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Structural Engineering Design Draftsperson

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Structural engineering draftspeople provide technical support to structural engineers. They assist in the design of structural projects such as buildings, bridges and towers by preparing the detailed plans and drawings to the engineer’s design and specifications.

Structural draftspeople need to have an understanding of engineering and design practices. This enables them to create electronic structural design plans and detail using 2D and 3D computer-aided drafting. Draftspeople frequently have a hand in preparing tenders and design documentation for the project.

Often structural draftspeople play an integral part in the design and construction team by carrying out site inspections of completed works for the design engineers. Being the first people involved in the documentation stage they play a pivotal role in maintaining standardisation of steelwork framing and connections.

If you have an interest in computer-aided drafting and structural detail this may be the career for you. As part of the engineering team, you will visualise ideas in three-dimensional form utilising computers, produce accurate and precise work and have good oral and written skills.

Qualifications

Some examples of TAFE courses:

  • Certificate III in Computer Aided Drafting / Certificate III in Civil & Structural Engineering. Entry requirements vary by state ranging from Year 10 to 12
  • Certificate IV in Residential Drafting / Certificate IV – Structural Design. Entry requirements are usually Year 12 or Year 10 plus work experience
  • Diploma of Civil Engineering - Drafting / Advanced Diploma of Civil and Structural Engineering.

Entry requirements for Diploma courses are usually completion of Year 12 or equivalent preferably with Maths. It is highly recommended that you combine coursework with a cadetship in the industry, enabling you to earn while you learn.

Contacts

List of TAFE colleges: www.australian-universities.com/colleges/list.php

Ai Group Apprentice and Trainee Centre

Australian Apprenticeships: www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au

The Structural Steel Draftsperson

"Academically I achieved well at high school, but I did not have a specific career in mind when I completed my final year. I was fortunate to be offered a drafting apprenticeship which set me on the path to a long and very rewarding career. I began as a junior drafter in a small office, assisting various disciplines. As staff numbers increased and I gained experience, I found most satisfaction in the Structures section.

I have worked on a great variety of projects, including several unique structures and high profile buildings and I love being part of the team that can create such stand-out structures! I not only use my drafting skills to put together detailed CAD drawings for the design team, but I also liaise with the engineer, architect and other departments, and solve problems on a daily basis. I occasionally visit job sites to collect data and take measurements, bringing welcome variety to my normal routine.

I have had the opportunity to become increasingly involved in project management as I support the structural design engineer in his job. That said, I still get immense satisfaction from completing a full set of structural drawings ready for the construction of a brand new building! I love being able to convert a design concept into a graphical representation that will be used to create a new structure."

Cheryl Petersen
Senior Structural Draftsperson

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