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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Chicago, Illinois

Civil draftsmen can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 3,030 people are currently employed as civil draftsmen in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 3% to about 3,120 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for civil draftsmen, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.1% over the next eight years. 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.

The income of a civil draftsman is about $20 per hour or $42,840 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year on average. Incomes for civil draftsmen are not quite as good as in the overall category of Drafting in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Drafting category nationally. Jobs in this field include: computer-aided design drafter , civil drafter, and computer-aided drafting and design draftsman .

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including twenty-three within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree 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 Chicago 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

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

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

Westwood College-Chicago Loop - Chicago, IL

Westwood College-Chicago Loop, 17 N State St-Ste 300, Chicago, IL 60602. Westwood College-Chicago Loop is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 685 students and an admission rate of 62%. Westwood College-Chicago Loop has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated eleven students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

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

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport - Chicago, IL

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport, 8501 W. Higgins Road Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60634. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 676 students and an admission rate of 48%. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD.

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated four and ten students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Dupage - Woodridge, IL

Westwood College-Dupage, 7155 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL 60517. Westwood College-Dupage is a small college located in Woodridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 659 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Dupage has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated four students in 2008.

Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Hammond, IN

Purdue University-Calumet Campus, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323-2094. Purdue University-Calumet Campus is a medium sized university located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,325 students and an admission rate of 74%. Purdue University-Calumet Campus has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated ten students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated five students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College, 30 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601-2449. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,342 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated twenty-three and four students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-River Oaks - Calumet City, IL

Westwood College-River Oaks, 80 River Oaks Ctr-Ste 111, Calumet City, IL 60409. Westwood College-River Oaks is a small college located in Calumet City, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 629 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-River Oaks has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated three, two, and four students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett, Chicago, IL 60634-1500. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,677 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated eleven and five students respectively in 2008.

Zarem Golde ORT Technical Institute - Skokie, IL

Zarem Golde ORT Technical Institute, 5440 Fargo Avenue, Skokie, IL 60077. Zarem Golde ORT Technical Institute is a small school located in Skokie, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 289 students and an admission rate of 94%. Zarem Golde ORT Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has a less than one year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated nine students in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated two, thirty, and six students respectively in 2008.

Prairie State College - Chicago Heights, IL

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226. Prairie State College is a medium sized college located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,368 students. Prairie State College has a less than one year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect - Mount Prospect, IL

ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect, 1401 Feehanville Road, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-9823. ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect is a small school located in Mount Prospect, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 534 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Mount Prospect has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Robert Morris College - Chicago, IL

Robert Morris College, 401 S State Street, Chicago, IL 60605. Robert Morris College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,555 students and an admission rate of 79%. Robert Morris College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-two and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Morton College - Cicero, IL

Morton College, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804-4398. Morton College is a small college located in Cicero, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,959 students. Morton College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

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

ITT Technnical Institute-Orland Park - Orland Park, IL

ITT Technnical Institute-Orland Park, 11551 184th Place, Orland Park, IL 60467. ITT Technnical Institute-Orland Park is a small school located in Orland Park, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 525 students and an admission rate of 34%. ITT Technnical Institute-Orland Park has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge - Burr Ridge, IL

ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge, 7040 High Grove Blvd, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge is a small school located in Burr Ridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 357 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Burr Ridge has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician.

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: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.