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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Elgin, Illinois

If you want to be a civil draftsman, the Elgin, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 3,030 working civil draftsmen in Illinois; this should grow by 3% to about 3,120 working civil draftsmen in the state by 2016. 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.

Income for civil draftsmen is about $20 per hour or $42,840 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,490 per year. Earnings for civil draftsmen are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Drafting in Illinois and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. Civil draftsmen work in a variety of jobs, including: civil drafting technician, draftsperson, and computer-aided drafting and design designer .

There are eleven schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a civil draftsman, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. Given that the most common education level for civil draftsmen is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years training to become 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 Elgin 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated one and two students respectively 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.

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty and five 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.

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.

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.

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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.