Building services engineer


Career outlook for building services engineer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make sure that systems like lighting, water and heating work well and save energy for people who live or work in a building.

You’d design, install and service the systems used in buildings like offices and shops.

You would be responsible for the heating and ventilation, hot and cold water systems, lighting, electrical cabling and telecommunications networks inside a building like an office block.

You may be involved in the design and installation of systems or oversee their maintenance once up and running.

You would:

  • Draw up plans using computer aided design (CAD) and building information modelling software
  • Estimate costs
  • Make sure projects meet building regulations and health and safety requirements
  • Attend meetings and present ideas and progress reports to managers and clients
  • Coordinate the work of technicians and craftspeople on site
  • Manage engineering inspection and maintenance programmes
  • Meet building suppliers to keep up to date with new product developments

You’d analyse and interpret data to work out how to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and generally limit the environmental impact of buildings.

Working conditions


You would usually work 35 to 40 hours a week. Extra hours may be required to meet deadlines and you may have on-call duties. Part-time work is also possible.


You time would be spent on a combination of office work and site visits. Depending upon what type of work you specialise in, you may spend time working in a project office and/or on site, which might be existing buildings or construction sites.


A driving licence will usually be required.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Problem solving
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


To enter as a trainee engineer you require an honours degree (SCQF level 10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in Building Services Engineering; or electrical, electronic, mechanical or systems control engineering may be acceptable. 

Entry requirements for a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) are usually National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers (SCQF level 6), or relevant National Certificate or National Qualifications.

Entry to an engineering degree usually requires National 5 qualifications and two to five Highers (SCQF level 6).  

Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in Mechanical or Building Services Engineering may support entry to the second or third year of some degree courses.

Useful subjects

Most courses require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Physics

Helpful to have

You could go for Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status through membership of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE):

  • For CEng you would require an MEng degree or equivalent
  • For IEng you would require a BEng in engineering or technologies