Building services engineer

Building services engineers design, install and service equipment and systems found in buildings.

What does a building services engineer do?

You’re responsible for the heating, water, electrical and telecoms systems inside a building, like an office block. You may be involved in the design and installation of systems or oversee their maintenance once up and running. Duties could include:

  • drawing up plans using computer-aided design and building information modelling software
  • estimating costs
  • making sure jobs meet building regulations and health & safety requirements
  • attending meetings and presenting ideas and progress reports to managers and clients
  • coordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople on site
  • managing engineering inspection and maintenance programmes
  • meeting with building suppliers to keep up to date with new product developments

An important part of the job is to work out ways to lower carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and generally reduce the environmental impact of buildings.

What do I need to do to become a building services engineer?

You could become a building service engineer in a number of ways, for example:

  • by building on your experience as a technician in a related field, like heating and ventilation, electrical or mechanical work, then taking further study at higher education level
  • starting on a graduate trainee scheme with a company after completing a degree
  • switching careers after working as an engineer in a different industry, for example energy engineering

You would become a technician by completing a relevant qualification, for example a foundation degree or HND (these are a blend of vocational and academic learning). Another option is to qualify through an advanced apprenticeship. 

Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Communication
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • Foundation degree or HND in building services, mechanical or electrical engineering
  • Degree in building services engineering or a related subject

Vocational route

  • Advanced apprenticeship in building services technology
  • Degree apprenticeship in a related subject

Related subjects

  • Maths
  • Physics

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Depending on what type of work you specialise in, you may spend time working in a project office and/or on site, which might be existing buildings or construction sites.

A driving licence is usually required. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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