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3D visualiser

3D designer, 3D specialist

3D visualisers bring architects’ ideas to life, taking plans, architectural illustrations and other reference materials and using these to produce photo-realistic 3D images or animations of proposed buildings and developments. As a 3D visualiser, you’ll need to be both creative and technically-minded, in order to model prospective buildings that will both function well and look good.

Average salary*




How to become a 3D visualiser

There are several routes to becoming a 3D visualiser. You could complete a university course, an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer for work.

You should explore these routes to becoming a 3D visualiser, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


In order to become a 3D visualiser, you could complete an undergraduate degree in 3D design, graphic design, architectural visualisation, or a related subject.

Your course should provide training in relevant design software such as AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max and VRay, as well as programmes such as Adobe Photoshop, Premier and other graphic or rendering software.

For an undergraduate degree, you’ll need:


An apprenticeship with a construction company is a good way into the industry.

You can become a 3D visualiser by completing a design or architectural apprenticeship. 

To become an apprentice, you’ll need GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, in English and maths, plus an art and design subject.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.


After gaining relevant qualifications, you could apply directly to a construction company for an entry-level role, to gain experience within an architectural team. It might be possible for you to shadow a 3D designer, or work as a 3D design assistant while you develop your skills.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a 3D visualiser. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Personal skills which are ideal for anyone thinking of pursuing a career as a 3D visualiser include: 

  • Creative and technical skills 
  • Willingness to complete complex tasks
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to manage own workload and meet deadlines.

What does a 3D visualiser do?

As a 3D visualiser, you will collaborate with design and architectural teams to ensure that proposed project designs are reproduced accurately and effectively. You will also be responsible for ensuring that the project brief is followed and work is completed on schedule.

The role of a 3D visualiser involves the following duties: 

  • Working closely with architectural and design teams to plan and visualise construction projects
  • Presenting and explaining visuals to colleagues and clients
  • Ensuring all ideas are represented as accurately and attractively as possible 
  • Assisting with planning decisions
  • Creating both static visualisations and animations/CGI (computer generated imagery) 
  • Working with industry-standard design tools and programmes
  • Visualising building concepts in various graphic mediums
  • Keeping up-to-date with relevant software advances.

How much could you earn as a 3D visualiser?

The expected salary for a 3D visualiser varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained 3D visualisers can earn £18,000 - £25,000
  • Trained 3D visualisers with some experience can earn £25,000 - £30,000
  • Senior, chartered, or master 3D visualisers can earn £30,000 - £35,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest 3D visualiser vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

The opportunity to progress as a 3D visualiser is varied depending on the size of your company.

As a 3D visualiser, you could progress into a career as a BIM manager or design manager.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role 3D visualiser Create photo-realistic 3D images of suggested projects & bring visuals to life. ...
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  • Current role BIM coordinator The BIM Technician responsible for putting all information & designs into 1 set ...
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  • Current role BIM manager The BIM Manager oversees the creation of digital models of current & proposed pr...
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  • Current role Design manager Find out more about design manager salary, roles and responsibilities in this Go...
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