Skip Navigation

Discover your career path

Civil Drafter



Create drawings and maps for large-scale construction projects.

What does a Civil Drafter do?

Civil drafters use their dual talent in art and science to create drawings and maps for large-scale civil engineering projects like the construction of highways, bridges, pipelines, and sewage systems. As a civil drafter you are equal parts talented and technical, and are therefore a rare species of whole-brained human being.

An interstate is a far cry from a Picasso, but as a civil drafter you nonetheless need expert drawing skills, as it’s your job to make detailed and accurate project blueprints for above- and below-ground systems and structures. Often you do that using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) programs which turn two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional models. Occasionally, however, you do drawings by hand, which means you’ve got to be equally adept with a computer mouse and a drafting pencil.

Whether you draw by computer or by hand, you spend your days as a civil drafter turning rough sketches into precise plans. Along with drawing things that “look” right, therefore, you’ve got to draw things that “function” right. That is, your plans must be drawn to scale and must accurately express dimensions, materials, and procedures.

Ultimately you’re paid to extract visions from engineers’ heads and put them on paper in the form of schematics so that construction workers can build them. In that sense, you’re kind of like a medium: Civil engineers use you to communicate their message from “the other side.”

Was this helpful?YesNo