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Building services engineer

Building services engineering technician

Building services engineers install, maintain, and often design the systems that make buildings safe, convenient and comfortable. As a building services engineer, you could be installing or servicing equipment in buildings such as offices, hospitals or shopping centres.

Average salary*

£25000

-

£35000

Typical hours per week

39 - 41

How to become a building services engineer

You can get into this job through a variety of routes, including a university or college course, an apprenticeship, or on-the-job training.

You should explore these routes 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 card to work on a construction site.

University

You could become a building services engineer by studying for a degree accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Relevant subjects include:

  • Building services engineering
  • Architectural engineering
  • Mechanical engineering and building services
  • Electrical engineering
  • Construction and the build environment
  • Sustainable construction. 

For an undergraduate degree, you’ll usually require:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice

College

You could take a course at your local college which would enable you to join a company as a trainee building services engineer. Such courses include:

  • T level in Design, Surveying and Planning
  • Higher National Diploma (HND) in Building Services, or Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths (T level)
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent (HND).

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Guide to T levels

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice 

Apprenticeship

You could complete a higher apprenticeship for building services engineering technicians or building energy management controls engineers. You could also do a building services design engineer degree apprenticeship. 

You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.

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.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

You may be able to find work as a building services technician and complete qualifications on-the-job, or part-time with a training provider to become a building services engineer.

You may be able to apply directly for a job as a building services engineer if you have some experience in an engineering trade. Relevant engineering experience from other industries is highly valued by employers. Skills in electrical, mechanical, environmental, acoustic, or power engineering would be held in high regard.  

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 building services engineer. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV. 

> Find out more about work experience

Skills 

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a building services engineer include: 

  • Knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • Maths knowledge
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Good attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Ability to use your initiative.

What does a building services engineer do?

As a building services engineer you will be responsible for a variety of tasks relating to the planning, design, monitoring, and inspection of systems within buildings such as offices, homes and hospitals. You may spend time working in an office, or on-site. 

The role of a building services engineer involves the following duties: 

  • Planning, designing, monitoring and inspecting systems 
  • Advising clients and architects on matters relating to building services
  • Negotiating and developing project contracts and agreeing these with clients
  • Making life-cycle decisions about existing systems equipment and the appropriate location of new equipment
  • Designing systems with the aid of computer-aided design software
  • Managing and forecasting spending and ensuring that work is kept to budget
  • Designing site-specific equipment as required
  • Commissioning, organising and assessing the work of contractors
  • Overseeing and supervising the installation of building systems and specifying maintenance and operating procedures
  • Monitoring building systems and processes
  • Ensuring that the design and maintenance of building systems meets legislative and health and safety requirements
  • Meeting manufacturers of building products to learn about the latest products
  • Assessing the life cycle of buildings and their component services to minimise resources consumed and the impact on the environment. 

What’s it like to be a building services engineer?

Shaun Ackerley


How much could you earn as a building services engineer?

The expected salary for a building services engineer varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained building services engineers can earn £24,000 - £27,000
  • Trained building services engineers with some experience can earn £27,000 - £35,000
  • Senior building services engineers can earn £35,000 - £50,000.*

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

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest building services engineer 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

As a building services engineer, you could gain experience and move into senior project management, quantity surveying, or engineering design. You could also work as a consultant.

Once you are fully qualified, you could apply for chartered status to the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) or another construction engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council. This would improve your job prospects and help you progress in your career.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Building services engineer Working with construction & client teams building service engineers ensure build...
    Read more
  • Current role Senior manager Senior managers and heads of department are responsible for leading teams of peo...
    Read more
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