Blueprints, CAD, and now BIM — the construction industry has evolved from complicated 2D drawings to dynamic 3D models that include data associated with built assets’ physical and functional characteristics. The increasing level of digital complexity in construction projects means that many companies now hire BIM Managers to create and manage internal data standards.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) involves creating and managing information for a built asset throughout its lifecycle. It also allows architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and others on the project team to collaborate in a shared, cloud-based environment.  

A BIM manager implements a BIM strategy, organises the business’s digital resources and builds a firm’s library of SBIM content.

How To Become A BIM Manager?

  • Undergraduate in civil engineering or a related degree OR An HNC (Higher National Diploma) or HND (Higher National Certificate) in a subject related to construction, such as civil engineering, with some experience in an AEC role and BIM modelling.
  • Level 2 certificate in CAD and Manufacturing or a Level 3 Diploma in Design and Draughting
  • Apprenticeship — that includes CAD design
  • Relevant work experience

What can you expect in the job descriptions of a BIM manager? Does it involve creating 3D and 4D models and creating BIM Execution Plans (BEPs)? Why do AEC companies need a BIM manager? Can they manage without one?

And how can you become a certified BIM Manager?

We’ll explore all these questions and also suggest some BIM manager training courses towards the end of this blog post.

Let’s dive in.

What Is A BIM Manager? — The Job Description

BIM Manager - specialists at the site

“The first thing you have to do is feed the contractual documents and consultation regulations into a central document, the BIM Rules. That’s the essential document that everyone involved in BIM at every point in the project will use.”

Daphné Dureisseix, BIM Manager for the Trinity and Saint-Gobain towers

BIM managers manage a firm’s BIM platforms, ensure that BIM standards are followed, and build a firm’s library of BIM content. In short, a BM manager oversees how BIM will affect project workflows, deliverables and project management throughout a firm. 

A BIM manager’s job description can be further divided into two separate workflows, Information Management and Digital Construction.

Information Management

Information Management includes strategic and administrative tasks like:

  • Creation of BEPs (BIM Execution Plans) — to outline how the information modelling aspects of a project will be carried out
  • Employers Information Requirements (EIRs) — enables suppliers to produce their initial BIM Execution Plan (BEP) and follow the standard methods & procedures shared by the client
  • Identify if the BIM Execution Plan clearly addresses the project’s BIM uses and whether it is aligned with the Employers Information Requirements or not
  • Managing a Common Data Environment (CDE) and aligning the BIM workflows
  • Provide training during the onboarding process of new hires
  • Evaluate new BIM-related software and technology
  • Supervise the BIM Production Supervisor and BIM development team

Digital Construction

Digital Construction is the more technical, fast-moving aspect of being a BIM manager. The tasks might include:

  • Organising construction drawings or budget spreadsheets
  • Creating and maintaining digital models (3D, 4D, 5D, nD)
  • Ensuring best practices of Revit, AutoCAD, and BIM throughout the firm
  • Using Dynamo and Python to automate routines in BIM (if required)
  • Curating 3D logistics plans
  • Using 4D simulations to help project planners
  • Monitoring all drawings, schedule, BoQ, specs, O&M, and data drops
  • Creating Revit families according to project needs
  • Helping to resolve BIM design issues
  • Managing a company’s BIM library

How To Become A Certified BIM Manager

A typical BIM manager’s journey looks something like this:

  1. Undergraduate degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) 
  2. BIM Technician
  3. BIM Coordinator
  4. BIM Manager
  5. BIM Specialist

Here are a few routes to becoming a certified BIM manager.

University/College

  • Undergraduate, HNC (Higher National Diploma), HND (Higher National Certificate), or a higher degree in construction-related subjects
  • Level 2 certificate in CAD
  • Manufacturing or a Level 3 Diploma in Design and Draughting

You’ll be taught how to use AutoCAD, Revit and other BIM software during your studies. You can get an entry-level position in an AEC firm using these skills. Having a degree specifically in the AEC domain is not necessary. As long as you can demonstrate your CAD skills and a willingness to learn, many AEC firms will consider your CV for an entry-level or administrative role.

Find a degree course near you: National Career Service

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a great way to gain hands-on experience and hone your skills by working on different public works projects. You can learn from real industry experts while earning money for yourself.

To climb up the BIM ladder, you need an apprenticeship at an AEC firm or somewhere that offers CAD design or production of BIM models & 3D model design reviews. 

Find an apprenticeship near you: Indeed UK, GOV.UK

If you are already in employment or have a firm offer of employment from an AEC company, you can also opt for the Building Information Modelling Project Management Higher Level Apprenticeship at Queen’s University Belfast:

Class  Entry Requirements Cost Duration Link
Building Information Modelling Project Management Higher Level Apprenticeship 2.2 Honours degree in a relevant discipline e.g. Architecture, Engineering or Social Science, or equivalent qualification OR relevant work experience Fully funded by the DfE therefore it is not open to international applicants 2 years (Part-Time) Queen’s University Belfast

Work Experience

You will not be hired as a BIM Manager directly. First, you’ll have to work your way up from a junior BIM technician to a certified BIM manager.

Typically, firms look for at least five years of experience in an AEC role and familiarity with the modelling process in BIM. You will be expected to have experience in coordinating drafting production and producing plans, construction drawings, and details using AutoCAD and Revit, etc.

The average salary for a BIM manager is currently £46,047 per year in the United Kingdom. Highly trained BIM managers and senior BIM managers can earn even more.

BIM Manager Courses/Certifications/Programs

Here are a few BIM manager courses, certifications, and programs you should check out:

Course/Certifications  Institute/Speaker Cost Length Website
Certificate in BIM RICS £1,399.00 7 Month Distance Learning Programme, 90 CPD hours RICS
BIM Manager: Managing Revit Eric Wing, Director of BIM Services at C&S Companies $49.99 38 videos LinkedIn
Building Information Modeling – Lifecycle Management Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence $7,478.45 1 Year Algonquin College
Building Information Modeling for Construction Management Vahid Faghihi on Udemy $84.99 10.5 hours of on-demand video Udemy
Diploma in (BIM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) Ayman Kandeel on Udemy $29.99 4.5 hours of on-demand video Udemy
Construction Management Specialization Ibrahim Odeh, PhD, MBA, Columbia University In The City of New York   Approximately 7 months to complete 2 4/hours per week coursera
Global BIM Manager Professional Training Course bsi HKD 18,000 37 CPD hours for a 5-day training  bsi.
BIM ISO 19650 BIM Essentials and  bre £700.00 1 day +

Pre-learning Material

breAcademy
BIM ISO 19650 Delivering Information Management) bre £600.00 6 hours breAcademy
ISO 19650-2:2018 Information Management Certification for Individuals bre bre
Digital Transformation – Implementation of a BIM Strategy ice Training £205  ice Training
Become BIM Coordinator (BBC) Ignacy Lozinski BBC
Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Design Construction and Operations UWE Bristol Fee  UWE Bristol

Why Do Companies Need BIM Managers?

Class  Speakers Cost Length Link
Who Needs a BIM Manager Paul Morrison, Eric Bernier Free 1 hour, 28 minutes Autodesk University

Any AEC company needs someone to oversee the BIM processes, policies, technology and people. Without a BIM manager, there will be no one to manage the BIM workflow and integrate multi-discipline work into BIM models.BIM manager is also responsible for hiring a BIM coordinator to help with project model setup, model auditing and repairs, data extraction, VR/Enscape visualisation, Dynamo task automation, consultant engagement etc.

Here’s why companies need BIM managers:

Drive Standard Use Of BIM

Every AEC company has its own standards for how 2D, 3D, 4D, and 5D drawings/models are visualised. It’s the job of the BIM manager to ensure that these standards are communicated and followed throughout the organisation. 
This also includes creating and maintaining template files to help all stakeholders follow software protocols. Typically, the BIM manager decides on the following:

  • Authoring platform
  • Model exchange format
  • Coordination platform
  • Geometric level of detail
  • Model exchange format

Training & Software Implementation

A BIM manager is expected to train the new hires and existing employees on BIM software, framework and uses. This can include online training, group seminars, and workshops to help staff gain specific knowledge.

For example, a BIM manager will conduct a remedial drafting class if they identify that company standards for dimension style, and line weights, are being followed, but the standards of putting together a drawing set are not.

BIM managers will also conduct special workshops to train employees on how to use BIM collaboration software, project BIM tools and other software programs. BMs also weigh the pros and cons of current technology while hunting for new innovative tools that can improve the overall efficiency of BIM workflow.

Devise & Implement A BIM Strategy

BIM strategy outlines the strategic BIM goals, processes, standards and protocols. This blueprint helps the stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of design, construction and operation of the delivered assets.

The BIM manager also determines the company’s BIM-related objectives to devise and implement a robust BIM strategy. They collaborate with different stakeholders to define the scope and vision of the BIM strategy.

BIM managers also lay out project-level BIM strategies and share them with the team through a visual layout. This way, every member of the project team knows what to do. Responsibilities of a BIM manager can also include:

  • Developing model automation and audit contents
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Feedback delivery and learning
  • Maintaining Revit project templates — title blocks, annotations, and template settings
  • Autodesk deployment & Revit.ini Config
  • BIM360 design & C4R/Revit server
  • Plug-in management/Deployment
  • VR/AR support

Conclusion

Being a BIM manager is all about having the relevant experience and the resilience to deal with the complexities of digital construction and information management. While there is no direct route to becoming a BIM manager, a basic understanding of the modelling process, solid IT skills (cloud computing, digital modelling, coding, etc.) and experience in architecture & engineering will definitely help you reach your goal.

BIM managers need a robust BIM viewer to navigate the BIM models and easily visualise the finished asset. PlanRadar is a versatile plan management software that allows you to view, compare and markup 2D plans & BIM models – from any location. You can easily upload, store, view, and collaborate on BIM models with automatic versioning. PlanRadar’s openBIM solution allows uploads of IFC files exported from Revit, ArchiCAD, AllPlan, Navisworks and more. Users can then roll out BIM models to everyone working on site, helping to reduce mistakes and improve communication.

Try PlanRadar’s Plan Management Software today or book a free demo to get a sneak peek into all the goodies we have to offer.