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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Sacramento, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for civil draftsmen in the Sacramento, California area. There are currently 18,100 working civil draftsmen in California; this should shrink by 2% to 17,700 working civil draftsmen in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for civil draftsmen are expected to grow by about 9.1%. Civil draftsmen generally 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.

Civil draftsmen earn approximately $25 hourly or $52,200 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,490 yearly. Earnings for civil draftsmen are better than earnings in the general category of Drafting in California and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. Civil draftsmen work in a variety of jobs, including: truss designer, computer-aided drafting and design operator , and steel detailer.

There are forty-two schools of higher education in the Sacramento area, including six within twenty-five miles of Sacramento where you can get a degree to start your career as a civil draftsman. Given that the most common education level for civil draftsmen is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn to be a civil draftsman if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Civil Draftsman

In general, civil draftsmen 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.

Civil draftsmen produce drawings using computer-assisted drafting systems (CAD) or drafting machines, or by hand using compasses, dividers, protractors, triangles and other drafting devices. They also draft plans and detailed drawings for structures and construction projects such as highways, sewage disposal systems, and dikes, working from sketches or notes. Equally important, civil draftsmen have to decide on the order of work and method of presentation. They are often called upon to finish and duplicate drawings and documentation packages, in line with required mediums and requirements for reproduction using blueprinting or other duplicating methods. They are expected to inspect rough sketches and other engineering data received from civil engineers to insure that they conform to layout concepts. Finally, civil draftsmen explain drawings to production or construction teams and furnish adjustments as needed.

Every day, civil draftsmen are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for civil draftsmen to decide on quality, cost, strength and quantity of required materials, and enter figures on materials lists. They are often called upon to locate and identify symbols located on topographical surveys to denote geological and geophysical formations or oil field installations. They also calculate weights and stress factors and their implications for technical aspects of designs. They are sometimes expected to supervise or conduct field surveys, inspections or technical investigations to obtain data used to revise construction drawings. Somewhat less frequently, civil draftsmen are also expected to produce drawings using computer-assisted drafting systems (CAD) or drafting machines, or by hand using compasses, dividers, protractors, triangles and other drafting devices.

And finally, they sometimes have to inspect rough sketches and other engineering data received from civil engineers to insure that they conform to layout concepts.

Like many other jobs, civil draftsmen must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Sacramento include:

  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • Cartographer. Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Survey Technician. Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.
  • Surveying Technician. Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Civil Draftsman Training

San Joaquin Delta College - Stockton, CA

San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207. San Joaquin Delta College is a large college located in Stockton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,480 students. San Joaquin Delta College has 3 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated nineteen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year and two to four year which graduated sixteen and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD, associate's degree and two to four year which graduated five and zero students respectively in 2008.

Sacramento City College - Sacramento, CA

Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95822-1386. Sacramento City College is a large college located in Sacramento, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,175 students. Sacramento City College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated eight, three, eleven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cosumnes River College - Sacramento, CA

Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA 95823-5799. Cosumnes River College is a large college located in Sacramento, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,518 students. Cosumnes River College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Architectural Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, ten, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Sierra College - Rocklin, CA

Sierra College, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin, CA 95677-3397. Sierra College is a large college located in Rocklin, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,608 students. Sierra College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, two to four year.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

American River College - Sacramento, CA

American River College, 4700 College Oak Dr, Sacramento, CA 95841-4286. American River College is a large college located in Sacramento, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 37,601 students. American River College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated nine, twelve, and zero students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Rancho Cordova - Rancho Cordova, CA

ITT Technical Institute-Rancho Cordova, 10863 Gold Center Dr, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670-6034. ITT Technical Institute-Rancho Cordova is a small school located in Rancho Cordova, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 816 students and an admission rate of 50%. ITT Technical Institute-Rancho Cordova has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-six students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Certified Transfer Station Technical Associate: This certification was developed to address the increased interest in transfer stations and provide transfer station managers and others the opportunity to learn more about transfer station design and operation.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California photo by Urdangaray

Sacramento is located in Sacramento County, California. It has a population of over 463,794, which has grown by 13.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Sacramento, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Sacramento are valued at $185,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, nine hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Sacramento, down from 1,337 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Sacramento are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 23.9% of Sacramento residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Sacramento is 14.7%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Sacramento residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Pearly Gate Missionary Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Parkview Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Sacramento. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Assemblies of God.

Sacramento is home to the Southern Pacific Shops and the Bing Maloney Golf Course as well as Alkali Flat North Historic District and Silva Field. Shopping centers in the area include Farmers Center Shopping Center, Florin Square Shopping Center and Franklin and Florin Shopping Center. Visitors to Sacramento can choose from Best Western Sutter House, Best for Less Motel-Cababa Lodge and AAA Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.