Architectural and Civil Drafter Career

Job Description: 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.


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Architectural and Civil Drafter Career

What Architectural and Civil Drafters do:

  • Draw maps, diagrams, and profiles, using cross-sections and surveys, to represent elevations, topographical contours, subsurface formations, and structures.
  • Finish and duplicate drawings and documentation packages according to required mediums and specifications for reproduction, using blueprinting, photography, or other duplicating methods.
  • Produce drawings, using computer-assisted drafting systems (CAD) or drafting machines, or by hand, using compasses, dividers, protractors, triangles, and other drafting devices.
  • Analyze building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical documents and reports to determine their effect on architectural designs.
  • Draft plans and detailed drawings for structures, installations, and construction projects, such as highways, sewage disposal systems, and dikes, working from sketches or notes.
  • Supervise and train other technologists, technicians, and drafters.
  • 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.
  • Coordinate structural, electrical, and mechanical designs and determine a method of presentation to graphically represent building plans.
  • Obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
  • Lay out and plan interior room arrangements for commercial buildings, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment and software.
  • Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings, and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets, and other data.
  • Determine the order of work and method of presentation, such as orthographic or isometric drawing.
  • Explain drawings to production or construction teams and provide adjustments as necessary.
  • Prepare colored drawings of landscape and interior designs for presentation to client.
  • Determine quality, cost, strength, and quantity of required materials, and enter figures on materials lists.
  • Calculate weights, volumes, and stress factors and their implications for technical aspects of designs.
  • Correlate, interpret, and modify data obtained from topographical surveys, well logs, and geophysical prospecting reports.
  • Locate and identify symbols on topographical surveys to denote geological and geophysical formations or oil field installations.
  • Reproduce drawings on copy machines or trace copies of plans and drawings, using transparent paper or cloth, ink, pencil, and standard drafting instruments.
  • Calculate excavation tonnage and prepare graphs and fill-hauling diagrams for use in earth-moving operations.
  • Supervise or conduct field surveys, inspections, or technical investigations to obtain data required to revise construction drawings.
  • Create freehand drawings and lettering to accompany drawings.
  • Calculate heat loss and gain of buildings and structures to determine required equipment specifications, following standard procedures.
  • Plot characteristics of boreholes for oil and gas wells from photographic subsurface survey recordings and other data, representing depth, degree, and direction of inclination.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Holland Code Chart for an Architectural and Civil Drafter