As part of our series of posts about women in BIM, we wanted to take a closer look at the pathways to a career in BIM. Here at The CAD Room, our team is made up of people with a wide variety of backgrounds. Not all of them have specific industry experience but instead, have trained on the job. You can see this if you take a look at any of our previous Women in BIM posts, such as the one which talks about Sophia – our 2D CAD Manager.

The traditional route to a post as a 2D CAD manager is usually to complete a BTEC in Building Engineering or an HND in Architecture or even a BSc in Construction Management. Instead, Sophia completed an HND in Spatial Design and then went to work in 2D CAD on the residential side of the construction industry, before joining The CAD Room.

The CAD Room has taken a less traditional approach than most BIM companies to recruiting as we feel this gives us a wider pool of talent to choose from. BIM is a niche industry, and as such, there can be difficulties associated with recruiting experienced digital engineers with a construction or industrial background.

What we’ve chosen to focus on, rather than qualifications as such, are more general skills such as excellent communication, both verbally and written. This is because a large part of most BIM-related jobs requires you to interact with all of the people involved in the project to ensure everyone is working collaboratively.  Above average IT skills are also a plus as this will help you to drive the BIM model forward.

We find that working with the team, helping them to understand the software we use, the data created and how to use this data is the best way for them to get a grasp of it – regardless of their background. There are also external training courses available for those who want to beef up their knowledge, such as that on offer from ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers).

ICE offers a BIM for Infrastructure training course, which is seen as the leading BIM training programme. It takes two days to complete and covers every aspect of BIM in detail – from the application to data, through contractual issues and insurance too – a really comprehensive course. It also makes sure that every course attendee also has a good understanding of the Government’s Learning Outcomes Framework.

As Emma, Office Manager at The CAD Room says, we “are very supportive of progressing women and respectful of that.” After Emma joined us, for example, she expressed an interest in taking on HR work as well, and so we supported her in achieving a degree in HR Management. Another excellent example of the support we provide is Dionne, our Trainee CAD/BIM Technician.

Dionne had completed an Architecture course at University, which gave her a good understanding of AutoCAD – which is essential for this role. However, her knowledge of MEP wasn’t as strong, and so we supported her through her chosen CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers) course.

As you can see, there are many routes you can take to get into a career in BIM, and we can help to support you to do that. If you would like to work with us, take a look at our careers page to find out more.