designer Project Engineer
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Field Engineer Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Surveyor Drafter GIS Technician
GIS Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Draftsman/Designer Drafter
Lead Drafter
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Merchandiser Route Sales Representative
Route Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Structural Drafter Design Drafter
Senior Drafter
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Architect Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Designer Project Engineer Estimator Project Manager
Supervisor And Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Surveyor Survey Project Manager
Survey Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Engineering Technician Surveyor
Survey Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Drafting Technician?

Drafting Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

74.3%

Female

24.2%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.8%

German

8.3%

French

8.3%

Ukrainian

4.2%

Hebrew

4.2%

Russian

4.2%
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Drafting Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.4%

A-Technical College

7.2%

New Mexico State University

7.2%

Texas A&M University

6.0%

Jackson State University

6.0%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.8%

Texas Tech University

4.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.8%

Houston Community College

4.8%

Johnson County Community College

4.8%

Western Technical College

4.8%

East Carolina University

4.8%

Columbus State Community College

4.8%

Iowa State University

4.8%

Lansing Community College

3.6%

Trident Technical College

3.6%

Northeast Community College

3.6%

University of Illinois University Administration

3.6%

Santa Fe Community College

3.6%

Vincennes University

3.6%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

38.0%

Business

10.5%

Civil Engineering

4.8%

Graphic Design

4.8%

Mechanical Engineering

4.0%

Architecture

3.6%

Engineering

3.6%

Engineering Technology

3.2%

Construction Management

3.2%

Industrial Technology

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Architectural Technology

2.5%

Computer Science

2.3%

General Studies

2.3%

Electrical Engineering

2.3%

Civil Engineering Technologies

2.3%

Fine Arts

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Interior Design

1.7%

Architectural Engineering

1.7%
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Degrees

Associate

32.9%

Bachelors

29.0%

Other

26.0%

Certificate

6.4%

Masters

4.1%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.1%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Drafting Technician

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  1. CAD
  2. Beer Lines
  3. As-Built Drawings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Engineered and generated AutoCAD drawings for senior management, engineering consultants and Facilities Planning & Construction.
  • Clean and service Beer Lines for Stone Brewing, Wine Warehouse and Anheuser-Busch.
  • Initiated new signage standards for campus use and controlled the creation and archiving process of as-built drawings.
  • Downloaded and drafted boundary surveys and ALTA/Topographic surveys.
  • Created detailed construction drawings for bridge design, electrical schematics and architectural design details.

How Would You Rate Working As a Drafting Technician?

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Top Drafting Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Drafting Technician Employers

Drafting Technician Videos

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