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Building Services Engineer Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Building Services Engineer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Building Services Engineer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Building Services Engineer Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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Working Duties Expected

Building services engineers design, install and maintain all kinds of systems in new and existing buildings: everything from electricity and lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, lifts and escalators, fire and safety, to plumbing and sanitation, acoustics and telecoms.

They may specialise in one function, such as estimating, designing or project management, or in an area such as safety features or computer installation.

Most jobs are office-based but involve site visits. Office-based engineers usually work normal office hours, occasionally longer to meet deadlines. On site, they may work evenings and weekends.

Building services engineers should:

• be good at maths, physics and design
• enjoy working with computers
• be able to analyse and solve problems
• have good communication skills.

Jobs are available throughout the UK, especially in London and the south east, mainly in cities and large towns. Employers include design consultancies, major building contractors, building services contractors and manufacturers of equipment such as lifts.

Prospects are good, including for working abroad.

The usual qualification for a building services engineer is a degree in a relevant subject, such as building services engineering.

There is no set age limit, and people often move into this work from other engineering areas.

What does the role encounter?

Building services engineers design, install and maintain all kinds of systems in new and existing buildings: everything from electricity and lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, lifts and escalators, fire and safety, to plumbing and sanitation, acoustics and telecoms.

They are responsible for creating and maintaining a comfortable, energy-efficient and safe environment in a building.

They may specialise in one function, such as estimating, designing or project management, or in an area such as safety features or computer installation. The work involves:

• discussions with the client and architect to agree what is required
• preparing a design and detailed drawings on computer
• choosing systems and equipment
• estimating the cost of materials and labour involved
• supervising installation
• dealing with others, such as architects, construction managers, civil engineers and builders
• inspecting installation work and dealing with any problems
• overseeing the final testing
• subsequent maintenance and repair
• keeping records and writing reports.

Building services engineers may be chartered, incorporated or technicians:

• Chartered engineers have senior management roles, such as negotiating with clients, preparing overall designs and specifications or overseeing projects.
• Incorporated engineers are usually involved on the ground, perhaps overseeing and managing installation work as site engineer.
• Engineering technicians may design straightforward systems, buy materials and equipment or supervise craft workers.

Average earnings for incorporated engineers start at around £20,000.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Office-based engineers usually work normal office hours, occasionally longer to meet deadlines. On site, they may work evenings and weekends.

Part-time work is often possible as contract staff.

Most jobs are office-based but involve site visits.

Outdoor work can be cold and wet, and sites can be dusty and dirty. The work can involve crouching and kneeling, walking and climbing ladders.

Engineers might need to travel long distances to work and may have to stay away for periods of time.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Technicians earn £13,000 to £25,000 a year.
• Incorporated engineers earn from £20,000 to £35,000.
• Chartered engineers earn £30,000 to £45,000.
• Some senior managers earn over £70,000.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• be good at maths, physics and design
• enjoy working with computers and computer-aided design
• be able to analyse and solve problems, often creatively
• have good communication skills
• be tactful and diplomatic
• be willing and able to take responsibility
• work well in a team
• be physically fit
• have a head for heights.

What type of training will I receive?

To qualify as an incorporated building services engineer candidates should:

Have an accredited three-year degree or equivalent qualification. (Or they can do an accredited HND/HNC and then further learning, equivalent to one year of study, known as a matching section. The matching section does not have to be formal study but should be at final year degree level. A combination of work-based learning and full-time, part-time or distance learning is accepted.)

Complete a period of initial professional development including practical training and professional engineering experience.

Successfully pass a professional review.

Gain corporate membership of the Institution of Incorporated Engineers.

To qualify as a chartered building services engineer candidates must:

Have an accredited MEng degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant engineering subject.

Complete a period of initial professional development which includes formal and informal training and professional engineering experience.

Successfully pass a professional review with an interview.

Gain corporate membership of a body such as the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

Most technicians are trained by their employer and study for a national diploma/certificate or NVQ/SVQ Level 3 by day or block release. Courses last two years. After three years' training and experience they can usually register as an engineering technician.

Modern Apprentices are also trained by their employers and study at college for a National Certificate in Building Services Engineering and NVQ/SVQ Level 3 in Building Services Engineering: Supervision. They then progress to HNC Building Services Engineering and NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Building Services Engineering: Design.

There is a range of NVQs/SVQs: at Level 2 in Supervision, Buying, and Estimating; and at Level 3 in Design, Site Management and Service and Maintenance Management.

Career Progression:

Chartered building services engineers usually progress by taking on more management responsibility. They may become a team leader, project leader, project manager or department manager, and can progress further to general management and company director.

Some experienced chartered engineers form their own companies or consultancies, especially in design. Others move into training or research and development.

Incorporated engineers may study to become chartered engineers. Similarly, engineering technicians may gain more responsibility and study to work towards incorporated and chartered status.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Architect
Architectural Technician/Technologist
Building Technician
Chartered Surveyor
Civil Engineer
Heating and Ventilating Engineer.

Where can I find further information?

Scottish Building Apprenticeship & Training Council, Carron Grange, Carrongrange Avenue, Stenhousemuir FK5 3BQ. 01324 555550. Website: www.sbatc.co.uk

SummitSkills, Gear House, Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead NE8 3AH. 0191 4903306. Website: www.summitskills.org.uk

The Association of Building Engineers, Lutyens House, Billing Brook Road, Weston Favell, Northampton NN3 8NW. 01604 404121. Website: www.abe.org.uk

The Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE), Savoy Hill House, Savoy Hill, London WC2R 0BS. 020 7836 3357. Website: www.iie.org.uk

Women's Engineering Society, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP. 020 7233 1974. Website: www.wes.org.uk

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Building Services Journal - Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.


Other Useful Building Services Engineer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Building Services Engineer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Building Services Engineer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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