Building Information Modeling is a revolutionary new approach to designing, building and monitoring new buildings, including homes and light industrial structures. Associate's degrees in building information modeling prepare graduates for job opportunities in the construction industry and government inspection departments.
Building Information Modeling: An Overview
Getting an online building information modeling degree teaches you how to use BIM software, providing you skill in various aspects of design, including architectural, construction, engineering, industrial and interior design. The computer programs involved in getting an online associate degree in building information modeling (BIM) allow you to present computer-aided designs in a 3-D formation so that contractors, architects, inspectors and government regulators can see exactly what a project will look like at various stages of development.
An associate degree in building information modeling prepares students for future jobs in the construction industry by teaching them the principles of residential and commercial design, including such areas as structural analysis, building codes and project cost estimations. Many students with an associate's degree in building information modeling go on to find jobs as CADD draftsmen, building inspectors and cost estimators. Other potential career paths include surveyor assistant, general contractor, salesperson, contractor sales, building construction management and other construction-related jobs.
Associate Degree in Building Information Modeling Programs
Building information modeling programs train students to produce preliminary plans for construction of single-family, multi-family and light commercial buildings. In addition to hands-on work learning to use the computer programs used in BIM, students also study general computer-aided drafting and design, known as CADD, computer design rendering, project management skills, detailing methods and building construction methods. You'll also learn how to produce cost estimates and reflect local building codes and restrictions in your building plans. The trend toward energy-efficient and "green" building has many students studying sustainable design methods.
Some building information modeling programs are available online. There are many benefits to learning BIM through online classes. Since a large part of the curriculum is mastering design software, you can easily accomplish this through online interaction with your instructor. Many classes include tutorials that allow you to work and learn at your own pace, without wasting any time driving to a campus, finding parking and working on a computer you're not familiar with.
Studying at home also gives you the opportunity to practice your newfound skills until you have them mastered. In most cases, instructors and other classmates are available through e-mail or online chats to help you with any questions.
Top Careers in Building Information Modeling
If you decide to focus on inspections, there are many types of jobs to choose from, including building inspector or plan examiners. Construction and building inspectors, who made a 2014 median annual salary of $56,040 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), check the structural quality and general safety of buildings. Plan examiners determine if building plans comply with the local building codes.
If you go into the drafting field, you'll be preparing technical drawings used by construction workers to build anything from computers to office buildings. There is also a wide variety of specialized drafters, including those who work on aircraft and those who specialize in building and building materials. Architectural and civil drafters draw up plans for public works projects, such as bridges and flood-control projects. Pay varies by specialty but median annual salary is approximately $49,970 based on 2014 data from the BLS.
The design and construction industry relies on talented modelers to render detailed building plans. Train for this career with an associate degree in building information modeling.
"47-4011 Construction and Building Inspectors," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes474011.htm
"17-3011 Architectural and Civil Drafters," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes173011.htm