Designers who skip entry level pay

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What would you say if I told you there was a way to start your career with an income 150% greater than that of your peers? An entry level job without the entry level pay. You can, just by adding one set of skills to your resume. 


The one skill that allows you to skip entry level pay

Specializing has always been the key to increased earning potential in the creative fields. The top architects make substantially more than the rest of the industry because they have developed coveted skills that distinguish them from everyone else. So what specialty stands to set you apart from the crowd the most? 3D visualization is the primary way designers and artists share their ideas with audiences using for decades. We’ve seen this technology rapidly evolve in the recent past due to the advent of real-time technology. Ideas can now be experienced. The gaming industry and its drive towards innovation has served to further accelerate the way ideas are brought to life. Now we are seeing this cutting-edge game technology changing the way 3D visualization is utilized for architectural design.


Real-time technology: the future of visualization

Game engine technology enables simulated environments and their images to be portrayed at a speed which makes them seem natural and realistic. Applying this technology to architecture and design allows users to feel immersed in the environment and able to interact with it in real time. This real-time rendering is transforming the way design projects take shape across a broad spectrum of enterprise, including architecture, engineering, industrial design, healthcare, military and more. 

Just how relevant has real-time become to the AEC industry? Enscape, a leading real-time rendering software firm, counts 83% of the world’s top 100 architectural firms among its customers. This shows just how prevalent this technology has become among architecture’s biggest players. These firms are now shifting their focus to employing designers who have the knowledge and experience to incorporate this technology within their projects in-house. 81% of firms are likely to adopt real-time rendering engines over the next 12 months, and 59% are planning to adopt real-time rendering engines into production within the year, according to this report from Forrester.



Enterprise-wide market growth

Designers looking to distinguish themselves know now is the perfect time to incorporate real-time technology into their projects. The demand from consumers for immersive experiences such as those found within VR/AR applications and digital reality is skyrocketing. This in turn, is driving demand from enterprise for skilled practitioners in the fields of 3D graphic design and real-time rendering. Many recent articles and podcasts have reinforced this notion. Recently, Burning Glass Technologies partnered with Epic Games to complete an in-depth study into just how explosive this market demand growth will be. You can access the full report here, including a full list of real-time 3D skills.



Growing Demand + Shortage of Experts = Higher Earning Potential

The report is full of useful information, but the two key takeaways are these:

  1. Real-time 3D skills are driving innovation in fields like architecture, engineering, IT, design, manufacturing, health care, and film
  2. Acquiring real-time 3D skills can lead to well above average entry-level salaries and make established design professionals more highly paid

Here are some key figures from the report:

  • Real-time technology job growth is outpacing the overall market by 601%
  • 31,339 U.S. jobs with skills in real-time technology required were posted from Oct. 2017 to Sep. 2018
  • $86,533 is the average starting salary for jobs requiring real-time 3D skills, a 45% premium above other entry-level architect salaries



Be a catalyst for innovation

The movement for incorporating real-time technology into project delivery across the architecture and engineering industries is underway. As a designer, you can make sure you’re on the right side of innovation by opting into this movement and equipping yourself with the skills these industries demand. Finding a way to add real-time 3D skills to your resume can make you highly sought after and compensated much better than your peers.

The case has been made to add real-time 3D skills to your resume. Now what? There are an abundance of resources and platforms to start your real-time education today. Unreal Engine Online Learning and Unity Learn are the learning arms of the two hottest game engine developers around. Substance Academy is a good place to learn the tools involved in adding character and detail to designs. Enscape has a whole host of tutorials for its real-time rendering software. This list is by no means exhaustive, as there are many useful tutorials and videos which exist on YouTube and other platforms. The important point is to do your research and start adding real-time 3D design skills to your repertoire. We’ve outlined 10 steps you can take to create real-time visualizations in this post.

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