Architectural and engineering firms have been working together, for as long as both professions have been in existence, to bring new life to cities in the most effective and cost-efficient way possible. This has brought about the existence of building information modeling (BIM), as well as the rise of building information modeling engineers. Still, despite the intertwined nature of the two professions, there are very distinct differences between them in terms of both education and scope of work.

What is Building Information Modeling?
Before discussing the differences between architects and BIM engineers, it’s necessary to define what exactly building information modeling is and how it’s used on a project. BIM is defined as follows by the U.S. National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee:

“Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition”

Essentially, BIM is digital collaboration that allows all parties involved in constructing a building to test different situations and designs before they ever become reality. This ends up saving both time and money during the construction process.

Scopes of Work
BIM Engineer

A BIM Engineer works with the engineering team of a project, fully using their up to date technical knowledge of BIM software. This allows for the crucial design decisions to be made with the most background knowledge possible in order to access the full benefits that BIM software can provide to a project.


Architects create and implement designs for brand new buildings being constructed, the renovation of existing buildings, and the destruction of buildings being torn down. An architect remains on a project in a creative, supervisor role from its beginning all the way through its completion.

BIM Engineer

In order to qualify as a BIM engineer, you must have a four-year degree from a University in a related field such as technology or engineering. You must also demonstrate understanding of all critical BIM technology with at least one to three years professional experience using it on architectural projects.


To be qualified as an architect, you will have to obtain either a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in architecture. This degree must be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board to qualify for a state license, which you receive after a three year paid internship and upon completion of the Architect Registration Exam. Additionally, to maintain your architectural license in most states you will have to obtain continuing education credits.


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