Careers

Building Information Manager at Transport for London

Is a career in BIM management right for me?

Have you got an education or training background in architecture, engineering or construction? Are you excited about the idea of working on projects featuring constantly evolving technology like 3D design and 3D printing? Think you could handle the variety of a job where you’ll look at tiny details (like components and measurements) as well as the big picture (like a huge upgrade project for a London Underground station)?

If you can combine your foundation of technical knowledge with the ability to make big decisions and lead a team, you could explore the career world of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and become a BIM manager.

Perks and challenges of being a BIM Manager

Perks:

  • You could get to work on landmark projects that everyone in the industry is talking about as an example of how it should be done
  • You could get to work on projects using ‘emerging’ (new and growing) technologies like 3D printing
  • On successful completion of a project like an underground station upgrade you’ll be able to look at it and tell your friends “I did that”
  • You’ll get a competitive salary to reflect the value of the work you do.

Challenges:

  • You have to make good judgement calls when there’s an urgent or serious issue. When you’re working with assets that millions of people use every year, your integrity and dedication to health, safety and risk management is very important indeed.
  • You have to be the proactive kind of person who is always thinking “how can this be done better, safely and in a cost-effective way?”

Useful skills

  • Communication – you’ll need excellent communication skills, both written and oral, with people within and outside TfL.
  • Negotiation – You’ll also be building effective working relationships with suppliers and others, and play an active part in getting things moving when it comes to discussing contracts for work to be done.
  • Organisational – the way you work is methodical and persistent. You’ll be able to define, analyse and prioritise business and project managements. Your organised nature and communication skills will help you to analyse complex information and produce reports that senior management will find helpful.
  • Leadership – You could be managing project or virtual teams, as well as assessing suppliers and making decisions about how a project is going. You’ll be experienced in making important decisions based on the facts.
  • Problem solving – sometimes projects will present challenges; you’ll use your problem solving skills to spot issues and come up with workable solutions.

What qualifications do you need to be a BIM Manager?

UNIVERSITY: You’ll find it useful to have degree and/or Higher National qualifications related to 3D design/computer modelling, quantity surveying, architecture, engineering or construction for this role. Building Information Modelling is a collaborative process that requires a range of specialised knowledge and skills, from 3D design software to quantity surveying and knowledge of Engineering Content Management Systems (ECMS). Further education in architecture, engineering or construction will help you create a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build your experience.

APPRENTICESHIPS: As an alternative route you can choose to complete an apprenticeship related to Business Information Modelling, CAD (computer-aided design), technical design, quantity surveying or civil engineering. An HNC/HND qualification (or higher) in a construction-based subject like civil engineering would be very useful. When combined with experience and teamed with an interest in and knowledge of the transport industry, an apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship will boost your employability.

Project Management or Project Planning apprenticeships can be a route to BIM Management, however it is important to develop your technical/3D design skills in parallel.

TRAINING: There are various BIM training courses you can complete to give you a better understanding of Building Information Modelling and its applications. To search for courses near to you, use the course finder.

What is the workplace of a BIM Manager like?

You’ll mainly be office-based, but should have an interest in going to the construction sites and meeting with site teams, suppliers and sponsors to understand how BIM is having an impact on the sites.

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