How to get a Job in the Architecture and Engineering Industry
What do Employers Want?
Employers in the building industry ask for many things from fresh graduates. They might require them to be proficient in software that is different from what they have been using in school. Or they might demand a minimum of X years of experience from applicants in order to be viable for employment. The chances of you meeting these prerequisites while in school (on top of achieving stellar academic grades) is highly unlikely.
The Importance of Building Information & Modelling (BIM)
Since 2015, all government projects above 5000 square meters require submissions to be made according to BCA’s BIM e-submission guidelines. There is now a great demand for Architects, Civil Engineers, and M&E Engineers who are well-versed and able to communicate through the BIM methodology.
The problem is that schools don’t equip you with the necessary skills in BIM. It is mainly a tool used by the industry which is gaining greater popularity as Singapore’s building industry transitions towards a digital future. Until then, there is a skills gap waiting to be filled by qualified candidates.
How to Get a Job as a Freshie?
So now you are fresh out of university – trying to find a career that suits your Architecture / Engineering / Building Environment related degree and you realize you lack the necessary experience. What do you do?
Method 1: Identify the key software used by the industry.
Revit is now the main software used in government projects to fulfill BCA’s BIM e-submission guidelines. Jewel Changi is the latest of such mega projects that have used BIM throughout its entire building workflow. Future projects include the upcoming Downtown Line (est completion: 2024) as well as Changi Airport Terminal 5 (est completion: 2030)
Method 2: Rely on Internships
Rely on your school’s career center to source for an internship position in your company of choice. Don’t forget to source for companies outside of your school’s network as well. Your dream company might simply not be in your school’s roster of internship companies. Try to reach out to these companies on your own.
Remember – end your internship on a positive note and they might just offer you a position in their company.
Method 3: Join an Apprenticeship Programme
The Apprenticeship Programme is conceived from the German system of occupational training. It equips young people with the skills to perform their jobs in a professionally. Apprentices typically earn an allowance as they pick up the tools of the trade.
While it is still a rarity for fresh graduates to have access to such programs in Singapore, companies like AcePLP offers its BIM Apprenticeship Programme for fresh graduates from local ITEs, Polytechnics, as well as Universities. In-class training is only a minor part of such programmes. A majority of your time will be spent applying these lesson on real industry projects that test your digital skills as well as your ability to work in teams across different disciplines.
Future Careers in Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)
Some potential career paths include: BIM Manager, Project Manager or even a Design Consultant. BIM is a method of working in the VDC environment that will only grow in significance in future. It is common for BIM Managers to draw a starting salary of around $4500 after 2 years working with software that facilitate BIM (such as Revit or Archicad)
We hope this has helped you clarify the steps that can be taken to build a career in the Architecture and Engineering industry.