Surveys Article: 2016 Year in Review

This month, I will be taking a look back at all of the information our members have shared with us through polls and surveys in the past year. There is a link to each poll or survey results, as well as a highlight of interesting data from each article.

Sources of Learning

The year’s first issue of AUGIWORLD had a theme of ‘Beginners’. We took that a bit more broadly and asked the membership how they kept up their learning, no matter how long they’d been in the industry.

Far and away, the largest answer for where their learning came from, on the job. There are some things we will never learn until we are out in the industry with our hands in every day, learning how to solve problems, picking up methods from coworkers and mentors and adapting to changes in our discipline as they occur.

Community colleges are another popular source of learning, with nearly 30% of folks having chosen to learn through one.

Still curious about other means to learn? Check out the training forum to see what others have shared.

How Do You Learn at Work?

We next asked our members how their company imparts knowledge. 60% of respondents said that their company’s knowledge-sharing is informal and another 20% say their company has organized means to share education.

Who Deploys Your Software?

So much of the work designers do these days involves computers and the lines blur between design, tech support of design software and system administration tasks.

Over 40% of our members say their IT staff installs their CAD/BIM software, nearly 30% have theirs rolled out by a CAD or BIM Manager. Just over 10% each have Users or Power Users installing the packages.

Problems with your installations? Feel free to ask questions in the AUGI Forums.

2016 Job Search Poll

We poll our membership once a year on their likelihood of staying in their current job. Keeping an eye on how this changes from year to year can clue us in to the state of the industry as well as the economy.

Last year only 44% of our membership were definitely planning on staying in their current job. That is a record low in the years that this poll has run. The majority of people who responded to this poll have been with their companies for more than 5 years, so they are not just chronic job-hoppers.

22% of folks a job searching because they are dissatisfied, that is much higher than the low of 15% back in 2013. 12% of folks were looking for different work because they consider themselves under-employed (either not working full-time or not being paid enough).

The annual job search poll is currently running. If you haven’t already taken part, please take a moment to do so. The results will be available in the next issue of HotNews and here in the Library and will also be visible on the Surveys Archives page.

Custom Software

We like to streamline our work and make it as efficient as possible, don’t we? One of the best things about using computers for design and engineering is the ability to automate repetitive tasks and utilize customized tools in our specific environments.

60% of our membership says their companies customize software in-house currently, and another 7% have plans to start doing so.

The programming and customization forums are part of the busiest space on our site, so if you are ever curious, pop in and take a look at some of the questions and answers there.

Don’t forget about the Wish List. Even if you have built a custom solution, there is no reason why you cannot still ask Autodesk to build the feature in natively. You can also pop in and rank wishes others have submitted, to let Autodesk product teams know how much value you would assign to each suggested feature.

Wasted Time

How many hours per month do you spend fixing errors that were a result of poor communication?

This was a difficult question, I know. Mistakes, oversights, misunderstandings, assumptions. How can we quantify what causes additional work, or average it out over time, because sometimes things like this happen a lot, other times we can operate more smoothly and with fewer problems.

Due to the responses received from our users, we estimate that companies are wasting $6,563 per year on miscommunication. How many people are fixing these problems? Multiply that number by employee, and you can see that it adds up quickly.

Email Subscriptions

This month’s topic deviated from my usual habit of following the AUGIWORLD Editorial calendar in theme. I wanted to know whether you sign up for professional sites like AUGI with your work email address, your personal email or an educational account.

62% of folks sign up to professional sites through their employee’s email account. Perhaps I should have asked for length of employment on this poll as well.

I used to sign up for all accounts through my work email, as that is where I did almost all of my reading and professional interactions. However, when leaving my employer of over 13 years, I had a heck of a time remembering every single account I needed to go change, so I have used personal accounts since then whenever possible (some things like the Autodesk Beta program and the ARCHIBUS forums will not allow use of free email accounts, as a means of validating who a person is).

If you have a problem with your AUGI account and cannot access a password or other login information, please contact to help with a password reset and update your profile with your current email address.

How Do You Customize AutoCAD?

There are many ways to customize AutoCAD and we wanted to know which were your favorite! Far and away, AutoLISP was the clear winner. The CUI (customize user interface) was in 2nd place and Scripting was 3rd favorite.

Beyond that, folks used VBA,, C#, Object ARX, JavaScript, C++ and Objective-C (Mac).

For those curious about use of VBA, when this question was asked back in 2005, 21% of folks used it, compared to 13% now.

What is the Most Effective Learning Medium?

When asking what is the most effective way to learn something, I was not surprised to see nearly 30% of our members say that hands-on learning is the best. Only 13% answered that classroom instruction is the most effective way to learn.

Video instruction was the favorite for 26% of users, closely followed by reading tutorials and textbooks with 23%.

What is your Primary Design Software?

We asked our membership what their primary design tool is. We have a great variety, but, no surprise that Revit is tops with 1/3 of respondents.

So, are there really more of them? Or are they just more vocal because they’re newer to the program and have to come to the site more often for knowledge?

We also asked about the secondary design software used by our members’ companies. There were A LOT more programs chosen for the secondary role, from Solidworks to Excel and beyond.

The Salary Survey and Its Correction

I saved my favorite project for last. The AUGI Annual Survey. Where we talk about salary, and so much more. 2016 marked the 15th anniversary. That is a lot of data over a lot of years.

Feelings of Job Insecurity, Layoffs and Reductions in Pay are continuing to decline! Yay. The option of telecommuting raises job satisfaction scores by 8%, while lack of benefits reduces job satisfaction scores by 16%. 46% of our members report an extremely busy workload. Less than 1/3 of workers are completely disconnected from work when they leave for the day. The jobs that received the largest raises this year were Programmers and BIM Managers.

Be sure to check out the survey for more information about size of marketshare and which specialties pay the most.

I did have to issue a correction on a mislabeled chart ‘pay by education’. I had our layout artist recycle a page arrangement from a few years ago, when I had broken out a chart for people new in the industry and how their education affected their pay. I did not catch the incorrect label on the chart during our editorial reviews. The good part about issuing that correction was that my HotNews article gave me much more space to expand upon how both education and experience will impact wages over time.

There is a pretty large difference in pay just starting out, but, by about 7 years into the industry, pay evens out a bit more, equalized by experience.

I hope you enjoyed this look back over some industry topics. If you have any poll topics you’d like to see addressed (especially you civil or mechanical folks that we don’t hear from often), I would love to take your suggestions!


Melanie Stone is a CAFM/ IWMS Specialist supporting and writing about ARCHIBUS, FMInteract, Tririga, Revit, AutoCAD, BricsCAD or similar. She served as an AUGI Director/Officer for over 6 years and is currently involved with the STLRUG. Melanie can be reached at or found on Twitter as @MistresDorkness on YouTube or on her Mistress Of the Dorkness blog.

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