Engineering Career Resources

Building Services Engineer Job Description

Building Services Engineer Job Description

Building services engineers are engineering specialists concerned with the internal environment of a building and the impact a building or structure has on its surroundings and the environment. A building services engineer is responsible for the design and installation of systems that are necessary for the safe and environment-friendly operation of buildings. These usually include mechanical and electrical systems and sometimes public health systems.

A building services engineer's job is also to operate and monitor the systems once they are installed, and to ensure comfort and safety. These systems can include IT and communication networks, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), facade engineering, lifts and escalators, sanitation, energy supply systems (gas and electricity), plumbing and drainage, water supply systems, fire detection systems, and lightning protection.

Building services engineers can have a say in the architecture of a building as well as its energy demand, and they typically deal with issues related to sustainability and sometimes with renewable energy sources. Building services engineers are also known as building engineers or architectural engineers in the United States.


Good teamwork skills are an asset, as building services engineers usually work closely with quantity surveyors, architects, structural engineers and other experts from related fields. Communication and negotiation skills are crucial because building services engineers are responsible for negotiating contracts with clients and communicating designs to contractors. Organisational and leadership skills become important as they take on more responsible roles, ones that involve overseeing contractors and assessing their performance.

Building services engineers must be familiar with computer-aided design (CAD) software because a huge portion of their work involves design of different systems and equipment.


Building services engineers typically have degrees in building services engineering, building environment engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or plumbling or public health (MEP) engineering. They usually complete a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree course and then get a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree. After obtaining a degree accredited by the relevant industry body, they can work toward obtaining incorporated or chartered status. In the UK, professional status is awarded by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and other engineering industry bodies licensed by the Engineering Council.


Building services engineers can specialize in a number of areas and their typical job duties will vary from one job to the next. Building services engineers who specialize in design, for instance, will usually be responsible for designing layouts and determining the requirements for building services, while those who opt for construction as a specialty area will typically be in charge of overseeing the construction, installation and maintenance of building services.

Building services engineers whose career focus is in the environmental field will usually be in charge of developing and designing energy conservation systems for buildings as well as energy saving construction methods, while engineers who specialize in electrical technology will design electrical systems necessary for the safe operation of buildings. Many of these areas of specialty overlap and building services engineers will often find themselves responsible for a variety of key factors in the building services field.