BIM Manager - What's the Deal?

A term that's appearing a lot these days in the design world is BIM Manager.
How is that different from a CAD Manager? How vital is the role that they play? How much money can they expect to earn?

Well, as we all know... information is only as important as what you do with it.
Do you keep it up to date?
Can everyone find it?
Is it accurate?
Is it being passed along to everyone who needs it in a usable form?

Check out the following commentary and see what others have to say (and, I have to admit, it's difficult to find BIM Management articles, since when you google... you mostly find job advertisements for this in-demand hot job)...

The Importance of a BIM Manager in a Firm - Architectural Graphics Standards Blog
The New 'Must Have' - The BIM Manager - Dominic Gallello (via AECBytes)

Mark Kiker announced on the CADD Manager blog that he requested teach a course on Defining a BIM Manager and their duties at AU2008.

Read the BIM Manager Blog by David Kingham.

Job Descriptions:
If you really want to know what BIM Managers are doing, check out the job advertisements, Indeed.com alone shows over 260 active advertisements at the time of my search.

You can also check out the estimated salary here (around $80,000 usd).

According to the 109 BIM Managers who took part in the AUGI Salary Survey in 2007, their average wages were about $62,000usd (this survey is worldwide, whereas Indeed.com's only refers to positions posted in the US)
We're running this anonymous survey again next month, please take part (June 1st - 31st, 2008).


Anonymous said...

A topic I'm passionate about... the BIM Manager vs CAD Manager.

There is a difference, but the bigger question is "what is the long-term difference"?

First lets quantify the difference between CAD managers. Some CAD managers are nothing more than technical resources that keep things going. A BIM manager is NOT this. Some CAD managers are simply people that do normal duties and also handle the CAD setup... a BIM manager could be this and often WILL be this in a smaller firm. Finally some CAD managers really do keep entire projects coordinated and teams focused... which sounds a lot like a BIM manager to me.

Ultimately, there ISN'T a difference between these two things depending on what you believe a "CAD Manager" is. If you believe its being a technology guru then yes, a BIM manager isn't the same thing. Otherwise, these two could be inter-changeable.

The reason for salary differences today is a level of understanding and education. In the end, expect BIM manager salaries to drop down to CAD management levels for the most part as the years go on. Yes, BIM managers will likely be a bit higher due to (likely) more formal education and the fact they are more involved in the process of architecture instead of picks and clicks... but their goal is the same, support the team to increase accuracy and productivity.

In the end BIM managers are like CAD managers in terms of billable hours. Their services are different but each have the ability to make their team more productive. But is a BIM manager really serving more in the role of Project Coordinator? It's likely, but from my experience I find most BIM managers have actual production duties and for the most part ARE billable for their other duties, which ultimately gives them more value long term and takes a higher level of skill/training.

Mistress of the Dorkness said...


Well said! My perceptions are pretty in line with your views here.

Thanks for chiming in!

Robert Androse Glover said...

I suppose part of the issue is that BIM Manager is not yet a clearly defined role. That will explain the wild differences in salary as well as a general misunderstanding. I have been acting as my A/E firms BIM Everything for the past 9 months and there are certain tasks which are billable, and certain that aren't. My long term goal with the firm is to flush out a whole new department and my management is on board with this.

Eventually there will be three defined positions:

BIM Manager
This person will for the most part not be billable. They will be responsible for maintaining a good accurate and up-to-date BIM library of objects. And would be the go to person for new BIM families, training, or general BIM questions.

BIM Project Coordinator
This position is project specific and works very closely with the Project Manager, Senior Designers, and BIM Designers. They are the ones running the clash reports and finding the problems and working with the BIM Designers to resolve them. Often this position will require general knowledge of all building systems.

BIM Designer
This position is similar to the CAD Drafter of old, only now more complicated. Besides the obvious drafting and such required to produce construction documents, they also need to make sure that everything will actually fit 3-dimensionally. Also they will resolve conflicts found by the BIM Project Coordinator and all the while make sure that their systems are code compliant. All the coordination in the world wont help you if when it starts going up the inspector comes out and says you need to move your sprinklers for code.

Currently I am doing all three of these positions, but I am lucky to have some great BIM Designers in the other departments to help. We have done 5 buildings now with full BIM integration (several more in 3D, but only 5 with full clash detection and such) and have had some stumbles along the way, but are finding a drastic reduction in RFIs, change orders and delays. This is an exciting time in the industry, I'm glad to be on the crest of the wave.

BIMmanager said...

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I like it

thanks Admin for this Post