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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for civil draftsmen. Currently, 1,010 people work as civil draftsmen in Iowa. This is expected to grow by 6% to about 1,070 people 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 hourly or $43,470 per year on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,490 yearly. Civil draftsmen earn more than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Iowa and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. People working as civil draftsmen can fill a number of jobs, such as: computer-aided design operator , civil design specialist, and geophysical drafter.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can study to be a civil draftsman, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Des Moines area. The most common level of education 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 Des Moines include:

  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Civil Draftsman Training

Vatterott College - Des Moines, IA

Vatterott College, 7000 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321. Vatterott College is a small college located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 239 students and an admission rate of 75%. Vatterott College has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

ITT Technical InstituteClive - Clive, IA

ITT Technical InstituteClive, 1860 NW 118th St, Ste 110, Clive, IA 50325. ITT Technical InstituteClive is a small school located in Clive, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 63 students and an admission rate of 43%. ITT Technical InstituteClive 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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.