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Design & planning

Building services engineer

Building services engineers design, fit and maintain the heating, lighting and power systems in offices, hospitals and shopping centres.

Annual Salary

£24,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

You could work: on call; as customers demand

Future employment

There will be 3.4% more Building services engineer jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • create plans using CAD and building information modelling software
  • design and install controls for systems like heating and ventilation
  • estimate costs
  • make sure jobs meet building regulations and health and safety requirements
  • attend meetings and present ideas and progress reports
  • coordinate the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • assist with installation and maintenance work

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work on a construction site or in an office.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You could study for a degree accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

Courses include:

  • building services engineering
  • architectural engineering
  • mechanical engineering and building services

Employers may accept you if you have a related degree, like electrical engineering, construction and the built environment or sustainable construction.

You could apply to join a company as a graduate trainee after you finish your course.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths
For more information

You could take a course, which may help you to get a trainee technician position in building services engineering. Courses include:

  • T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction
  • Higher National Diploma in Building Services, or Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national certificate or higher national diploma
For more information

You could start by completing a higher apprenticeship for building services engineering technicians or one for building energy management controls engineers.

You could also do a building services design engineer degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

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

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got qualifications and experience in an engineering trade.

Engineering experience from other industries is highly valued by employers. Skills in electrical, mechanical, environmental, acoustic or power engineering are examples.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers for access to industry news, study resources and professional development courses.

Further information

You can find more advice about careers and qualifications in building services from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

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With experience, you could move into senior project management, quantity surveying or engineering design. You could also work as a facilities manager or building services consultant.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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