So, You Want to be a Specifier!

The CSI Specifying Practice Group has gone international by welcoming two potential specifiers as guest presenters to help discuss this month's topic:

Bruno Cadorini, an architect from Paris France
Brian Ross, an architect from the State of Washington

The session started with the group leaders, Louis and me, telling our stories of how we became specifiers followed by Bruno and Brian's stories about their aspirations to become specifiers. Although entirely different the stories were not that far apart.

There was a definite affinity for detail and technical knowledge that seems to drive the decision to become a specifier, whether by choice or by chance. It certainly takes a special personality to take up a profession that is not taught in any school and for which the only training is through the school of hard knocks.

Perhaps that is why there are so few specifiers. The group seemed to agree that there are probably fewer than 2,000 specifiers in the United States. There are over 200 members of Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice (SCIP). And not all 13,000 CSI members are specifiers. So it is a good bet that there are fewer than 2,000.

So how does that compare to the industry at large you may ask? According to the 2007 US Economic Census data, there are about 1.5 million employees in architecture, engineering and related services. Specifiers are 0.1% of the total. Those 2,000 specifiers are trying to service 85,000 architectural and engineering firms. That's more than 40 firms for each specifier.

If you are interested in tackling this exciting career, check the presentation for what may be required. When the economy begins bouncing back, design firms may be scrambling to find a specifier.

What are your suggestions for aspiring specifiers? Add your comments below.

Join the group and add to the discussion. It's free to sign up and get the meeting notices. Pick the topics you like and log in when you can. Louis and I look forward to hearing from you.

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