When applying for architecture jobs, it's often necessary to self-evaluate your skill at various tasks. However, with many of these tasks--especially software--it can be difficult to give an accurate assessment since you often don't know what you don't know about the skill. This article, originally published by ArchSmarter as "Where Are You on the Path to Revit Mastery?" will help you come to an objective assessment of your skill level with one of the most complex and powerful pieces of software available.
BAM! I shook my head and peeled my sore body off the mat. “Good,” the instructor said, “Now try it again but with a little more force.” My partner grabbed my arm, twisted his hips and threw me to the mat again. BAM! Fortunately, I remembered to tuck in my chin so my head didn’t slam against the mat.
“Alright, a little better that time”, the instructor commented. “Do it another ten times then take a break. You both need to master this throw for your upcoming belt test.” Just as I started to groan, thinking about how sore I was going to be tomorrow, my partner grabbed my wrist again and tossed me over his hip. BAM!
I was a couple months into judo training at the local YMCA. My oldest son started taking judo. I thought it looked like fun so I joined the class too. One of the things I really like about martial arts is that there’s a very clear path to mastery. You start as a white belt and as you master the skills, you progress up the ranks. Eventually, after a lot of sweat and effort, you’re considered a master and get your black belt.
In judo, the path to becoming a black belt is very clear. There are five sets of five throws. At each belt, you need to demonstrate your mastery of those throws. The advanced throws build on the basic throws so there’s a logical progression.
My dojo had a poster that listed the particular skills you needed to know at each step of the way. Follow the path, listen to your instructors and, most importantly, put in the work and you’ll become a master. It might take years but you’ll get there.
The Path to Revit Mastery
Unfortunately, things aren’t so clear when you’re out working in the profession. The skills are not always clearly defined and there aren’t always opportunities to practice them.
With that in mind, I wanted to put together a path to mastering one aspect of the profession--using Revit software. Sure, it’s a small part but it is vitally important to producing the work we do.
The Revit mastery path is a collection of 150+ skills, grouped into five skill levels; newbie, beginner, intermediate, advanced and power user. Within each skill level, the skills are further grouped into categories that roughly correspond to Revit’s categories.
A Newbie user has no practical experience with Revit. They’re the equivalent to a white belt in martial arts and are working toward their yellow belt. These users are developing the basic skills required to contribute to a Revit project. Once a user has completed basic Revit training and demonstrated mastery of these skills, they can move on to the skills in the next category.
Revit users at the Newbie level should be able to do things such as place components, create walls, create and edit a column grid, edit roof types, and create new sheets. Click here to see all the skills required of a Newbie user.
Revit users at the Beginner level should be able to do things such as edit component types, draw detail lines, edit project information, render a 3D view, and create contoured topography. Click here to see all the skills required of a Beginner user.
An Intermediate user has completed 2 – 4 Revit projects. They are comfortable editing and creating new system types. Intermediate users can also create schedules and can demonstrate how to work collaboratively in a workshared environment.
Revit users at the Intermediate level should be able to do things such as create new component types, create and edit level types, modify existing materials, automate a basic task using Dynamo, and create a new schedule. Click here to see all the skills required of an Intermediate user.
An Advanced user has completed 4+ projects in Revit. Advanced users can create advanced system families like stairs and compound walls. They can also create their own basic families. Advanced users have also used Dynamo to automate simple tasks in Revit.
Revit users at the Advanced level should be able to do things such as create new families, create project parameters, create night renderings, create new curtain wall systems, and create walls, floors, or roofs from conceptual masses. Click here to see all the skills required of an Advanced Revit user.
5. Power User
A power user is an advanced user of Revit who is experienced with the more powerful features of the software including family creation and automation using Dynamo or macros. A power user typically acts as the BIM lead on their projects. Power Users also act as trainers, helping less experienced users develop their skills.
Revit users at the Power User level should be able to do things such as create a complex parametric family, automate a complex task using Dynamo, transfer project standards from another file, set up a model for worksharing, and train new Revit users. Click here to see all the skills required of a Power User.
6. BIM Manager
I didn’t include “BIM Manager” in this version of the Revit Mastery Path though I will likely add specific skills for this role in the future. In essence, a BIM Manager has all the skills of a Power User but operates across all projects in an office. If a Power User is a black belt then the BIM Manager runs the dojo.
So what’s missing?
Note that the mastery path is in no way complete. I definitely missed some skills and I’m sure the skill level groupings could use some fine-tuning. Also, I’m an architect so the skills correspond to Revit in general and Revit Architecture in particular. I don’t consider myself qualified to add skills for Revit MEP or Revit Structure. If you think I’m totally off the mark or missed something completely, leave a comment below. I plan to regularly revise this document.