Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians
Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians assist in civil engineering research, design, construction, operations and maintenance.
preparing sketches, charts, tabulations, plans and designs for civil engineering works such as drainage, water supply, sewerage reticulation systems, roads, airports, dams, bridges and other structures
performing and directing fieldwork and laboratory testing
interpreting work assignment instructions, applying appropriate procedures and selecting equipment
collecting and analysing data, and carrying out computations
estimating material costs and ensuring finished works are within specifications, regulations and contract provisions
inspecting civil engineering works, and organising and supervising maintenance and repair work
conducting field and laboratory tests of construction materials and soils, and collecting data for traffic surveys
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 89% of people employed as Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 23 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,730 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,358
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,042
Median hourly earnings are $44, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians||All Jobs Average|
Around 43% of Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland and Western Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians is 39 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 14% of the workforce. This is 34 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.2||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A formal qualification in civil engineering (or another relevant field) and experience working with drafting software is usually needed to work as a Civil Engineering Draftsperson or Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Resources and Infrastructure Industry VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||4.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||3.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians who interact well with others, are reliable and provide good customer service.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Using maths to solve problems.
Reading work related information.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
43%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
41%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Teaching people how to do something.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
69%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
61%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
55%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
49%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
43%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
37%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
36%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
35%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
34%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
33%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
48%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
See details that are far away.
43%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
85%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
77%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
67%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
65%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
65%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
63%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
62%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
61%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
60%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
59%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
59%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
56%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
52%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
50%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
49%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
48%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
48%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
46%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
41%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Use electronic mail.
Talk with people face-to-face.
91%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
90%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Work with people in a group or team.
Talk on the telephone.
83%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
80%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
79%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work to strict deadlines.
73%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
70%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
68%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
65%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
64%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
63%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
60%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
58%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-3011.02 - Civil Drafters.