A building services engineer is a construction-industry professional specialising in the design, implementation and maintenance of engineering services.
Building services engineers are employed by construction companies, building contractors, engineering & infrastructure consultancies and end-user entities, such as large companies or businesses which have extensive facilities that need to be maintained.
Job responsibilities include:
- Planning, designing and preparing detailed drawings for required engineering facilities
- Preparing project budgets and required equipment
- Hiring, supervising and evaluating contractors
- Testing and quality control
- Management and maintenance at periodic intervals.
Moreover, all of these services must be performed in accordance with client or internal company requirements.
Salary & benefits
The starting salary range for building services engineers with only a few years of experience is between £20,000 and £30,000.
Engineers with ‘incorporated’ or ‘chartered’ qualifications and over five years of experience can earn between £40,000 and £90,000. Salary levels are dependent on location, type of employment and employer.
Building services engineers are mainly office-based, but may need to make regular site visits during the installation, testing and commissioning phases.
Extra working hours are possible when projects are nearing deadlines or are delayed.
Most employers within the sector offer annual graduate-entry programmes. The minimum eligibility criteria include a 2.1 or higher honours degree (accredited by the relevant professional body) in any engineering or technology related subject.
Some employers also specify UCAS points or GCSE and A-level grade requirements.
Training & progression
Graduate programmes are conducted over a period of three to five years, depending upon the employer.
They incorporate a mix of in-house learning programmes; on-the-job practical work experience through multiple, structured placements across different departments and teams; project-based assignments; and preparation for the completion of relevant professional qualifications (administered by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers [CIBSE] and the Engineering Council).
Career progression within the construction industry in general, and building services engineering in particular, are well-defined and based on individual performance against targeted objectives and contributions made to the company’s profits.
A typical progress map for building services engineering professionals is structured as follows: graduate trainee engineer, graduate engineer, senior engineer, engineering/project manager, senior manager and, finally, estates/facilities/building services director.