Draughtsman?

#1
Thinking of joining the RE as a design draughtsman? A good trade choice?
 
#2
i believe so fella but not a guru on that front. turned down that avenue myself to go to be a sparky.

believe that the civvie quals are quite handy but am sure that more informed people than me will pass on their knowledge on that front.

good luck.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#3
Good choice. It will probably steer you into the Clerk of Works stream after a few years.
 
#4
Depends alot on what sort of person you are. If you're not comfortable being "high profile", and are happiest working mostly in an office environment either alone or in a small team designing and using CAD then either of the two Draughtsman trades are for you.

If you prefer to be mostly outside, working with either a Field or Plant Troop, and would relish the pressure of often being the only qualified person in your trade in your Squadron (sometimes Regt) then look at Construction Materials Technician or Surveyor Engineering. Both have roughly a 60/40 practical/office based split.

Of these four "design trades" Surveyor Engineering offers the highest level of civilian qualification, an HND in Engineering Surveying, but only after completion of the Class 1 course. Does require a much higher level of maths than the other three though. Maths on the course is around AS or A level standard.

As Chimera has already stated all these four trades can lead onto training as a Clerk of Works, which gives accelerated promotion from LCpl or Cpl to SSgt. If you're an older recruit to the Corps it's worth thinking about, although you'll have to be fairly thick skinned. Scan through some of the other posts in this forum and you will get an idea of what many in the RE think of Clerk of Works.

Finally a warning that currently the RE seem to be restricting the choices of which career paths are available for the design trades. Essentially unless you go Clerk of Works, your future career after Corporal will either be in a trade post (of which many are soon to be chopped) or over on the stores side of things. That may not float your boat exactly. Search for some of cdn_spr's posts on this forum and you'll get a feel for this issue.
 
#5
Im an ex DD and the army needs to change the Title - the term Draughtsman is the lowest of the low in the building profession - That word is a killer when looking for a job in civi street- although the qualifcation sylabus is super. please please get rid of the draughtsman from the title
 
#6
im4y2uk said:
Im an ex DD and the army needs to change the Title - the term Draughtsman is the lowest of the low in the building profession - That word is a killer when looking for a job in civi street- although the qualifcation sylabus is super. please please get rid of the draughtsman from the title
I’m not sure what else you would call it, Draughtsman does what it says on the tin? Anything else would be akin to describing a cleaner as a “floor technician”?

Something like CAD Operator suggests a person who only reproduces drawings in electronic format, at least with “Draughtsman” you are encompassing the whole idea of prelim designs prior to drawing?
 
#7
Not one myself, but i know the route for draughties is changing. Basically theres only going to be a single trade at A2 level (Des Dtmn & E&M DTmn are combining). When selected for A1 training, thats when you select (have selected for you depending on shortage) which side of the wire you want to be.
 
#8
In a lot of respects, I agree with im4y2uk. The Army trade extends far beyond what would be expected in civvy street with the same title. In that respect, you'd expect plenty of job offers once you sign off, but sadly this isn't the case as prospective employers look at the title before looking at the experience.

You'd think that you'd get round this by going down the Clk Wks route, but there again, the civvy trade is totally different to the military one.

As far as a career in the Army goes, I'd say that it's a fair one as it gives you knowledge of a wide range of disciplines without getting your hands dirty, and this knowledge can help you to progress. It is, however, fairly thankless as, during a design task, you'll be the last to start work (having to wait for information to come in), but will be accused of holding the job up while others are waiting for drawings towards the end. Hence, to those with little appreciation of what the job involves, you'll be viewed as a lazy cnut but in actual fact you'll be working your bollokcs off.

DDs have my sympathy and respect.
 
#9
putteesinmyhands said:
In a lot of respects, I agree with im4y2uk. The Army trade extends far beyond what would be expected in civvy street with the same title. In that respect, you'd expect plenty of job offers once you sign off, but sadly this isn't the case as prospective employers look at the title before looking at the experience.
So what Civvy jobs would you be applying for as a qualified Draughtsman, that a prospective employer would over look that title on your CV?
 
#10
Cait said:
putteesinmyhands said:
In a lot of respects, I agree with im4y2uk. The Army trade extends far beyond what would be expected in civvy street with the same title. In that respect, you'd expect plenty of job offers once you sign off, but sadly this isn't the case as prospective employers look at the title before looking at the experience.
So what Civvy jobs would you be applying for as a qualified Draughtsman, that a prospective employer would over look that title on your CV?
It's not a case that the civvy employer would overlook the title, rather that he would put too much emphasis on it. When a civvy looks for a Draughtsman, he's basically looking for a CAD operator and that's the salary level that he's willing to pay. The Army DD is capable of a lot more and if he jumps into the first Draughtsman job that he finds, he's going to find that a lot of his skill isn't used. If he gets with the right firm, his abilities may be recognised and he could look forward to promotion to a more appropriate position (though this probably won't have a clear Job Title). If he gets with the wrong firm, he won't get the opportunity for his abilities to be recognised and will end up wasting his talent.

It's very much a case that the Army job spans over several civvy jobs, but not quite enough in any one to justify the application of an additional title. Even if it did, that job wouldn't recognise the other aspects of the training and experience that the ex-soldier has received. This happens in many areas, probably more so in the Construction side of the RE, accounting for the disillusionment of many a Clk Wks (C) as he takes up what would, at first, appear to be a civilian equivalent.
 
#11
putteesinmyhands said:
When a civvy looks for a Draughtsman, he's basically looking for a CAD operator and that's the salary level that he's willing to pay. The Army DD is capable
Playing devil's advocate here but what is an ME DD capable of or does in addition, which is not expected from a Civvy Draughtsman? (Green training aside)

putteesinmyhands said:
If he gets with the right firm, his abilities may be recognised and he could look forward to promotion to a more appropriate position (though this probably won't have a clear Job Title).
Doing what?
 
#12
Depends on whic particular discipline, and at what level. In general an A1 Des Dtmn is capable of carrying out various parts of the design work (like reinforcing calculations etc) which is commonly carried out by them.

On the other hand E&M Dtmn are capable of carrying out basic cable sizinng as well as calculations for example of Hot water heating systems etc. However due to time constraints they don't normally doo this.

In general Militray Dtmn are trained to a higher standard than civilian ones, and are frequently given more responsibility and authority than their civilian counterparts. I know of numerous draughties who got out to be CAD operators and found themselves rapidly promoted in their relvant companies to be either trouble shooters for differant offices round the country, or promoted to manage said offices.
 
#13
Cait said:
putteesinmyhands said:
When a civvy looks for a Draughtsman, he's basically looking for a CAD operator and that's the salary level that he's willing to pay. The Army DD is capable
Playing devil's advocate here but what is an ME DD capable of or does in addition, which is not expected from a Civvy Draughtsman? (Green training aside)

putteesinmyhands said:
If he gets with the right firm, his abilities may be recognised and he could look forward to promotion to a more appropriate position (though this probably won't have a clear Job Title).
Doing what?
The ME DD tends to develop the information that he receives to produce a drawing that should need little editing before becoming the final issue. Hence Design Draughtsman. The civvy tends to draw what he receives, relying on all the detailing to be done by somebody else. There are variations in the scope of work, hence the warning about making sure you get with the right firm.

While there are large companies that segregate their employees into distinct categories, each performing a limited role that is easily defined by a Job Description and Title, smaller companies (particularly) maximise the abilities of their employees. As each employee in a general discipline may have widely variable experience, individuals will be given responsibilities beyond their generic Job Description. As such, their Title may not precisely reflect their duties. In the latter case, when advertising a job opportunity, they may ask for a Draughtsman, then compare applicants to identify additional skills that may be useful, not knowing in advance exactly what extra traits they want. In the former case, they probably just want someone who can draw lines.

Simplifications, I know, but the organisation of civvy companies varies extremely from one to another.
 
#14
putteesinmyhands said:
The ME DD tends to develop the information that he receives to produce a drawing that should need little editing before becoming the final issue. Hence Design Draughtsman. The civvy tends to draw what he receives, relying on all the detailing to be done by somebody else. There are variations in the scope of work, hence the warning about making sure you get with the right firm..

Semantics possibly but what you have described is the difference between Draughtsman and CAD Operator. There is a reconised difference in civvy companies cetainly within M&E Practices between a CAD Operator and a Draughtsman. The draughting of a design be it structural or internals is completed by the relvent engineer "Draughtsman" including calcs & design analysis. CAD Operators are generally on demand to produce finalised drawings and carryout any subsequent revisions.


putteesinmyhands said:
In the latter case, when advertising a job opportunity, they may ask for a Draughtsman, then compare applicants to identify additional skills that may be useful, not knowing in advance exactly what extra traits they want. In the former case, they probably just want someone who can draw lines.
Quite possibly, so adding Draughtsman to your CV would atleast get your CV looked at?

Holdfast_RE said:
In general Militray Dtmn are trained to a higher standard than civilian ones..
I disagree particularly if you compare educational qualifications. The majority are HND or above qualified particularly in consultancy practices where most are BSC (hons) minimum. Anything below and they generally hold the title of technician as apposed to engineer.

Again semantics maybe but going back to my original post Draughtsman does what is says on the tin both sides of the water.
 
#15
Cait said:
putteesinmyhands said:
The ME DD tends to develop the information that he receives to produce a drawing that should need little editing before becoming the final issue. Hence Design Draughtsman. The civvy tends to draw what he receives, relying on all the detailing to be done by somebody else. There are variations in the scope of work, hence the warning about making sure you get with the right firm..
Semantics possibly but what you have described is the difference between Draughtsman and CAD Operator. There is a reconised difference in civvy companies cetainly within M&E Practices between a CAD Operator and a Draughtsman. The draughting of a design be it structural or internals is completed by the relvent engineer "Draughtsman" including calcs & design analysis. CAD Operators are generally on demand to produce finalised drawings and carryout any subsequent revisions.
In terms of the defined terminology, you're correct. But CAD operation is still considered by many to be a black art and the terms Draughtsman and CAD Operator are often incorrectly transposed. Although CAD is widely used nowadays, it remains a relatively recent concept with the result that many of the older people who use CAD started their career as something else and use either term indiscriminately. I would maintain, however, that the ME DD has a better better background of design than his civvy counterpart - though the civvy may have qualified as an engineer before learning CAD, in which case the tables turn again.
 
#16
Cait said:
putteesinmyhands said:
In the latter case, when advertising a job opportunity, they may ask for a Draughtsman, then compare applicants to identify additional skills that may be useful, not knowing in advance exactly what extra traits they want. In the former case, they probably just want someone who can draw lines.
Quite possibly, so adding Draughtsman to your CV would atleast get your CV looked at?
Yes. My comment was not so much whether you'll get a job, but more whether you'll get the right job. With the skills that are developed in the Army, you should be looking for something a bit beyond "Draughtsman" though you need to be aware that the advertisement probably won't identify this. You'll only find out by attending interviews and asking the questions as the answers may not be forthcoming otherwise.
 
#17
As an ex.DD of 10 years standing the main insight I can give (I know all the civvy quals now aquired are diffrent). I left & started as a contracts draughtman (the d word still applied then, its technician now) because of the DD training I was able to approach both Architects & Structural Engineers (they both found this very handy on my CV) I chose the SE route & within a short time I'd become a Senior Technician (job titles in civvy street can at times be misleading, it's the role they want you to do at your required experience) & the moved up to CAD Manager (this is within 7.5 years of leaving). My current company gives me the title of Senior Technician but my role is less CAD work (through choice) & more project lead answerable to Senior Project Engineer but with both engineers & CAD technicians working for me. Because of this experience I have just be asked to take up the Resident Engineers position on a major civils project for the company (The next phase of Road & Drainage construction on a large buisness park development) I aslo lead the structural & civil side of the contract on one of the new buisness units. DD plus the discipline that comes with being an RE has impressed all the companies I've worked for since leaving & have had plenty of compliments over the way I have run & presented projects. The only irony of this is I wasn't considered good enough by Chatham to do my class 1, I'll think about the instructors when I recieve my next bonus for bringing in the next project in on time & under budget (I may buy another Saab 93 with it). :p
All in all DD can give you a very sound grounding in construction & IMO you should go for it.
 
#18
thank you for all your comments. As a real member of the EU I can assure you all that the meaning of draughtsman is different depending on which field one follows. I now live and work in Germany and when I first looked for a job in the Building field - as Ex SNCO DD- lots of experiece -I should have no problems- unfortunately one has to have ones Qualifcation translated by a legally qualified translator. In Germany Quaifcation titles are very important - job title "Bau- Zeichner" it is the lowest of the low in the building trade ( basically a tracer). E&M Draughtsman when translated is, however, well respected because it is associated with Technical drawings. Although the sylabus was looked at by Architects - it was hard for him and other like him to get past the title. They would use me as a building engineer buton a tracers pay. Here, however, is the positive - I decided to use just my draughtsman skills (having a 40 minute lesson on how to use and sharpen a pencil put me in good sted) and not the design skills and went self employed as a drawing Office using the high standard of board and CAD work required by the RSME and following through learning other graphic programmes to facilitate a range of customers. In the end Im not rich or high flyer but I live quite comfortably- I made lemonade from a lemon. But again if you want to be paid for your design skills - get rid of the DRAUGHTSMAN in the title. PS For those of you learning to be a draughtsman - please learn to use the board - everyone can use CAD but not everyone can produce hand drawings. In marketing many presentation works are going back to hand constuction drawings- its more personal
 
#19
FAILED_BOOTNECK said:
Thinking of joining the RE as a design draughtsman? A good trade choice?
Hi My two-penny worth.. Im ex Booty went RE went Draughtsman route, using scribbler and board, no computers back in those days, (got out in 89). I was good at what I did, really enjoyed watching the grunts work whilst staying clean and pressed, after all your still a Sapper and come exercise (Germany) time they expect you to do 'those' type of duties. Thoroughly loved my 12 years, got succumed to somewhere special PV'd and had a great life, went somewhere else even better and after 17 years in total away they still call me back! Last discharge was Apr 2004 and another couple of commendations, man go for it, if they offer you something a little special jump in both feet. As for Civvy Street, Im settled in a comfortable Local Government Managerial Position, earning good dosh, better pension and life security... Guess what, I'd give it all up for the next call back!
 
#20
I was a DDA2 back in the days of black and white (PVR'd in '80). On getting out, I found that A2 had no real civvy equivalent, so had no choice other than to do a bridge year then HNC Civils, whilst working as a draffy/detailer.

Back then, in civvy world in the days before CAD, there was a hierarchy of sorts for draffys: tracers were the plan copiers, not capable of any original thought, or of puzzling details out for themselves; then there were the detail draffys, who interpreted the design calcs undertaken by the technicians and engineers and worked out how it all went together, conceived connection details and so on.

These days, with CAD, there is a one-size-fits-all name of CAD technician, covering both types of capability. Unfortunately, there are a lot of CAD-monkeys out there who are just that: proficient in the use of AutoCAD etc, but crap at concept and, never having worked on the board, are incapable of churning out presentable and correct drawings.

The RE training is very good and gives a very wide base of training (I presume that it still starts as DA, covering draffy, engineer surveying and construction lab operator?) and most of my bridge/HNC course was not to any greater depth than the stuff I'd done at Chepstow and RSME.

It is also good from the point of view of instilling a sense of self-discipline (not that I had too much of that, when I was in the REs!) and it is amazing to see just how lazy some of the civvy guys can be in comparison. As a consequence, it is quite easy to stand out and shine....

Having originally envisaged NEVER coming off the board, I continued with my career, did a part-time civils degree after bridge/HNC and a further year of endorsements and have been a chartered structural engineer for too many years to remember now. As a consequence, I don't do much drawing work nowadays (it's the money....!), but made sure that I was and am proficient in CAD, as well as still being able to hand-draw, just so as to keep all my options open, if work started drying up.

Having taken the slow-track route viz teaboy, plan-printer, hole-digger, draffy, technician and finally engineer, I can turn my hand to just about everything involved with the world of structures and there is no doubt that an RE background can make you a much more marketable commodity. At least this is true in the structural consultancy side of the biz, which is where I've been since leaving t'army - although it is amazing the amount of civvys who do not realise that there is such a trade within the army.

I run my own structural engineering consultancy and would have absolutely no hesitation in employing an ex-DD in preference to a civvy counterpart. Maybe I'm biased as a result of having been one, but having seen both sides of the fence, I would say DDs generally knock spots off the civvys, certainly once they've got some experience of life out here.

Thus I would say go for it; but, expect, if you subsequently leave, to have to do a fair number of years of further study if you want to progress anywhere beyond the board/pc screen; the amount of studying to do is entirely dependent on how far you want to go with it.

Best of luck!
 
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