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AWTK: Draftsmen, Cartographers - What is the best course to do?

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  • AWTK: Draftsmen, Cartographers - What is the best course to do?

    Hi,
    Thought I would start another thread rather than hijack the "so what's your occupation thread."

    I'm looking for a change in career, and would like to know what is the best course / training to do to become a qualified draftsman or cartographer, in order to learn correct procedures as well as maximise job opportunities. I am aware of a few of the courses through TAFE and Curtin Uni.

    My intention for this thread is to get the knowledge from people in the industry, so I would be much appreciated for feedback since there seems to be a few guys on here who know their stuff.

    Cheers.

    ps. my background is degree qualified in IT (so I know computers/programming) and part healthcare in ICU (so I know how important it is to be precise and detail specific).

    Mods, feel free to direct this thread to another location if its more suitable. Thanks.
    If you keep trying to explain it with logic and facts you will possibly end up hurting your sanity.

  • #2
    Considered going for a traineeship? Intake for Worleyparsons must be coming up soon. I'd get in contact with their HR department and find out, might be able to score some info, what area are you interested in??

    Mechanical, Structural, Residential, Electrical, Instrumentation, Marine, haven't had much to do with the Carto side of things though.

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    • #3
      depends what field you're interested in.

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      • #4
        Cartography? Maybe look into survey drafting or similar?
        Originally posted by Desmogod
        Nobody was bagging scooters, they were bagging you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brougham View Post
          depends what field you're interested in.
          exactly this!
          Im a Structural guy I started TAFE first and did 6 months and then started to apply for places and got hired by the first place I applied for
          been here for 7 years now
          Originally posted by Lefty
          Wouldn't be like me to upset the herd.

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          • #6
            to validate what i said, some disciplines have no formal training.

            mine for example - i specialise in building mechanical services (HVAC, commercial aircon, fire sprinklers, etc) and over the past 15yrs i've been doing it there's never been a formal qualification for it.
            Carlisle TEC tried once to do it, but as the field is that small in perth, there was no call for it and it didn't even make a term.

            the "closest" qualification is the Mechanical Eng Diploma, which most of us in the field have done, which is major overkill.
            but then again, as it's such a small field, forma quals arent needed. experience and skills are more important to our clientele.

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            • #7
              From my exp, get into a drafting course first off. I did Civil / Structural Drafting and with that, my first job was doing surveying drafting. Then jumped into piping & mechanical structures, then finally some strucutural work, and right now layouts, pipeline, installation etc....

              As long as you can do the work, no reason you can't be hired. And i'm sure Brougham will agree, after a few years working, its all about exp and what you can do.
              "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." ~ Muhammad Ali

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              • #8
                Cartography = become a surveyor, although dont expect much time studying maps / making them as most of it has been done before, what you end up doing is refining known areas to put a road / trainline / mine in it...

                Draftsman - two main areas, housing etc and Mechanical, Not sure where land mapping comes into it, that is usually the surveyors job, but chances are he will have some lackeys to control that are draftsmen too. So you could learn 2D Autocad for starters, probably the most basic package - there are tafe courses, then you can move into 3D which would include ProE, SolidWorks, Inventor / Rhino (all usually used for Mechanical purposes) etc If you want to stick to the mapping program there is software like Liscad which is designed for surveying input and making maps.

                To become a qualified 'draftsman' usually requires doing study in either housing or engineering at tafe. Engineering is studied in two areas - civil and mechanical, they come in diploma and advanced diploma levels - usually the advanced diploma is prefferred, they are a 1 and 2 year course respectively. Also once you have done your adv. diploma you can enter engineering at Uni and skip the first year if you want to head down that path. You can also do a diploma in building design etc if you want to head down that path.

                All that beign said, you dont really need to be qualified - if you can find an 'in'. For example - I do not hold any formal qualifications, yet I am considered a senior draftsman (although currently full time at uni finishing my Mech Eng degree). Many places like to train their employees in their way of thinking and operation. Coming in with a mindset from another place, involves removing the old procedures making you learn new habits, which can take more time than starting from scratch. The qualification is more a proving ground than a solid knowledge base - you learn 10x more when you start doing the work.

                Edit: just saw you can also do a Diploma in building surveying too - Also another area that cartographers can be involved in is underwater mapping - that isn't anywhere near as complete as what we know about land formations...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by out_in_front View Post
                  Cartography = become a surveyor, although dont expect much time studying maps / making them as most of it has been done before, what you end up doing is refining known areas to put a road / trainline / mine in it...
                  Or a subdivision.
                  I know of one surveying company that is happy to take inexperienced people and train them in survey drafting.
                  Originally posted by Desmogod
                  Nobody was bagging scooters, they were bagging you.

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                  • #10
                    Probably the most important thing that I can read from your responses is that you all enjoy it, so far no one has said "Don't do it".

                    Initially, I was looking at structural/residential and considering doing the TAFE course to get a foot in (I already have two Uni degrees), but would this one at Curtin - GIS be worthwhile?

                    Again, thanks very much for the responses. I'm very much aware that most learning is done on the job.
                    If you keep trying to explain it with logic and facts you will possibly end up hurting your sanity.

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                    • #11
                      It's definitely an interesting career - esp. if you get a job that exposes you to some of the more obscure projects out there, and aslo offers a variety of work rather than developing a similar product every time.

                      Witht he GIS course - have a look at what GIS programs are out there and see if you like the look of them as I will bet the job you can get after it will be as a GIS operator - a GIS operator to a geologist is what a draftsman is to an engineer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by out_in_front View Post
                        All that beign said, you dont really need to be qualified - if you can find an 'in'.
                        That you might want to check. I chat to my old bosses a fair bit, always asking bout upcoming work, and spots. Alot of places (especially on the Terrace) now won't even look at you if you don't have a TAFE Diploma minimum..... Inside word is all. But that is for guys starting out. like i said before if oyu've got 5+ yrs exp and applying for a job, they'll look at what you've done.
                        "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." ~ Muhammad Ali

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                        • #13
                          Yep I am at 10 years experience now, and most of the people I have been seconded out to in that period pretty much have the door open for me if I want to move on. As for places on the terrace - there are about 4 places including a couple of the big players that are included on that list. Perth is a small place, do a good job and you can get noticed. Once i get this uni degree I should hve the qualifications side of things covered too though, it's the only qualification that is really worth anything compared to experience as you can legally sign off on projects / calcs etc when you have it.

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                          • #14
                            Don't need a uni degree to sign off on every discipline.

                            And IEAust don't req degree for full membership, trade exp can be used.

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                            • #15
                              Uni degree and appropiate Engineer membership when you are doing design calcs etc..
                              "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." ~ Muhammad Ali

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