Getting Started

Published on: 11 Jun 2015

To get started at craft or technician level in building services engineering you will need at least grade C in GCSE science, English and Maths. Design Technology is also useful. To enter a degree programe you will need A levels or another Level 3 qualification, for example a diploma. Science subjects, especially physics, are useful together with maths, D&T, built environment& and engineering.

If you are at school, consider applying for an Arkwright Scholarship sponsored by CIBSE to help support your studies in years 12 and 13.

Successful building services engineers also tend to:

  • have a talent for making things work
  • be able to think 'outside the box'
  • be enthusiastic and creative people
  • show ambition and determination
  • be able to meet deadlines
  • be a good team players
  • be good communicators

Career development

Careers in building services engineering include Installation, Maintenance or Repair in a wide range of roles including Electrician, Controls and Instrumentation Expert, Heating Ventilation and Refrigeration, Ductwork Installer, Plumber, Gas Fitter and Sanitation.

For these, look for an Apprenticeship, where you can earn while you learn, or go to college for a level 3 qualification such as BTEC National or A levels. You can then gain professional recognition, and letters after your name as an Engineering Technician (EngTech LCIBSE).

If you plan to get a degree, you could aim to become a Consulting Engineer, an expert in Sustainable and Renewable Energy,Energy Manager, a ContractorProject Manager,Commissioning Engineer or Estimator, for example. Other graduate roles might be as a Public Health Engineer, Lighting Designer, Acoustics expert or Fire Engineer.

Look for degree programmes with energy, electrical, mechanical and environmental in their title.Building engineering physics is another important new academic area which will have a major impact on the sector. When you access the UCAS website, look for courses that carry Engineering Council accreditation. Holders of an accredited degree can generally progress to professional registration more quickly once they start work as a graduate engineer.

There's no limit to what you can achieve in this profession. With further study to Masters level and post-graduation experience, you can become a Chartered Engineer. Many top building services engineers are responsible for leading and directing multi-million pound projects worldwide.

Take a look at some Building Services Case Studies