Building Blocks for Engineers of Future
Byline: EMMA THOMPSON
What does a career as a building services engineer involve? A building services engineer designs, fits and maintains the essential services and equipment found in new and existing buildings.
This would include: water, gas and electricity supplies, as well as lighting, heating and air-conditioning, plus security systems and lifts/escalators. Duties would include: drawing up installation plans using computer aided design (CAD); testing and checking services and carrying out any necessary improvements; making sure jobs meet building regulations and health and safety requirements; overseeing inspection and maintenance programmes and keeping up to date with new product developments. Also assessing the energy efficiency and environmental impact of buildings.
What skills are needed? You need excellent engineering, IT and design skills, as well as problem-solving ability and strong decision-making skills.
The ability to picture and explain design ideas is also needed, in addition to excellent leadership, teamworking and people skills. What training do you need? One way to qualify as an engineer is to start out as a trainee technician on an engineering apprenticeship scheme. To get on to a scheme you will usually need at least three GCSEs (grades A-C), or equivalent qualifications.
Alternatively, you could take a college qualification which would teach you some of the skills needed. Courses include BTEC National Certificates and Diplomas in: Building Services Engineering; Operations and Maintenance Engineering; and Mechanical Engineering.
Once you reach technician level, you could continue your training on the job, working your way up to engineer level.
With a higher-level qualification such as a foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND, degree or postgraduate award in building services engineering (or a related engineering subject), you may be able to join a company as a trainee engineer. …