What is building services engineering?

Building services engineers design, install and maintain services such as acoustics, heating, lighting and power into buildings to enable them to work effectively.


What’s required for the role?

  • Strong communication skills
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Analytical skills
  • Maths and IT skills, such as 3D visualisation and modelling

The details

Learn more about the role

What's the role like in practice?

Building services engineers can work on a huge range of buildings, including domestic, commercial and industrial projects. They also work on historic, conservation and iconic buildings, making and adapting buildings to meet the needs of the people who live and work in them.

Work includes project management, design of systems in areas such as mechanical design, lighting, vertical transport, electrical engineering etc. Building services engineers usually specialise one particular area.

What's the work environment like?

Your time will be split between working on site and working from an office. Team working and working with other professionals is usually required as well as presentation and liaison with clients.

What qualifications are required?

Entry into building services engineering is typically via an engineering degree or similar qualification. Both under and post graduate degrees are available. Building service engineers may be members of the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers.

Is it for you?

You might like if you enjoy:

  • Using science, technology and design to create efficient and practical solutions to the use of energy and resources
  • Using visual intelligence and perceptual skills to use plans, charts and diagrams

Other useful skills to have:

  • Researching and explaining data in specialist areas
  • Working in teams
  • Maths skills
  • Using specialist IT programmes and equipment


How are building services engineers responding to the need for sustainability?

Engineers have a huge influence over the energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, health and wellbeing, water use and other sustainability outcomes of buildings and the wider projects in which they sit. For building services engineers there is an increasing focus on these issues and the delivery of sustainable outcomes. They also respond to the environmental challenges by examining how engineering decisions could deliver a more sustainable built environment and through influencing the work done and decisions made, by clients and other professionals.

Employment opportunities

Where will it take you?

Opportunities exist in the UK, Europe and globally. Firms usually expect a relevant degree and relevant experience for more senior roles.

Most building services engineers work for employers, although some freelance and self-employed opportunities may be available.

There are also degree apprenticeships in building services engineering available.

Find out

Explore the role


Bridget Wells

Careers Adviser


+44 (0)118 921 4392

Admissions Team


UK (Free): 0800 019 9697 (Option 1)

International: +44 (0)118 921 4696 (Option 1)

Enquiries Team


UK (Free): 0800 019 9697

International: +44 (0)118 921 4696