So you want to be a building services engineer?

In this blog we discover what this job involves and what skills you will need. If you are interested in starting a career in this area then we can help you get started.


What does a building services engineer do?

A building services engineer could work for various types of organisations including a building, plumbing or electrical contractor, a local council, hospital or factory. They are responsible for designing, installing and maintaining the services inside a building that are needed to allow it to function efficiently. These services include; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing and electrical.

You could be involved with reducing the environmental impact on the building, making sure the building meets the health and safety standards and co-ordinating the work of many tradespeople.

You would work in an office as well as on the construction site and you would work closely with other professionals including structural engineers, builders, architects, surveyors and in-house project teams.

Are there jobs and what kind of person is suited to this career?

Yes! There are lots of job opportunities: The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industry in Scotland is very strong. If you choose an engineering career you will have a wide choice of career options at the end of your course.

The sector needs skilled people with a can do attitude. People who are curious about HOW things work. People who embrace technology, enjoy maths and science and like nothing better than solving problems and discovering the latest technologies.

Building Services Course Information Website Page(2)

If I studied for this career – what skills would I learn?

In addition to the knowledge and understanding about the various building services, you are going to need core skills to be successful in this career. These would always be included in any course you were studying:

ICT Skills: You will learn how to do building information modelling (BIM), 3D visualisations and many other ICT packages. As well as understanding how to use the software you will need to analyse and interpret data so you can explain to your clients what the information means.

Communication Skills: Our engineering and construction employers tell us communication is one of the most important skills they look for in applicants. You will have to present ideas, write progress reports and co-ordinate the work of tradespeople. This means you will need good writing and presentation skills and be able to listen and talk to other people from all levels of a business.

Work as part of a team: It’s all about the team! In your College course we will give you lots of practical exercises to help you learn to work as a team, understand how to get the best out of your team, and discover what your role is in a team.  Although you will enjoy planning you are at your happiest when you are doing the practical stuff!

Problem Solving Skills: Employers need people who can help them solve problems and make decisions that will ensure the client gets their building delivered on time. If you are a hands-on person who likes to deal with practical – often tedious – problems that have to be overcome to get a project completed on time, and within budget, then a building services course might be for you! You’ll learn how to keep a cool head under pressure – always coming up with solutions on your feet.

Interpersonal Skills! You are an enthusiastic learner, you are open to new ideas and enjoy negotiating but most of all feel your contribution is helping the team move forward. “People buy people” so if you are friendly, outgoing and good at interacting with people you will get the most out of a building services course.

Time Management/Organisational Skills If you are tasked with co-ordinating all the building services then you have to be well organised and be able to manage a project so that you deliver your services on time.

Ayrshire College is launching new Building Services courses starting in August 2017

NPA Building Services Engineering with Plumbing SCQF Level 5 (Ayr)

NPA Building Services with Plumbing SCQF Level 5 (Kilwinning)

NC Building Services SCQF Level 6 (Ayr)

Interested? Click on the course name above for more information.

If you would like to talk to someone about these courses you can email

or call Ewan Granger 01292 265184 Ext. 7475

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