Do I Need To Be Good At Drawing To Be A Civil Engineer?

Although you don’t have to be really good at artistic drawing in order to become a civil engineer, you need to be able to understand technical diagrams and illustrations. To a certain degree, you will need to be able to draw or at the very least make sketches and be able to explain these to your professors and classmates when you’re still in civil engineering school so that you can pass your subjects. When you become a practicing civil engineer in the future, you may need to make technical diagrams on the spot if the clients want a preliminary picture of the design you had in mind. In many cases, however, you will not be making the drawings manually but will be working with drafts-persons who will listen to your plans and draw your concept using computer-aided design software.

It also helps to understand that as a civil engineer, your task is to ensure that the projects you will be constructing—whether they are highways, buildings or sewage treatment systems—are going to be safe and complies with established standards and government regulations. More than drawing skills, this requires excellent mathematical ability and a clear understanding of the principles of advanced concepts in math. It is part of the job of a civil engineer to make different calculations, such as the amount of stress that a structure can take, so your proficiency in math is going to matter more than your ability to make good drawings.

Understanding the different parts of a technical diagram is a different matter entirely and is a trait that all aspiring civil engineers should possess. Even if you can’t make decent diagrams yourself, you must be good at reading drawings if you ever want to determine if what is shown in the blueprint is accurate. For instance, when doing actual field work, you will be working closely with a drafts-person who will draw your concept using computer aided design software. You must be able to understand what his diagrams mean when he shows his initial output to you if you want to make the necessary corrections to the illustrations made.

Although you may be able to rely on CAD professionals to make your drawings for you, it’s still a good idea to learn how to manipulate these kinds of drawing and modeling software programs. This will, in fact, be a subject that you will need to pass in college. Proficiency in CAD will result to getting projects done faster since you and the draftsman you work with are going to be on the same page when it comes to the finer details of the structure you are working on.

Knowing how to draw—manually or using computer software—is also very handy if you are particularly interested in developing your own designs for buildings, roads and other infrastructure on your own. No one else can translate those ideas in your head to actual blueprints better than you can so facility with making technical diagrams is going to be a must if you have that inventive streak.

Career Spotlight: Civil Engineer

Leave A Comment