If you have a close eye for details, the guts to face challenges, the expertise to handle intricate designs and proficiency in sophisticated software packages you can have a promising career in BIM. Haven’t heard about BIM yet? No worries, we can start with familiarizing BIM.
What Is BIM?
BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and the textbook definition for it will sound something like “BIM (Building Information Modeling) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure”.
Looks dorky, right? Yeah, sure it does, lol. This dorkiness is the exact reason why most budding engineers stay away from BIM.
Ok, let’s get going.
Let’s say, you won a multi-billion bingo, and you decide to build a luxury apartment. You have a lot of plans for how it should look like in the end. Starting from what colour should the walls be to the minute details in the nuke and corner of your house.
You hire an engineer, and you explain your ideas and views, for which he nods his head. Then he comes up with loads of paper where lines are running in every possible direction and say this is how it’s going to be in the end. Don’t you think that’s more than enough for a man with no technical exposure to freak out?
On the other hand, imagine if some engineer could come up to you with an intelligent model resembling the way how Iron man designs his stuff. Seems cool, isn’t it?
That’s what a BIM engineer does; they are all Tony Starks and the software packages like Revit, AutoCAD, NavisWorks, and so on combines to from Tony’s Jarvis.
What Does It Take to Have a Promising Career in BIM?
The requirements for being the BIM guy in a company isn’t all about how skilled an engineer you are. The expertise in the latest construction software packages like Revit, CAD, NavisWorks, and so on matters equally.
Though these are the minimum requirements to be a BIM engineer, to have a viable career growth you need to develop excellent managerial skills and organizational skills.
The responsibility of a BIM engineer can range from designing a 3D model in Revit to carrying out coordination among the MEP, HVAC, Structural & Architectural elements of the proposed design, figuring out the clashes between any elements, carrying out meetings to resolve the conflicts, and so on.
This is why I believe being a BIM manager both is and will prove to be a genuinely promising career in the coming years.
The Potential Designations a BIM Engineer Can Have:
Being a BIM coordinator is the first step towards climbing up the ladder of BIM careers. The job profile, responsibility, and authority of a BIM coordinator vary depending upon the Industry he works within.
The mandatory prerequisite for being a BIM coordinator is to have an adequate level of industry exposure, and in-depth BIM coordinators have to coordinate information and people to complete corporate and project objectives.
You can’t handle this job unless you have considerable experience in the industry or you are a coordinator trained for the specific designation by experienced project managers and coordinators.
Their pay and duties can vary significantly from project management personnel to somewhat entry-level designers.
Part-time BIM Manager
Earning this post solely depends on how good your work is and how loyal and trustworthy you are to the company. Once you are a part-time BIM manager, it means you are a trusted employee and has earned the employer’s trust.
The responsibilities of a part-time BIM manager can include being responsible for standards, specific technologies, project setup, developing content, managing data coming in and out of the office, training, and much more. This is where having an adequate managerial skill set apart from the technical proficiency will be of use.
Full-time BIM Manager
There is only a fine line of difference between a part-time and a full-time BIM manager. The key difference is that a full-time BIM manager has to have a clear understanding of the project workflow.
These people have to work equally on both projects and technology, training, creating standards, supervising marketing initiatives, and so on.
Full-time managers have additional responsibility for considering budgets, productivity, setting business goals and most importantly, they should have the ability to carry out both “High level” and “Low level” technical conversation.
The BIM Director
These guys come at the top end of the hierarchy level. They are either members of the senior management team or a trusted advisor to the senior management. This post is rare as only big firms with multiple projects happening simultaneously around the year hire them.
The vital prerequisite for this designation is to have excellent managerial and leadership skills. They will have to handle a team of BIM managers, along with managing the business team of a firm. These abilities come only with years of managerial experience in the AEC industry.
BIM Is a New Technology, So Who Is Currently Working on It?
BIM is the latest game-changer in the AEC industry; some people were working with the CADD industry shifting to BIM.
These people are currently responsible for handling a plethora of responsibilities ranging from meeting with clients and contractors, doing a quality check on the BIM deliverables, running clash detection and coordination work and importantly managing the team of budding BIM engineers.
They are also helping the new companies implement BIM and creating awareness among them about the benefits of implementing BIM.
Are There Real Chances for Young BIM Engineers?
The latest advancement in technology is revolutionizing the AEC industry. The industry is in grave need of young, experienced and qualified BIM engineers.
Especially in this period of transition, where someone who can manage development and be of assistance is critical.
Creativity in young professionals makes it possible for them to push the AEC industry further forward, in turn, contributing to the growth of the global economy.
With the induction of budding BIM engineers into the industry, there is going to be a symbiotic relationship between the senior engineers and the lesser experienced ones. They both will have a lot to learn from each other.
Future of BIM Engineers?
Most of the European countries have already made it mandatory to implement BIM since 2016.
India is a growing economy and with 11% of its GDP being contributed by the AEC sector apart from being one of the largest employers, will inevitably undergo modernization in no time.
It won’t be long before the government mandates the implementation of BIM in major engineering projects. There is going to be an immense need for BIM engineers globally! If nothing else, this makes BIM one of the highly promising careers for engineers.
In short, Building Information Modeling engineers are going to have a successful career within a short span of 5 years. With most of the countries moving towards adopting BIM, engineers should start learning more about BIM. In addition, they should be improving their managerial skills.
When Building Information Modeling is the norm, they will be able to leverage their technical expertise and managerial skills. This will allow any BIM Engineer to reap the best of their career, including you!