I think you need to realize they are making money off of you and that’s why they are in business. You are in charge of your career. So I’d say start looking.


God I fucking hate CAD and I feel your pain. We’re short staffed and even some PMs have to do CAD. You could try quiet quitting on your CAD duties. I tell my coworkers and boss I suck at CAD, and that my strengths are literally anything else. Currently working on a Civil3D assignment and it blows!


Unfortunately it is already common knowledge that I know just about all the ins and outs of Civil 3D for roadway design and storm water, site grading, 3d modeling/rendering, etc


Then that’s where they’ll try to keep you as much as possible. $$$


Right on, use your leverage


time to become a solo consultant


So request a meeting with your super or managing partner to discuss your goals and desires. Have them ready and thought out/specific. If their response is defensive or full of excuses then crack open Indeed or LinkedIn and start looking. Maybe wouldn’t even hurt to start looking before, if you have a few leads or positive connection that might help them take it a little more seriously. But… don’t try to bluff em. If they slam the door in your face be ready to say it’s been good but my time here is done. Good luck!


Thanks, I’ve always casually looked and do have a few leads. The thing is after reviews in mid November, the AutoCAD portion of my work has only increased


1000 drawings? As an engineer? Have you seen Office Space, there's the quote where Peter asks his apartment neighbor Lawrence whether anyone ever told him that he "had a case of the Mondays" and he replies, "Naw...Naw man - I believe you'd get your ass kicked saying something like that." As the drafter/designer at my firm who goes: "1000 drawings? Put that giant pile of work right over here, please? " I find your premise appalling. That's my specialty. Mass production. That's what I'm paid for - making all 1000 drawings look the same. I don't want you involved in the presentation. Tell me what is technically wrong with it and I will fix it, because my role is to be able to mass adjust settings and conditions to the desired output. You want to draft and design as an engineer, no one is going to stop you. But the notion that is cost-effective is insane. It is your job to set the expectations and let someone else achieve the majority of them. If your organization is having you self-produce 1000 drawings it's just kind of fundamentally nuts imo. What's the point of having a company if one person is doing 1000 sheets and all the design? Might as well start a firm and keep it for yourself.


At the time I was a younger engineer and we don’t have “drafters” plus I was also jugggling PM roles (didn’t hurt that I could bill overtime to get everything done). But yeah as a civil engineer it is not my sole purpose (not even my top five at this point in my career)


A lot of firms push engineers into CAD roles because in most states, designer get paid OT and engineers don't. And if they can get you to work enough unpaid OT they make much more profit off of you. Unfortunately, I've never seen any firm that does this change their procedures. The only way out is to get a job at a better firm.


In my experience the only way to get the attention of upper management is to have an exit strategy in hand. You don’t have to threaten to quit, just say you are not satisfied with the role/responsibilities you are currently being given and that you will have to do what is right for you if things do not change. When you do this it would be best to at least already have other leads lined up if not a job offer in hand. If they appreciate you they will not let you leave and if they don’t do you really want to stay? I say this as someone who has asked for 3 mid -year raises in the last \~24 years and has gotten one every time. Each time I was prepared to leave even though I really like the people I work with on an everyday basis, but I work for a huge company where the management is completely out of touch.


I’ve asked for mid year raises before and was rejected as it is not company policy (I know it’s BS). As much as I can tell myself $ solves issues, it wouldn’t solve this issue. It’s a matter of purpose and waking up every day knowing that I’m reduced to firing up Civil 3D


I’ve also left this company once and came back for an actual business development pursuit in renewable energy they sought me ought for, but that has not come to fruition yet and starting to run out of patience


If it’s been over a year since you came back and still no business development opportunity. I would start to look. Don’t worry about billable work too too much if it’s not those super huge companies or KHA. I don’t think they will ever fire a PE with your experience. At least my company wouldn’t! 1100 employees. IMHO


Do you have a background in RE development? Like 1-75MW solar sites?


More so offshore wind, battery storage


Whatever it is you need to be happy is what you need to ask for, whether it is money or a different role at the company (not CAD). I work for a 40,000+ person company and you definitely need to speak up to get what you want/need. Good luck.


First rule in CAD club is don't tell anybody you know how to use CAD. Find an alternative and THEN reiterate your intentions.


Wait, we were allowed to tell people we don’t know how to use CAD?


Transpo/traffic engineer; 7 YOE; working in PA/NJ/NY. Been consistently CADDing thus far. Think you know the answer here already - leaving is the goal. And the social/coworker friendly benefits are clearly contingent on your living pigeonholed as you are. Question: do you work for a major engineering company? (AECOM, WSP, HNTB, Jacob’s, etc)? Just curious, because your deep CAD experience will translate into “holy hell we can pay this guy to teach CAD to a team of 20 year olds, just give him 120K minimum and let him run it”


No don’t work at any of those firms, but have had a ton of exposure to a few you listed (to the point where I had to go to one of their offices and explain CAD procedures to comply with NYCDDC standards)


You probably don't want to be a cad tools admin though either.


I'm pretty sure they can hire a Cad tech at half the rate that they pay you.


I am in the exact same boat .. I’m 8 years in and use still do most of my own drawings in cad... it’s a very small company so i do everything needed on a project start to finish... I have been questioning lately if I should jump ship to a bigger company where I can have drafters.. I have a few PE friends at bigger companies that have drafters do all their cad work.. they could get me a job but there would be no pay increase so I really don’t know.. let me know what you do lol


Our firm is midsize I would say, not big enough for a collection of drafters (we have a CAD manager and another person, more so working on the company standards as an extension of IT). And some of the bigger firms the billable work has become an issue, there have been a ton of posts in this sub going over that


I feel your pain. I'm going give you the advice I should take myself. Let me start by saying I've been at the same firm in New Jersey for 16 years through several mergers. You probably got trapped in your current predicament like me by being agreeable and having the desire and ability to help everyone else when there was a problem For the good of the company or the project. Before you know it you become the go-to person for something you never intended to do, and that you really don't want to do. Because of that you're constantly passed over for anything you are really qualified to do or want to do and advance to, because you are too valuable to the company doing the other things you are doing. Well, finally the advice that I should take and you should also, find a position at another firm, take it, and be your best to try not to be as helpful to everyone in the future. Don't feel bad or look back because the current company doesn't value any of us as anymore than a resource number on a spreadsheet.


I would firstly have the conversation and tell them that you’re not going to be drafting as much anymore and then follow through and stop drafting. Delegate the drafting to the drafters. If they’re less efficient that’s not your problem until you’re PM. And even then, the solution isn’t to step in and do the drafting.


HIRE CAD techs straight out of school and pay them well. They are wasting more money long term with you doing CAD.


With that much experience your billing rate should be way too high for them to let you be a cad monkey.


At some point you're just going to realize that this is who you are and this is what you do. It's not a sexy job, it's not spiritually fulfilling and it's often mind-numbingly boring, However it compensates me well enough to satisfy most of my hierarchy of needs. I have solid benefits and come to a comfortable office. Every morning on the way to work I observe things like worksites where construction workers are digging trenches in the cold, fast food restaurants where people work all night to make ends meet, delivery drivers making chump change for a fraction of what people in our industry make. There are thousands of anonymous people out there who are doing the hard work so that we can sit in our nice comfy offices. Yeah the job often sucks, but that's life. There comes a point where you just gotta get past that. If you want fulfillment take up some hobbies, join some clubs, a church group, anything. Do you day job to pay the bills and live the life you want.


I disagree. I could have made drafting my career for 1/8 of the cost of tuition I paid to become a civil engineer. I would have never gotten my PE either.


Don’t fall into settling mentality. Keep searching. Plenty of engineers in plenty of companies don’t have to touch CAD. I barely do, just have to at the moment due to short staffing. At my previous company we had a drafting department in another state handle CAD. In my firm we have young employees quitting after burning out from CAD. They ask for other type of work but it rarely happens. The only way I escaped CAD in my 20s was by doing field assignments and project engineering work. Also I wasn’t joking in my other comment, seriously consider how you want to be perceived with your CAD skillset in the future. I said on a phone call yesterday that I didn’t know what data shortcuts are. 😂


It sounds like you want to exit design and be in management. You're not a designer if you're not using CAD. You may need to leave to divest yourself of the design duties. If you want someone else to do the cad work for you then you're just a supervisor with a PE.


Are you the most junior person there? If not see if you can delegate. If you are doing design, that's expected. If you're labeling sheets all the time that's not a good use of the budget. If they can't hire the junior staff, then I would start looking for another job. But with only 8 years of you expect to never touch CAD I don't think that's reasonable.


Not the most junior, to be frank in terms of years at company I’m in the upper tier. Some design in CAD is not the end of the world, but pair that with constant mark ups and what not is where I’ve tried to draw the line


Yeah you should really be beyond doing markups. I'd get with your manager about workload & see who can better do that stuff (cheaper). They should be caring about the budget.


I work for a small land development company as an engineer. I can’t imagine how you could efficiently and successfully do any of the design without at least doing some of the cad drafting (especially surface grading). That being said, I would love to hire a CAD monkey to do a lot of the menial tasks that are required for every project to take some of that off my plate! They are just hard to find!


I consider Autocad just another tool that I use day to day like my calculator. It makes me a better engineer cause I can draw the design elements out and then turn it over. Now if you're putting entire plan sets out on your own, that's something different that needs to be rewarded appropriately. I would love to have someone like that at my company in TX.


You need to interview or you’re going to lag behind many of your peers soon. (Obviously if you wanted to stay purely technical this wouldn’t be an issue but you don’t.) Your level is very sought after right now.


I was in a similar situation last year. 10+ years out of school, and my department was top-heavy such that I was doing all of the CAD work and none of the design work. The money wasn't great either, though the people were. Look for a better fit, where the department make-up is younger and less experienced, such that they HAVE TO rely on you for engineering and not spending hour after hour doing CAD. I left my firm last year and joined a department that had exactly this: a principal engineer and then a couple young ones. I've been doing design engineering from the start and have been constantly challenged. I completed more engineering at my current firm after 4 months than I had all 3+ years at my previous firm. This is a situation where you have no reason to stay. No one will blame you. You can be honest when you leave telling them that the fit was no longer right and you are making a change to get away from all the CAD work.


Come work for City of San Diego


Ask for more money. They are having you do that work because you are making them a ton of money.