The earliest drafting document is a fossilized aerial plan of a Babylonian fortress that dates back to 2000 B.C. Sketches and hand-drawn plans have been commonplace pre-construction practices ever since. Today, Drafting Technologists in the oil and gas industry work closely with engineers, architects and industrial designers to create visual representations of technical information and designs prior to the construction of a project.

What a typical day looks like:

Drafting Technologists gather engineering or architectural information, designs and data for a project, and then use computers, complex design programs and 3D printers to create detailed visuals. These visuals contain the technical information, show the relationships between parts, machinery and systems, and provide an overview of what the final project will actually look like.

Different professionals will often be responsible for developing individual pieces of a project. This means that Drafting Technologists meet with engineers, architects, planners and designers to discuss the design concepts, building materials and plans. They interpret the information gathered from each of these people using computer design programs, as well as manual drafting techniques, to prepare 2D or 3D drawings. The drawings become detailed engineering plans, architectural plans, flow diagrams, schematics, maps, detailed working drawings or 3D displays. After completing the drawings, they communicate design ideas and solutions clearly and concisely back to the engineers, architects, planners and designers. They may also be involved with preparing the cost estimates based on the completed plans.

Drafting Technologists usually work standard weekday hours in a deadline-driven office environment and are typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil and gas services and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry. They are sometimes required to work some extended hours or weekends in order to finish important projects and help their team stay on schedule.

The kinds of problems Drafting Technologists solve at work:

Drafting Technologists gather information from many different professionals to collect each piece of the puzzle. When they bring all the different designs, specifications and ideas into a single drafting document, they need to ensure all the parts and systems work together to create a final, cohesive product. When problems arise, Drafting Technologists brainstorm solutions with colleagues and experts to find solutions.

Skills used most on the job:

Drafting Technologists are precise – their measurements, locations and systems must be exact. This means they are detail-oriented, organized, critical-thinkers who thrive on a challenge. They also have excellent active listening and communications skills. They combine their knowledge of computers and design with engineering and process to complete the final drawings.

Drafting Technologists gather all the different pieces and ideas together and combine them into a single, cohesive final product.

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