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Looking for work - Drafting construction surveys - Will work for free

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I am looking to bolster my skills and learn how to draw construction surveys. I figure the best way is to dive head first into it and do it for free while I learn. I have 6 years experience using Civil 3D and 3 years experience doing land survey drafting (Mortgage, Alta's, Boundary, Topo's) and have thousands of smaller surveys I've drafted in the past few years. I can work remote and am flexible to your hours. This is a skill I have been wanting to learn for a while and would potentially be open to paid work in the future. Thanks.

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Posted : April 5, 2023 10:09 am
Norman Oklahoma
Posts: 6962
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Frankly, I'm not sure just what a "construction survey" map would look like. 

Posted : April 5, 2023 5:25 pm
Jitterboogie reacted
Posts: 1369
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I admire your dedication and willingness to work for free. However you have a tremendous background already and take it from someone who has made the mistake of working for free recently. It doesn’t work out as a win win.  I came back to the land surveying side and worked for free in exchange for the promise I would get the drafting and boundary experience I needed to get the knowledge I lacked and knowledge that was dusty in the old brain housing area. I would recommend finding a company that does what you are wanting to learn even if its a small cut in pay. If you are looking for remote work pm me and i will get you in touch with my boss as we have as built drawings on construction sites we need drafted often. We also are hurting for cadd skills on alta boundaries and such. I am just now learning civil 3d from scratch and on my own unfortunately. So we can get the field work done get the qa/qc all done and i can get most drafted but that final portion to get it out the door is kicking my rump. I do most everything in TBC because i am more productive with it and when i get into civil 3d i am lost and spend more time on internet trying to find a way to get stuff done. I have learned that civil 3d is not something to just jump into and learn totally on my own. Maybe if i had drafted in the last 15 years it would not be as difficult but i have not so a up hill climb. 

Posted : April 5, 2023 8:02 pm
Posts: 789
Member Member

I’m wouldn’t want anyone to work for me for free.  Drafting is drafting.  All you need is a couple of sample maps and for someone with your experience it’s cake. If someone undersells themself it’s almost as bad as overselling themselves in my opinion.

Good luck and I hope you can help OMR out. First cutting isn’t far off.

Posted : April 5, 2023 8:46 pm
BulldogDrafting, RADAR, Jon Payne and 1 people reacted
Posts: 2197
Topcon/Microstation/3DMC/BIM Member


Please elaborate your definition of construction drafting? Construction is a very broad field that includes but not limited to site work, highways, bridges, high rises, houses and utilities. Most drafting in these fields is limited to as-built drawings. There are a lot of notes and sketches during the construction layout. Not cad.

I suggest you spend some time putting boots on the ground. Get out there with the layout crew and learn the process. This will add value to your drafting.

For software you should also open the horizon to learn Revit for BIM, InRoads/OpenRoads for highways and TakeOff for sitework and TopoDot for scan data.

Posted : April 6, 2023 3:54 am
Posts: 2028
Member BeerLegger

"Construction drafting" is less "drafting" and more "figuring out how to extract, convert, or back in design information that is often conveyed in less-than-ideal ways".

It's high-liability work, and extremely region- and client-dependent.

It's also surveyor-dependent too.

For instance, if I'm preparing information for a crew at my office, I might give them a mix of CSVs, DXFs, RXLs, XMLs, TRBs, etc. I don't calculate too many points because the field software we use is super versatile and it is often better for the crew to work off of the linework rather than point stake everything.

Some of our other offices/crews? Nope, they can only handle CSVs and need to be spoon-fed the whole way. Others I might just send out with a PDF of a couple of the plan sheets so they can best determine how to stake something, because they are a better judge than myself...

I agree with @leegreen that learning how things work on the ground is a must to really grasp construction staking.

Posted : April 6, 2023 11:48 am
Posts: 1430
Member Supporter

Side note on this - would accepting "free" labor run a company afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act?

I've never planned to take someone up on such an offer as people should be paid for their work, but such offers have always made me think that it could be a problematic matter within labor laws for a for-profit company.

Posted : April 7, 2023 11:30 am
Posts: 7722
Member Member

Posted by: @bulldogdrafting

do it for free while I learn


Do I get my money back when I don't like it?


Posted : April 7, 2023 2:45 pm