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Becoming a Building Services Engineer

Published on: 29 Mar 2017

There are many reasons why becoming a building services engineer brings unrivaled job satisfaction.  No career in the world offers more variety. Sometimes you will be working on a highly sensitive environment like a forensic laboratory or a chemical engineering plant. Another day you'll be designing services for a small nursery school or a vast hypermarket.

 Read CIBSE Journal's 2017 Careers Supplement

Your next project could be in a 900 year old listed building like the Tower of London, where you will need to install efficient but invisible services which leave ancient structures intact.

Building services engineers also work in domestic housing, taking account of psychological aspects to design user-friendly systems which are energy efficient and make people feel at ease. The job can offer a unique combination of technical planning and design work together with hands-oninstallation and problem solving.

Different every day

If you don't fancy being stuck in an office all day, consider this typical range of work for a building services engineer. It could include

  • site visits to see how your designs are working in practice
  • persuade a new client to incorporate low carbon technologies in their building project
  • spend time with a manufacturer to learn about new products and components
  • plan your trip abroad to evaluate a new product from an overseas supplier
  • a scoping study - early planning with architects at a new site where construction has not yet begun
  • a presentation to potential clients of what your firm can offer
  • guiding an installation team on site
  • handover of a completed project, in a brand new building
  • manage the operation and maintenance of building services in a completed facility
  • being on a CIBSE Panel to advise the government about new laws to curb carbon emissions
  • use the latest software packages to solve engineering problems, using design, modelling and visualisation.