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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Draftsmen in Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for civil draftsmen. About 3,360 people are currently employed as civil draftsmen in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 32% to about 4,450 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for civil draftsmen are expected to grow by about 9.1%. 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.

Civil draftsmen earn about $20 hourly or $42,960 annually on average in Washington and about $21 hourly or $44,490 annually on average nationally. Earnings for civil draftsmen are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Drafting in Washington and not quite as good as general Drafting category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: computer-aided drafting and design drafter , computer-aided drafting and design designer , and drafting technician.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a civil draftsman, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. The most common level of education for civil draftsmen is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Vancouver 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

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has 2 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, less than one year which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Portland - Portland, OR

ITT Technical Institute-Portland, 9500 NE Cascades Parkway, Portland, OR 97220. ITT Technical Institute-Portland is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 816 students and an admission rate of 50%. ITT Technical Institute-Portland has an associate's degree program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has 3 areas of study related to Civil Draftsman. They are:

  • Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a one to two year program in CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician which graduated four 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

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

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.