What Does a VDC Engineer Do?
Virtual design and construction (VDC) engineers manage the planning, visualization, and computer modeling of building projects. They use software such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) to create digital models that can be used to analyze the design of a building from all angles and simulate the construction process. Additionally, VDC engineers leverage analytics to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
VDC Engineers work closely with BIM modelers, architects, and clients to create a cohesive construction plan. Success as a VDC engineer requires outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, along with strong technical expertise and artistic ability.
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National Average Salary
VDC engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a VDC Engineer is:
VDC Engineer Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a VDC engineer, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
In any building project, a large team of professionals is required. One of the essential employees is a virtual design and construction (VDC) engineer. We are looking for an exceptional VDC engineer who can manage the planning and computer modeling of building projects. As a VDC engineer, you will need to be able to effectively work with designers, modelers, and architects to make sure information is up-to-date and accurate across departments as the project moves forward.
We are looking for someone who can generate construction drawings using CADD and AutoCAD software and who can work well under pressure to meet tight deadlines. You will need to be someone with high attention to detail who can identify any issues with structural and architectural documents that might not be appropriate according to local code requirements. If you have these skills, can multitask, and enjoy working as a team, this might be a great fit for you.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Use design and modeling software to create 3-D plans for projects
- Collaborate with BIM modelers, architects, and clients
- Determine the proper elements and scale for buildings
- Gather and analyze data on costs, materials, and labor
Education and experience
- High school diploma or equivalent required
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program preferred, ideally in an engineering or construction-related field
- Master’s degree and certifications preferred
Required skills and qualifications
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Strong collaborative and interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of BIM modeling and Autodesk Revit software
- Time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to understand technical drawings and plans
- Advanced math and computer skills
- Creativity and artistic ability
- Keen attention to detail
- Engineering experience
- High attention to detail
- Structural and architectural design experience
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field
- Understand building construction and/or architecture
- Have on the job or class experience with BIM software programs and technology
- Thrive in a team environment both contributing to larger projects and producing independent work
- Have an innately curious, forward-thinking personality to be push innovative ideas in all aspects of daily tasks
Typical daily tasks include creating modeled visualizations for site logistics, safety concerns, building sequencing, scheduling, and VR experiences.
Education and experience
- Bachelor degree with preference given to Architecture, Civil Engineering, or Construction Management related degrees or Associate degree in a VDC/BIM technical concentration with 2-4 years of experiency
- VDC/BIM tool knowledge & proficiency
Software skills required
- General Computing Skills
Software skills preferred
- Unreal Engine
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- 3ds Max
Bring your implementation, architectural, and construction management mastery to work for an industry leader.
- Work on the project management of VDC/BIM projects across the VDC spectrum
- Serve as the interface to clients and cultivate client relationships. Present work to the client. Conduct and/or actively participate in meetings with the client
- Identify opportunities for efficiency improvements. Enhance VIATechnik’s goal of continuous improvement within our company, for our clients, and for the industry
- Coordinate and lead interesting digital model creation efforts globally for large GC coordination projects
- Contribute to our culture of professional development and knowledge sharing by participating in and leading training efforts
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Architecture, Civil Engineering, Construction Management, or similar
- Interest in or up to 3 years of experience providing implementation, training, and support in BIM and VDC
- Excellent organizational skills
- Knowledge of primary building systems – foundations, primary building structure and walls, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, fire protection, specialty systems, conveying systems and interior finishes, and the sequence of assembly of each
- A knack for managing multiple simultaneous projects requiring frequent communication, organization, time management, and problem-solving skills
- Capability to read and interpret construction contracts
- Availability to work hybrid out of one of our offices
- A background working for a general contractor, especially in a VDC capacity
- Experience in combining and coordinating BIM updates, running clash detection on revised components and communicating results to internal and external stakeholders
- Understanding of leading online meetings and training sessions across remote project teams using platforms such as Asana
- Ability to create and manage complex commercial and industrial design projects within Revit, Navisworks, BIM360, AutoCAD, and other supporting programs
- Familiarity with managing BIM and VDC across the project lifecycle including operations and facilities management
- A track record of effectively working with and/or managing teams remotely
- Aptitude for working effectively in an extremely fast-paced, ambiguous environment
- Proactive and flexible attitude, willingness to take an “all hands on deck” approach
The VDC Engineer’s primary responsibility is to develop 3D models used for proposal graphics and animations needed to construct large bridges, tunnels, highway interchanges, power plants, and other infrastructure systems.
- Effectively communicate with project teams, construction contractors, and others as applicable and necessary
- Effectively utilize computer design and drafting software, and 3D Modeling/BIM software to produce construction drawings, and construction coordination modeling
- Collaborate with project teams to analyze constructability, build construction sequence animations, and help to create 4D/5D and 6D models for some of the largest civil and infrastructure projects across the United States
- Support all design disciplines (architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering)
- Provide timely services that meet the needs of clients and the overall project schedule requirements
- Ability to independently calculate quantities
- Ability to independently generate 3D models
- Have a strong working knowledge of AutoCAD Civil 3D
- Knowledge of general construction, Roadway, Paving, Bridges, Drainage, etc.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to perform quickly and effectively under pressure and deadlines
- Demonstrate a high standard of professionalism, client focus/customer service, and ownership/responsibility
- Demonstrates proficiency of MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Functions effectively as part of a team
- Ability to understand and follow directions
- Must be well organized
- Ability to multitask, work well under pressure and meet deadlines
- Ability to quickly learn and run new software and updated programs
- 2-5 years of experience with 3/D Modeling/ BIM software
- Bachelors degree in Engineering or Architecture preferred, but not required
Candidate Certification to Look For
VDC Certificate Program
Available through Viateknik at Stanford’s Center for Professional Development, this program is great for candidates interested in improving their knowledge of virtual design and construction. With access to the online courseware for one year, candidates will be able to learn from case studies as well as real-life experiences. If they sign up for this program, they can expect pre-program coursework, a 3-day workshop, and a 2-day Stanford experience.
Sample Interview Questions
- What are the most important qualities for a VDC engineer to have?
- Do you have any experience using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, and if so, how have you used it in the past?
- How do you ensure accuracy and coordination when creating virtual models?
- Can you tell me about a time you noticed a small problem that others had missed?
- Tell me which applications and tools you’re proficient with. How have you used them in a professional setting?
- How do you stay current with the latest VDC technologies and tools?
- What is your favorite project you have worked on?
- Describe your process for facilitating communication and coordination between the design, construction, and operational teams.
- What challenges do you expect as a VDC engineer?
- What was the most challenging VDC project you worked on, and how did you overcome any obstacles?
- What are the strengths that will help you in your work as a VDC engineer?
- Describe a time you showed leadership skills at work.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
- What are the methods you use to ensure the safety, quality, and sustainability of construction projects through virtual modeling and analysis?
How to Hire a VDC Engineer
Consider the following when hiring a VDC engineer:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring a VDC engineer:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for VDC engineer openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.