Building services engineers install, maintain and often design the systems that make buildings safe, convenient and comfortable.
The Role
  • Plan, design, monitor and inspect systems
  • Advising clients and architects on matters relating to building services
  • Negotiating and developing project contracts and agreeing these with clients
  • Making life-cycle decisions about existing systems equipment and the appropriate location of new equipment
  • Designing systems with the aid of computer-aided design software
  • Managing and forecasting spend, using whole life-cycle costing techniques, and ensuring that work is kept to budget
  • Designing site-specific equipment as required
  • Commissioning, organising and assessing the work of contractors
  • Overseeing and supervising the installation of building systems and specifying maintenance and operating procedures
  • Monitoring building systems and processes
  • Ensuring that the design and maintenance of building systems meets legislative and health and safety requirements
  • Meeting manufacturers of building products to learn about the latest products
  • Assessing the life cycle of buildings and their component services to minimise resources consumed and the impact on the environment during fabrication, construction, operation and dismantling.
  • Incorporated building services engineers manage all aspects of the design, installation and maintenance of the services in new and existing buildings.
  • Newly trained building services engineers can earn in the region of £24,000 - £27,000
  • Trained with experience building services engineers can earn in the region of £27,000 - £35,000
  • Senior, chartered or master building services engineers can earn in the region of £35,000 - £50,000
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
The most direct route into this work is with a relevant three-year honours degree in one of the following:
  • Building services engineering
  • Building environment engineering
  • Electrical or electronic engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Physics and applied physics
  • Maths
To get on to a degree course you usually need at least two A-levels or Highers, preferably in maths and science subjects. Other relevant qualifications may be accepted, either on their own or in combination with A-levels. These include AS levels, BTEC National and BTEC Higher National qualifications, Welsh Advanced Baccalaureate, the International Baccalaureate or a foundation degree. You can then apply for chartered status to the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) or another construction engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council.


To become an incorporated building services engineer you must have significant experience and spent several years as a building services engineer at a senior level, and would normally be expected to hold a relevant degree and associated industry qualifications.