Using AI to Circumvent a Labor Shortage in AEC

Posted by Steven Auger on Sep 22, '21

Given the country’s current economic climate, hiring is a challenge for many businesses. That includes civil engineering and land surveying firms.

For employers, there’s a lot that goes into making the right hire. Does the candidate possess the necessary skills to perform the job? Is the candidate a fit with your company’s culture? Is the candidate a team player? Can you envision the candidate growing with your firm?

Complicating that search is the lack of growth in the surveying and CAD drafting fields.

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor, civil drafting jobs are expected to decrease by 4 percent from 2019 to 2029. The prospects for surveying aren’t much better. Surveying technician jobs are only expected to increase by one percent over the same time period.

Surveying and CAD drafting are both unique skills that can present certain difficulties in finding the right person. Firms simply can’t hire someone off the street, put them in front of a computer, and have them start drafting land development projects.

Survey equipment nowadays is more precise than ever. In some instances, field surveyors can use GPS to locate objects such as wetland flags.

CAD drafting is more than just drawing lines on a plan. Civil engineering firms have their own CAD standards. Those standards present a learning curve for each new drafter. Line types, hatching patterns, text style and sizes, surface and layer names – the list goes on. Each civil firm offers a unique way to draft to ensure that what was surveyed on the ground makes it onto a plan.

But in fields that aren’t flush with an abundance of candidates while engineering designs stare at permitting deadlines and construction season, how can firms still meet tight project timeframes?

That’s where AirWorks comes in.

AirWorks has the unique ability to help firms needing to offset their challenges with finding the right people for their feature extraction work. Our AI-powered software converts aerial data into CAD models. It distinguishes ground elevations, vegetation lines, and man-made objects. Our software can also contour sites ranging from 1-, 2-, and 5-foot contours. 

How can Civil Engineering and Land Surveying firms benefit from using AirWorks? By using our Automate product to quickly convert orthomosaic, pointcloud, and boundary files into CAD drawings fast, firms avoid delays incurred from a labor shortage of qualified technicians. 

  • Minimizes time-consuming drafting by CAD Department
  • Allows time for quality control increase which lends to error reduction
  • Reduces expenses by converting UAV data into CAD files faster
  • Allows for faster survey basemap completion which leads to faster engineering design and permitting 

Almost every project engaged by a Civil Engineering and Land Surveying firm circulates through all three departments -survey, CAD, and engineering. The departments work together – each relying on the other – to ensure an accurate, properly permitted design project is ready to construct. Speed and efficiency brought about by AirWorks' software are critical aspects of project design that will turn a satisfied client into a repeat client.


Contact AirWorks today to see how our software can assist with your civil engineering and land surveying needs.

Topics: artificial intelligence, Civil Engineering, labor shortage

About AirWorks

AirWorks’ builds automated software for civil engineering and land surveying professionals to extract value from UAV and other aerial datasets. Through proprietary machine learning and aerial mapping technology we convert any aerial dataset into site plans in CAD fully autonomously, speeding up the current process by weeks. AirWorks’ platform is the fastest way to convert your aerial data into CAD linework and topography, access existing information in one centralized database, and download CAD drawings or GIS layers.

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