Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Engineers manage the planning, visualization, and computer modeling of building projects. They work closely with BIM Modelers, architects, and clients to create a cohesive construction plan. VDC Engineers need to have outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, along with technical expertise and artistic ability.
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
- Meet deadlines
Education and Background
VDC Engineers need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent, preferably with classes in math, science, design, and computer graphics. They should receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program, ideally in an engineering or construction-related field. Graduates who go on to earn a master’s degree and certification will expand their career opportunities.
Skills and Competencies
- 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
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a VDC Engineer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $50,000
- Tampa, Florida: $66,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $60,000
- Miami, Florida: $65,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $65,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $66,000
- Houston, Texas: $73,000
- Los Angeles, California: $60,000
- New York, New York: $67,000
- Seattle, Washington: $70,000
- Overall: $65,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $60,000
- Tampa, Florida: $70,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $69,000
- Miami, Florida: $76,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $70,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $71,000
- Houston, Texas: $84,000
- Los Angeles, California: $70,000
- New York, New York: $77,000
- Seattle, Washington: $75,000
- Overall: $75,000
Similar Job Titles
- BIM Modeler
- Civil Engineer
- Revit Technician
- Mapping Technician
- AutoCAD Designer
- Industrial Designer
The first step to becoming a VDC Engineer is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. Students then should receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program, preferably in an engineering discipline. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree, although this is not required. Associated General Contractors of America offers certification in BIM modeling, which will expand your career opportunities. Autodesk offers certification in Revit.
Population growth means that construction-related jobs will continue to be in demand. Maintenance, improvements, and construction of roads and bridges also will create more job opportunities. The emphasis on environmentally friendly development and energy efficiency should give the industry a boost as well.
Job prospects in the construction industry tend to ebb and flow with the economy. The Construction Management Association of America offers career coaching, a learning center, and job listings for candidates.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for VDC Engineers and Computer Engineers should grow by six percent over the next several years, which is about as fast as average. Graduates who earn a master’s degree and certification will improve their career prospects.
VDC Engineers typically work regular hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, though they sometimes might need to log more than 40 hours a week. They also may visit construction sites to collaborate with architects or clients.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- Zip Recruiter
- American Design Drafting Association
- Construction Management Association of America
Are You Interested in Becoming a Construction VDC Engineer?
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