Difference between an Engineer and a Draftsman

What is the Difference between an Engineer and a Draftsman?

If you are planning on building a home, it can be quite confusing to figure out whether you should be working with an engineer or a draftsman. Though it may seem like they perform very similar functions, there are some distinct differences between what these two professionals handle. Let’s take a look at what these differences are. It will help you understand whose services you will need:


An engineer is trained in civil engineering and is involved in designing & building structures including bridges and roads. They often work in tandem with draftsmen and architects to create as well as complete plans for residential and commercial structures. In most instances, a civil engineer will also be answerable to the architect in charge of the project. They use CAD software in their design work and in many cases a draftsman may flesh-out these ideas.


A draftsman is a professional who is qualified & trained to create to-scale technical drawings; these drawings also include detailed specifications. Today, all draftsmen use CAD (computer-assisted design) software like archiCAD- these are 3D representations of the structure that has to be built as well as the detailed house plans. Since drafting is much more technical compared to architectural design, the former can also be applied to a range of engineering designs. Based on their level of expertise and experience, a draftsman works with engineers or architects and produces 3D visual products models, blueprints and templates. Expert draftsmen also work independently with clients who are building homes.

What’s the Difference Between these Two?


Draftsman go through a 2-year TAFE course that covers topics such as sketching & design as well as CAD & drafting (CADD) software programs. These professionals can specialise as architectural drafters, civil drafters, electrical/ mechanical drafters etc. Though the certification signifies professionalism and competence, it is not mandatory.

In comparison, a civil engineer goes through an intensive 4-year bachelor’s degree program. It’s a math-intensive course that tackles topics such as statistics, engineering mechanics & systems as well as fluid dynamics. An engineer is also required to acquire a licence if he/she wants to offer their services to clients


The primary responsibility of a draftsman is to translate the rough sketches that are made by civil engineers and architects, into detailed technical drawings. An architectural draftsman specialises in drawing commercial & residential structures, to-scale and these are made using CADD software programs

A civil engineer handles designing, constructing & maintaining buildings, roads, large construction projects, flood control projects etc. He/she will analyse data & results of surveys in order to prepare for any construction project. They will also conduct soil testing- these checks are actioned to see if the foundation has the strength to hold the proposed structure.

Civil engineers have the knowledge and training to make blue-prints and the know how to use CADD software- they also know how to make to-scale drawings if they need to. But in practice, all the accurate, detailed technical descriptions as well as scale drawings are made by drafters. The other aspects of the project such as implementation is handled by the engineer. Typically, when project plans are being discussed, if there is a civil engineer in that project, both these professionals work together- however, the final drawings are always rendered by the draftsmen


Civil engineers typically draw higher remunerations compared to draftsmen. This is because they handle additional functions in any project in comparison to draftsmen who handle only a single aspect of a particular project.

An Important Function

Today, well-established drafting professionals work very closely with prospective homeowners while they are planning construction plans. They also have the ability to lend insight and provide ideas that help in creating better plans and home designs.

For more information, about how you can use our drafting services in your project, call Elementree Drafting Services on 1300 566 873. Alternatively, use this contact form to connect with us and we will call you as soon as possible to discuss the details of your project. We can work independently with you or with your architect or civil engineer, if you have appointed one.

Thanks for reading,
Elementree Drafting Services
1300 566 873

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