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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Civil Design Technology

Majors Overview February 13, 2014

Those interested in a career in civil drafting may want to look into programs in drafting design technology or civil design drafting. This will prepare students to visualize the rough drawings and initial ideas of engineers and architects. Usually, students can also finish computer-aided design (CAD) courses in these programs.

Associate of Arts Programs in Civil Design Technology

Students enrolled in an Associate’s Degree Program in Civil Design Technology are taught basic concepts of civil engineering, such as structural systems, construction standards, land forms, building materials, regulations and zoning codes. They are also taught to use tools such as compasses, triangles and dividers, in addition to reading technical manuals and creating duplicate copies of computer-aided designs. Students can also become adept at operating various specific drafting technologies, including word processor software, Adobe systems, boundary survey and AutoCAD.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold GED certificates or high school diplomas. Aspiring civil design professionals may need to complete advanced high school courses in mathematics before beginning the associate’s degree program.


Coursework typically combines classroom lectures with hands-on training. Students can expect to become adept in reading construction blueprints, calculating dimensions, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving. Coursework should include topic areas such as:

•Plane surveying
•Computer-aided design and drafting
•Professional writing
•Civil drafting principles
•Machine drafting
•Technical drafting
•Blueprint interpretation

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete these degree programs can seek entry-level work in various professional settings, such as aircraft manufacturers, manufacturing firms, machine shops, government agencies and engineering firms. They may also seek employment in an array of projects, such as bridges, sewage systems, highways and dams. Typically, they may seek to become:

•Drawing coordinators
•Transportation technicians

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates who wish to pursue more advanced architectural and civil engineering careers may benefit from earning bachelor’s degrees in the fields. Additionally, drafters may seek voluntary certification offered by the American Design Drafting Association or other similar professional associations. Maintenance of certification typically requires these professionals to complete a minimum number of continuing education hours.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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