Cad Drafter For Hire
My name is Matt Janowski and I am currently a civil engineering cad drafter for hire in the Los Angeles, CA area.
My specialty as a cad drafter is in the Civil Engineering and Surveying fields. I’ve worked with several larger firms over the past 25 years but have found contracting my services to small to mid-sized companies to be much more rewarding.
I’d like to give a little information about myself and how I’ve come about to be a successful independent contractor as a cad drafter.
My work history would start at the age of 15 cutting line for a professional land surveyor (In upstate NY). After encouragement from this Surveyor to pursue the Surveying and Engineering fields, I found myself going to college to pursue a Civil Engineering technology degree.
I went to college at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Ma and graduated with an Associates degree in Civil Engineering Technology. Wentworth offered a co-op program and I started working in my freshman year with a survey company as a rod man. Eventually I made the switch to the office reducing field books and drafting survey maps.
Being young and rambunctious, I moved to Florida and worked for a surveying and engineering firm there. After about 3 to 4 months in the field, I was asked to come into the office and draft maps using cad.
After 8 months of working in Florida I became homesick and moved back home and immediately started working for an engineering firm in Albany, NY. Over the course of the next 20 years my co-workers and I would work at many of the ‘local’ engineering companies, jumping company to company as needs (and pay raises) dictated.
During that period I also worked for smaller engineers on the side, drafting their engineering maps. I also prepared countless survey maps for the PLS I cut line for at 15 years old. To this day I still draft that PLS’s maps!
Modern Day Cad Drafter
With the advent of modern technology and Google Drive, two engineers and I have worked together for the past year in NY rarely ever seeing each other. I’m capable of completing entire civil engineering plan sets all from my home office.
On rare occasion, as necessity dictates, I travel to either office to go over entire plan sets (mostly as the plan set nears its completion) to finalize them.
As my family and I prepare to move to the West Coast for a warmer climate and be near close friends that moved to the West Coast two years ago, I will be looking to expand my services to West Coast clients in the Los Angeles, CA area.
My Ideal Cad Drafter Deal
As with my two clients in NY the protocol for distance cad drafting in CA is basically the same as it is/was in NY.
My ideal client(s) are small Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors that basically don’t need/want to hire a full-time employee yet need ‘almost’ full-time attention to their drafting needs.
The benefit to my services is that I am a design engineer by ‘experience default’. By that I mean I’ve drafted more engineering plan sets than I care to admit, that by default, I can design a site plan (commercial site, residential site, subdivisions, utility layout, grading, profiles, etc.) from a survey base map to a completed set of plans unattended.
Naturally it would be ideal to meet my new client(s) face to face and discuss the new projects we’ll be working on. If that can’t take place it’s still very easy to establish a working relationship.
99% of my correspondence is in the form of PDF’s and, depending on the engineer or surveyor’s resources, full size or 11 x 17 ‘mark-ups’ saved as PDF’s work perfectly as the necessary correspondence.
Ideally all the work will be saved to the cloud (in my NY instances, Google Drive) such that the files we work on can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone and if all the xref paths in autocad (Civil 3d) are relative, files can be opened from anywhere without so much as a hiccup.
The huge benefit to both parties is that files can be worked on at any time and any place to complete projects.
The main benefit for my wife and I having four young boys is the flexibility it allows to not be stuck in the corporate 8 to 5 routine.
Time saved not having to navigate traffic, especially CA traffic, saves potentially hours of commute time daily/weekly/monthly/yearly.
As a common example here in NY, I find myself up at 4:30 AM working on my client’s engineering projects. Knowing all I need to do is get a cup of coffee, go to my office (the other room) and start or continue working on projects is almost indescribably productive. By the time the family is up at 7:30 to get the school day started, etc., I’ve already completed three hours of work. And that’s every day. My wife works 100% from home for a large health group so when the kids are on the bus by 9 AM we usually start our day by going for a 45 minute walk.
By 9:45 we’re done with our walk and I’m sitting and working again. Don’t even need to shower….lol
No Going Back
Once my client’s and I perfected our routine, there really was no going back to the ‘old’ way of doing things.
I could never see myself sitting in an office from 8 to 5 drawing maps. It quite honestly seems counter-productive to the way we do it now.
I’m convinced not just anyone can produce the maps I do with the level of proficiency I do. I never wanted to be a civil engineer much because I enjoyed the technical end too much and never wanted to be dragged down with the paper work, etc. That’s not to say I don’t produce engineering reports, stormwater reports, etc., because I do.
But producing maps is my niche. I’ve been producing engineering plans for over 25 years, almost exclusively. So when I say I have a pretty good grip on the software (Civil 3D) that’s pretty much saying there’s little this software can do that I haven’t used in practice.
If you’re a small engineer or engineering group or land surveyor looking to have some plans or maps drawn up, please feel free to contact me (518) 258-4226 to discuss your projects.
As of March 2017 I’m still in NY and we’re planning our move as our house sells here and we shore up residence in the Los Angeles area. But there’s really no reason we can’t start working on projects immediately. 2 miles or 2,500 miles really makes no difference these days. If you can email PDF’s, we’re in business.
Software I Use:
- Autocad Civil 3D
- ESRI ArcGIS
- Adobe Photoshop (For Aerial Manipulation, Engineering Presentations, Renderings, etc.)
- Adobe InDesign (Brochure/Book Design Design)
- Adobe Acrobat
- WordPress (Website Design, contact me if you’d like a website like this one for your engineering or surveying firm)