Melita Issa

Revit Can Increase Your Salary: Here’s How Much

Melita Issa
Revit Can Increase Your Salary: Here’s How Much

By: Melita Issa

To quantify how much you can gain professionally by adding a new software to your arsenal, you may already know, is not an exact science. It certainly is an upswing, and I will advise you from my expertise, so you can understand the scope of benefit from knowing Revit as an Interior Designer.

First, we will review the research data that proves Revit will increase your wage, but in an recent interview with, Marvin Kim, of 52X Consultants he shed an enlightening perspective, Revit’s real fiscal increase is anopportunity cost.

As you will see from the BIM/Revit Expertise chart below that 44% of firms pay a premium for BIM or Revit expertise.  This is a modest increase since 2013.

Times have changed. Once, listing Revit on your resume was enough. Now that firms have felt the burn of failed Revit projects they are wiser to what it really means when a designer says they can “use Revit.” Firms realized that creating templates, parametric families and managing complicated towers comes with much higher experience and overall pay rate.  No more are the days you can just load your studio up with interns or junior level recent graduates and churn out work.  Now you have a complicated system that requires a team with multi-level Revit skills, knowledge, and experience.  This range of experience and skill will also reflect in how much-increased revenue you can funnel to your paycheck. 

It is also important to keep in mind your firm’s location. A design firm in New York may pay double the amount of a senior level Revit capable designer versus a city like Los Angeles that for some reason has more BIM experts than New York. 

INDEED.COM, for example, shows the national salary for a Revit drafter at $61,000, $66,000 in Los Angles.  Job postings in LA are 7% higher on average for Revit salaries.  On the other hand, as mentioned previously, when you get to New York city average salary for Revit job postings the amount was a nice $84,000. New York Revit salaries on average showed to be 36% higher than the national average. 

BIM Salary Increase 2015.JPG


New York and Boston based recruitment firm, 52X Consulting head recruiter, Marvin Kim, sat down with me and we talked at length about the state of BIM needed skilled Interior Design and Architecture labor in New York City specifically and the staffing mistakes he sees many firms make. 

Here are the summary highlights from the conversation with Marvin Kim:

Universities need to prepare their students more with knowledge in popular software like Revit.  Don’t’ just let your students design in AutoCAD and Sketch Up and never learn a BIM based software.  A strong beginner level understanding of Revit should be mandatory for all graduates now.

Companies need to invest more upfront into a portion of their staff knowing Revit from managers to interns to make sure across skill level and management level there is a strong understanding of Revit in the office. Don’t rely on just one really good Revit person and a bunch of interns that know Revit. What happens if the senior level person leaves? Now you have a bunch of interns running rouge in your model and increasing your chances of project failure.

Knowing Revit is an opportunity cost. Marvin gave me the wonderful example to understand the opportunity cost of not knowing Revit for beginner designers for example.  “If a designer wanted to get hired at a firm like Gensler for a summer internship they are only going to take the intern that knows Revit.  Then when it comes time to hire post-graduation they will want the students that interned for them first. Say you are a CAD only person and Gensler does hire you then now you have to go to a CAD only firm after you leave Gensler. The Revit and CAD employee can go to any type of firm they want and have the name of Gensler and experience of Gensler type projects they could take to a small or large firm. The CAD only person just missed multiple opportunities.  This cross-skill level characteristic trait doesn’t just apply to Revit. Know Photoshop, 3D Max or something else in your bag of tricks. Don’t be a one-skill set only type of designer. You will always see a flat line to your salary rate.”

In the article 3D Views: The BIM Jobs Market Gearing Up for 2016, Tom Revenscroft interviewed three UK based recruitment firm directors and Tamysn Curly of Place Careers said, “There is a great emphasis on BIM skills, but at this moment in time it’s a bonus to an architect’s skill set, rather than a pre-requisite.”  You can read the full article HERE echoed many of the points made by Marvin Kim of 52X Consulting. There is an increased demand for BIM experts, but we don’t want to give the impression that without BIM you can’t get a good job in design. With a number of firms still slow to get on board, there is still a safe place for dinosaurs.  Just don’t forget. The story for the dinosaurs doesn’t have a happy ending. I would strongly suggest designers to constantly be looking to increase their skills. If you are a BIM Guru maybe you should spend more time hand drafting or learn how to render.  Always increase your skills and always grow with new technology. 

Are you sold yet that Revit will increase your salary?  Chat below to let us know more about how you feel about Revit and increasing your opportunity cost.