Do you earn more if you can use 3D?

by DON HENRICH, Assemble Systems

This article was originally published to the Assemble Systems blog on August 30, 2016.

In today’s construction market there is a continuing move to use more and more 3D data.  Data from scanners, data from BIM, data from surveys, etc…  Most employees over 40 may not have had the opportunity to work so heavily with 3D during their careers and thus feel uncomfortable with all these different systems and their data.  This could explain why many estimators still prefer 2D on screen takeoff to what is now characterized as 5D BIM.  There are other factors at work here that reduce the potential for improved workflows based on 3D data, some of these are lack of 3D design data for the entire set of building systems and another is the fact that the contract documents remain in 2D.

In working with clients around the world I have seen a big demand for talent that can bridge the gap between conventional methods and new improved methods.  Many firms hire young people fluent in BIM and pay them well, probably more than they would earn as a standard project engineer so I would say the answer to the question posed is yes!  There is another opportunity here though for the grizzled construction employee who is fluent in the 2D world.  If they were to invest their time to learn and embrace these new workflows that are more and more in demand at contractors they could do good for their employers and well for themselves.

Think about it….  BIM is an acquired taste but once you like it you cannot do without it.