What qualifications do you need to be a building services engineer?

May 12, 2022

A building services engineer plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and comfort of occupants in a building. They are responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining the systems that provide heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and other services. 

To become a building services engineer, you will need to have a solid technical background and be able to apply your knowledge to real-world situations. You also need to be able to multi-task and prioritise your workload, as you might have conflicting demands that need to be managed. Building services managers are 

With the proper qualifications and some on-the-job experience, anyone can become a successful building services engineer. This article will discuss what it takes to become a building services engineer and what type of work they do. We will also provide a few tips for those thinking about getting started in this industry.

What is a building services engineer?

Building services engineering is a field that combines engineering principles with practical knowledge in order to design, install, and maintain systems that provide heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and other services in buildings. A building services engineer must have a solid technical background and be able to apply their knowledge to real-world situations

They must also be able to work with a team of other engineers and support staff to ensure that the systems they design are installed correctly and meet the occupants' needs. Health and safety is also a key consideration for a building services engineer. They will often be responsible for ensuring all health and safety codes are observed.

building services

What qualifications do you need to be a building services engineer?

To become a building services engineer, you will need to have a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited institution. Since engineering is a broad specialism, there are many degree programmes to choose from, including:

  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Building services engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Environmental engineering

To achieve a spot at a top UK university for an engineering course, you would typically need high grades (AAB) in maths, physics and design subjects. If you are applying as an apprentice, you will typically need maths and physics GCSEs. 

A degree programme is typically three years, but you can also study for four years and then achieve your bachelor's degree and master's degree simultaneously. Some degree programmes have the option of completing work experience during the summer, which will enable you to gain valuable on-the-job experience.

In addition to your degree, you will also have the option of registering with the Engineering Council UK (ECUK). This is a professional body that regulates the engineering profession in the United Kingdom. This will pave the way for achieving chartered status, which will allow you to demonstrate your advanced knowledge of building services engineering practices.

What type of work do building services engineers do?

Building services engineers typically work for consulting firms, engineering contractors, or facilities management companies. They may also work for government agencies or local authorities.

Building services engineers typically work in office settings, but they may also travel to job sites as needed. They work closely with architects, construction managers, and other professionals to ensure that the systems they design are installed and functioning correctly.

Most building services engineers specialise in one or more of the following areas:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing
  • Fire safety
  • Security

The work is typically based around shifts, and there may be evening and weekend work required, particualrly when overseeing new site builds. Building services engineers may also need to travel for work.

How much do building services engineers earn?

In the United Kingdom, building services engineers earn an average salary of £45,000 per year. Salaries typically range from £30,000 to £60,000 per year. Once you achieve chartered status, you can expect your earnings to increase significantly. This will also open doors to being able to work anywhere in the world where your qualification is recognised.

Many employers will offer additional perks such as private health care, a pension scheme, company car, housing allowance (if relocating) and a bonus scheme. This can greatly increase the value of a basic salary, so it’s important to consdier the options when applying for roles.

How can I find a job as a building services engineer?

Suppose you have the right qualifications and are interested in finding your first role as a building services engineer. In that case, the first step should always be to approach a specialist recruitment agency. They will help you refine your CV and make sure you are approaching the right companies. They may also be able to connect you with employers looking for candidates. Building services engineers are always in demand, particularly with the switch to renewable and sustainable energy sources.

Nolan Recruitment is a Specialist Engineering Recruitment Agency. One of the UK's best Engineering & Technical Recruiter

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