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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Civil draftsman career and educational opportunities abound in Chattanooga, Tennessee. About 2,240 people are currently employed as civil draftsmen in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 5% to about 2,130 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. 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.

The income of a civil draftsman is about $22 hourly or $47,190 per year on average in Tennessee. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,490 yearly on average. Civil draftsmen earn less than people working in the category of Drafting generally in Tennessee and less than people in the Drafting category nationally. People working as civil draftsmen can fill a number of jobs, such as: computer-aided drafting and design operator , civil cadd technician , and civil design specialist.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including six within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree to start your career as a civil draftsman. Civil draftsmen usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Chattanooga include:

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

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Civil Draftsman Training

Dalton State College - Dalton, GA

Dalton State College, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720-3797. Dalton State College is a small college located in Dalton, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,892 students. Dalton State College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Chattanooga State Technical Community College - Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga State Technical Community College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097. Chattanooga State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,488 students. Chattanooga State Technical Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Virginia College-School of Business and Health - Chattanooga, TN

Virginia College-School of Business and Health, 721 Eastgate Loop Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37411. Virginia College-School of Business and Health is a small college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 562 students and an admission rate of 91%. Virginia College-School of Business and Health has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician.

ITT Technical Institute-Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN

ITT Technical Institute-Chattanooga, 5600 Brainerd Rd Ste G1, Chattanooga, TN 37411. ITT Technical Institute-Chattanooga is a small school located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 125 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Chattanooga has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician.

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has 3 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated four and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, less than one year which graduated 9 students in 2008.

Southern Adventist University - Collegedale, TN

Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Cir, Collegedale, TN 37315-0370. Southern Adventist University is a small university located in Collegedale, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,731 students and an admission rate of 70%. Southern Adventist University has an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD which graduated two 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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.