What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Design, install and service equipment in buildings and offices
- With experience, option to move into senior project management, quantity surveying or engineering design
- Requires maths and computer-aided design (CAD) skills, and the ability to analyse and interpret data
Building services engineers design, install and maintain the services that allow a building to do what it's designed to. This could include acoustics, health and safety, heating, lifts and escalators, lighting, power and security systems. Building services engineers also help with developing and managing new technologies that ensure new buildings are sustainable with lower carbon emissions.
- Drawing up plans using CAD and building information modelling software
- Estimating costs
- Designing site-specific equipment, supervising installation of building systems and specifying maintenance and operating procedures
- Attending meetings and presenting ideas and progress reports
- Coordinating the work of technicians and craftspeople
- Ensuring that the design and maintenance of building systems meets legislative and health and safety requirements
Building services engineers usually work on construction sites or in an office. You may be required to be on standby at times, as part of an emergency call-out service.
This job requires good maths knowledge, analytical thinking skills and the ability to interpret data.
You could study for a degree in building services engineering, architectural engineering or mechanical engineering and building services, accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. Employers may also accept you if you have a related degree, like electrical engineering, construction and the built environment or sustainable construction. To apply for one of these degrees you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English, maths and sometimes a science and 2 or 3 A levels, including maths. After completion of your degree you could apply to join a company as a graduate trainee.
Alternatively you could take a course like a higher national diploma in building services, mechanical or electrical engineering. These are often done while working in the industry.
You could also take a T level at college in Design, Surveying and Planning.
Completing a higher apprenticeship for building services engineering technicians or a degree apprenticeship for building services design engineers is another route you could take to become a Building services engineer.
You may also be able to work as a building services technician and complete qualifications on the job, or part time with a training provider.
You can apply directly for jobs if you've got qualifications and 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 are good examples.
It would be helpful for you to join the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers for access to industry news, study resources and professional development courses.
With experience, you could move into senior project management, quantity surveying or engineering design. You could also become a consultant working in construction and maintenance.