Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Seattle, Washington

If you want to be a civil draftsman, the Seattle, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 3,360 people work as civil draftsmen in Washington. This is expected to grow by 32% to 4,450 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for civil draftsmen are expected to grow by about 9.1%. 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 $20 per hour or $42,960 annually on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,490 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Drafting, people working as civil draftsmen in Washington earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Drafting nationally. Civil draftsmen work in a variety of jobs, including: civil drafter, civil drafting technician, and directional survey drafter.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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, 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 Seattle 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

Shoreline Community College - Shoreline, WA

Shoreline Community College, 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133-5696. Shoreline Community College is a medium sized college located in Shoreline, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,823 students. Shoreline Community College has a one to two year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Everett - Everett, WA

ITT Technical Institute-Everett, 1615 75th Street Sw, Suite 220, Everett, WA 98203. ITT Technical Institute-Everett is a small school located in Everett, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 481 students and an admission rate of 45%. ITT Technical Institute-Everett has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom - Lakewood, WA

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98498-1999. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,632 students. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom has a less than one year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Highline Community College - Des Moines, WA

Highline Community College, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800. Highline Community College is a medium sized college located in Des Moines, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,267 students. Highline Community College has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Seattle Community College-North Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-North Campus, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103-3599. Seattle Community College-North Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,159 students. Seattle Community College-North Campus has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.

Everett Community College - Everett, WA

Everett Community College, 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201. Everett Community College is a medium sized college located in Everett, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,765 students. Everett Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated five and six students respectively in 2008.

Green River Community College - Auburn, WA

Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622. Green River Community College is a medium sized college located in Auburn, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,544 students. Green River Community College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

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

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has a less than one year program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has 3 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and twelve students respectively in 2008.
  • Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Seattle - Seattle, WA

ITT Technical Institute-Seattle, 12720 Gateway Dr Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98168-2610. ITT Technical Institute-Seattle is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 541 students and an admission rate of 36%. ITT Technical Institute-Seattle has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Seattle Community College-South Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-South Campus, 6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106-1499. Seattle Community College-South Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,319 students. Seattle Community College-South Campus has an associate's degree program in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Olympic College - Bremerton, WA

Olympic College, 1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337-1699. Olympic College is a medium sized college located in Bremerton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,596 students. Olympic College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated eleven, one, and six students respectively in 2008.
  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, less than one year which graduated 52 students in 2008.

Renton Technical College - Renton, WA

Renton Technical College, 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056-4195. Renton Technical College is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,708 students. Renton Technical College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Drafting and Design Technology/Technician which graduated one, fourteen, and seven students respectively 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.