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Calling on all BIM managers for advice

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    Calling on all BIM managers for advice


    I have created this thread to simply ask for advice from people who are already in the BIM industry on a number of things. Just to tell you a little about my . I recently graduated from college having completed two diplomas in architecture which enabled me to work on residential projects. I however applied for uni to do the BIM degree that they are offering and I have been given an offer by UNSW and have been overloading my brain with the various outcomes that could occur once I graduate from the degree if I choose to do it. Some of my thoughts include whether I can find a job once I graduate and whether there are enough jobs to go around. Also, what sort of salary is involved for a junior graduate and also whether BIM in general is a long term investment for the future of architecture in general. I would definitely love to specialize in BIM as I have been told that I would do really good in it by my previous professors but I really need to comfort myself in knowing that the BIM industry is healthy in the jobs it has to offer and is also a long term investment. I will appreciate any advice and please do inform me of other interesting facts about BIM that could possible enhance my understanding.


    There isn't really a "BIM Industry" as much as there are a lot of industries that use BIM experts. Having an architecture degree pretty much puts you in the Architecture field only, at least right out of school. Having some kind of BIM degree could potentially place you anywhere in the construction industry, from engineer to contractor. Most BIM guys I know got a degree in architecture or engineering and developed a few years of real world experience before making a full time switch to BIM manager. It's probably the easiest path to get there as well. I don't know of a lot of entry level BIM jobs, but entry level architecture jobs pop up all the time.

    That said, the job role of BIM manager can mean a lot of things to a lot of different companies. I'm picking up IT duties, non-BIM standards development, and everyday architecture duties all while having a BIM manager title. Others I know are 100% dedicated. It definitely keeps your options open, but I don't think a BIM degree is necessary for success as a BIM manager.


      I agree with need4mospd, I was one of those people who used to be in the Arch field and later on transition it to BIM Manager. I know this is different from companies to companies, but it is hard for me to consider a fresh graduate to take on a BIM manager position since there are a lot of things this position requires other than the software knowledge. Things such as building design technology (how buildings put together), project delivery; those are important knowledge one to have in order to understand how the BIM tool can help. Also, another aspect to understand is that you've got to have hand-ons experience knowing what the software (I am asuming Revit here) can or can't do. without those experience, you are just like one of those new users.

      Also, like need4mospd said, being BIM manager could mean more than just that. While we have a full time IT manager at my office, I am still heavily involved in making decision or help with IT duties as well. Do you know how to develop custom API as well? I know some firms require the BIM manager to have such a skillset as an requirement...

      Hope this helps.
      Philip Chan
      Practice Technology Manager | HKS


        I have to chime in and agree with all of the others, here. I dont believe you can ever really excel if you come out of the gate planning on working as a BIM Manager. There are a lot of sides and a lot of hats to wear in this industry, but then there is also that ugly portion where the rubber hits the road and the work has to get done.

        I know plenty of people who are fantastic with software, then can model ultra-parametric-creatures that roam the earth, and they can render to the utmost eschelons of photo-realism. But there is doing all of that, and then there is knowing when all of that is adding value to a project, versus doing something just because you can. There is knowing the Who and When and the Should We of the Project, and not just the Can We and Do We Want To? The Should We is often a much more sobering (read: boring) question to answer. But a smart BIM Manager knows it isnt just about doing something badass and cool to say we did it, its about keeping the project team on the leading edge of success, and not on the leading edge of a new modeling gizmo (although thats fun too).

        A few years ago i was working in Architecture having time time of my life. I got in to BIM Management out of necessity. And when i got there, and sat in a meeting with Engineers and Principals of different s than my own, i suddenly felt like i didnt know anything about the inudstry i worked in. Then a few years down the road i felt better, and then i moved to a company with Design and Construction in house. And the first time i sat in one of THOSE project meetings, i- again- realized how little i knew. I could talk wonderfully about the *theory* of why *this model will help* and blah blah blah, but the best comparison i can make is selling a Formula 1 car at a Tractor Pull. Its not about if its a beautiful process: Sometimes its the wrong process for what needs to happen, and the only way to learn that stuff (imvho) is to be waist deep in it for a number of years.

        BTW, now ive spent a few years here, and (once again), i feel comfortable. Then i started working on Direct Integration with one of my collaborators whos on the Fabrication End. And- once again- i feel like i know nothing.

        My advice? Pick a discipline. Learn about successful building or systems design. Learn about documentation. Learn about Construction. Learn about sequencing. Learn about Fabrication. Get through all of that, and youll have found what niche you want to be in.
        Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
        @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email


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