Jobs in demand: Building Services Engineers

Special thanks to our colleague Matt Vickers, Careers Consultant for the School of Engineering and the School of Maths for this really interesting blog post looking at building service engineering – Craig

Some careers are glamorous.  Some careers are well-paid.  And some are relatively unknown.

Building services engineering is one such “Cindarella” career that many engineering students overlook – or are simply unaware of – but right now they shouldn’t be.  The profession recruits from

  • electrical engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • Civil Engineering (with an MSc conversion course)

and desperately needs more recruits, particularly from the latter two disciplines!

According to Andrew Byrne, careers adviser at Liverpool John Moores University and the liaison officer between the profession (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, CIBSE) and UK university careers services (AGCAS):

“there are only a small number of building services engineering courses and so the focus is on promoting building services as a careers option to other engineering students who can reach Chartered Engineer status with the organisation.  There is currently a high demand for graduates in building services engineering, but it is an area often overlooked by mechanical and electrical engineering students.”

So what do these engineers do?  CIBSE website suggests that you:

“Imagine yourself in the most fabulous building in the world.  Now take away the lighting, heating and ventilation, the lifts and escalators, acoustics, plumbing, power supply and energy management systems, the security and safety systems…and you are left with a cold, dark, uninhabitable shell.”

and in terms of variety they go on to suggest:

“Imagine the air filtration systems you’d need in a forensic laboratory. The heating controls in a special care baby unit?  How to control bacteria and humidity in an operating theatre?  What about security systems at the HQ of MI5?  Lighting the Wembley Stadium?  Coping with a power cut in the dealing room of a City banker?  This is everyday work for a building services engineer.”

Interested?  CIBSE have recently produced a careers brochure, CIBSE Journal 2015 Careers Supplement, which you can read alongside other helpful careers advice on their website.

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