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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at a desk, in an office.  He is using a computer, and looking at various paper documents.

    Researching energy efficient systems using the Internet.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, in an office.  He is reading a book.

    They'll also need to check on any changes to building regulations.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, in an office.  He is using a computer, and looking at various paper documents.

    All projects need to be budgeted.

  • Two men are standing in an office.  They are looking at a large sheet of paper.

    Now, the engineer is looking over plans with a designer.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, in an office.  He is using a computer, and looking at various paper documents.

    Using a computer is an important part of the building service engineer's work. Here, the engineer is designing a service system using CAD software.

  • A man is standing at a desk, in an office.  He is looking at various paper documents.

    As well as looking at images on computers, building service engineers have to look over drawings of the projects they're working on.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, in an office.  He is speaking on a telephone, and looking at various paper documents.

    People skills are very important in this job. Here, the engineer is talking over a current project with a client.

  • Two men, wearing hard hats and high visibility tabards, are looking at a series of pipes on a wall.

    Some building service engineers have to supervise other staff members, as part of their job.

  • Building Services Engineer

Building Services Engineer


Building services engineers design building services such as lifts, lighting or heating in buildings. They often focus on reducing energy usage, using new technologies.

Building services engineers spend some time on-site supervising the installation of the services that they have designed.

Also known as

  • Engineer, Building Services
  • Environmental Engineer

Video: - Kevin : Building Services Engineer

Work Activities

As a Building Services Engineer, you will design building services systems. You also supervise the installation and operation. These systems include:

  • air conditioning
  • heating
  • lighting and power
  • lifts
  • fume control

The focus of your work is often to reduce energy usage.

Certain types of buildings need complex building services. For example, computer rooms need very sensitive controls of temperature and humidity, and hospital operating theatres must be completely sterile. Buildings such as swimming pools, museums and leisure centres also have special requirements.

Some Building Services Engineers are mainly office-based as you might specialise in design work. You often use computer-aided design (CAD) or building information modelling (BIM) packages for this work. You work closely with the Architect, the client and other members of the design team to prepare a design for a building project.

Designs must meet environmental needs, use energy efficiently and meet the budget set by the customer. Engineers need overall knowledge of the full range of building services, although you usually specialise in either mechanical services or lighting/electrical services.

You maintain close links with other professionals such as the Construction Manager and the Surveyor to decide how many staff are needed and to work out costs. You supervise the installation of the building services and inspect the quality of the work, dealing with any problems that arise.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Building Services Engineer, you'll need:

  • to be a good teamworker as you will work closely with various construction professionals
  • a creative and enquiring mind and an ability to solve problems
  • to be a good communicator, as you have to explain ideas and designs to other members of the team
  • an interest in protecting the environment, as you'll have to find the best ways for organisations to use energy
  • IT skills
  • an interest in how buildings are built
  • to be aware of the importance of health and safety in this industry

Pay and Opportunities


The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £31,000 - £34,000
  • With experience: £37,000 - £45,000
  • Senior Building Services Engineers earn £48,500 - £53,000

Hours of work

Building Services Engineers 40 hours a week, with occasional evening and weekend work according to the demands of the project.

Where could I work?

Employers include:

  • large building services contractors
  • central and local government departments
  • small building firms
  • design consultancies
  • building suppliers

Some Building Services Engineers go into research and development work.

Opportunities for Building Services Engineers occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK, and worldwide.

Where are vacancies advertised?

A good place to look for vacancies is the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Journal website.

Vacancies are also advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

The most direct route into this career is to study for a relevant engineering degree that has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

You need a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree to become a Chartered Engineer. A Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree leads to Incorporated Engineer status.

You can also get into this career via other engineering courses, such as electrical, electronic or mechanical engineering.

A Degree Apprenticeship is also great way to get into this career. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

There are foundation degrees, HNCs and HNDs available in building services engineering. These can be used to progress to full degree courses, or are acceptable for trainee posts.

However, check carefully that the degree course you progress to is accredited.

For a full list of accredited courses, contact the CIBSE.

Work Experience

Previous experience within an engineering position (such as an electrical and mechanical) would be useful for this career.


After getting a degree, you must have a period of approved training and experience with an employer to become fully qualified.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.


Experienced Building Services Engineers can move into senior positions, eg, Chief Engineer. Other routes may be to partner in a consultancy firm, a Technical Director, or into project management.


To enter a relevant degree course, you will usually need:

  • 2/3 A levels, including maths and/or physics
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in your A level subjects
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English

Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:

  • BTEC level 3 qualification - for example in building services engineering, or electrical technologies
  • City & Guilds level 2 qualification - for example in access to building services
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

However, entry requirements for different courses vary, so check college/university websites for more details.

Some universities offer foundation courses for applicants without the appropriate maths and science qualifications.

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and Maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Age limits

Adult entrants are usually qualified or experienced in a related field of engineering or construction.


The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers offers alternative routes to membership for adults with suitable skills.

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Various institutions offer HNCs or degrees, in relevant subjects, via part-time evening study, or distance learning.

The College of Estate Management offers a BSc in Building Services Quantity Surveying, via distance learning.

Brunel University offers an MSc in Building Services Engineering, via distance learning.

Another route into this career is to train as a building services engineering technician and work your way up. It may be possible to get into a technician role via a Building Services Engineering Technology Advanced Level Apprenticeship.


Sponsorship for study at higher education level is available through the larger building/construction companies.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers offers student bursaries.


  • 8% of people in this career are self-employed.
  • 13% work part-time.
  • 22% have flexible hours.

Further Information

Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

The CIBSE is the main professional institution for people working in building services engineering.

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400




Local government vacancies


myjobscotland: Scottish local government vacancies

Scottish enquiries




Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001



The Engineer

Engineering technology news



Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering



City & Guilds

Address: 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD

Tel: 020 7294 2468




Skills for the construction industry

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH



Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Nutts Corner Training Centre, 17 Dundrod Road, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SR

Tel: 028 9082 5466



Construction Employers Federation (CEF)

Irish enquiries

Address: 143 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SU

Tel: 028 9087 7143



Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Tel: 0844 5768777



Publisher: CITB-ConstructionSkills

Tel: 0344 994 4010



Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Address: Lutyens House, Billing Brook Road, Weston Favell, Northampton NN3 8NW

Tel: 01604 404121



Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

Address: 222 Balham High Road, London SW12 9BS

Tel: 020 8675 5211


Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Caldwell Consulting, 8 Lorne Street, Belfast BT9 7DU

Tel: 028 9066 9456



CIBSE Journal Jobs


Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000



Engineer Jobs

Publisher: Venture Marketing Group



Getting into Engineering Courses

Author: James Burnett Publisher: Trotman


Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181



Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500


Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377




Skills for building services engineering sector

Address: Vega House, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes MK15 0DF

Tel: 01908 303960



The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA)

Address: The Priory, Stomp Road, Burnham, Buckinghamshire SL1 7LW

Tel: 01628 607800



Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES)

Address: Esca House, 34 Palace Court, London W2 4JG

Tel: 020 7313 4900


Building Engineering Services Scotland

Scottish enquiries

Address: The Walled Garden, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0SD

Tel: 0131 4455900



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Brunel University

Address: Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH

Tel: 01895 274000



Address: 2 Mallard Way, Pride Park, Derby DE24 8GX

Tel: 0845 6446558



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Tel: 0800 028 4844


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