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Occupation Details

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Building Engineer

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k > 75
Building Services Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 75
Related Information:
CIF 60-65
Data Source(s):
CPL / Lincoln / CIF

Last Updated: July, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Building engineers are concerned with the planning, design, construction, operation, renovation, and maintenance of buildings, as well as with their impacts on the surrounding environment

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:2

Carole Smillie
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Owen Stephens
Building Services Engineer
Owen Stephens works as a Building Services Engineer. His job involves working with architects to design the engineering systems in buildings.
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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Building Services Technician - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

Building engineers design building services systems and bring buildings to life. They are responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of all the services required in any kind of building, from a home to an office block, a cinema to an airport.

There are two main aspects of building engineering: mechanical and electrical. Mechanical covers things such as air conditioning systems, ventilation and heating; electrical is concerned with aspects such as power, lighting, fire alarms and security.

Their input begins before construction starts and extends well into the operational life of a building. Building engineers work with the client, architects and structural engineers to develop and agree a brief for the building, which is then turned into a design to be installed by a contractor.

Once construction begins, building engineers monitor the performance of the installers to ensure the services are completed according to the design. Building engineers play a key role in ensuring that projects are energy efficient and sustainable. 

The job also includes safety and security systems such as fire prevention and detection, escape routes, CCTV and alarms.

Building engineers also face the challenge of ensuring that buildings are energy efficient to reduce overuse of energy sources and by doing so, help society to reduce the depletion of natural resources and minimise environmental pollution.

Their job includes estimating costs and materials and coordinating the work of others. They are also involved in the testing of installations and inspecting equipment and the work of others.  
Certain types of buildings need complex building services. For example, computer rooms need precise controls of temperature and humidity, hospital operating theatres must be completely sterile and factories must prevent any harmful fumes from going into the atmosphere. Office buildings, swimming pools, cold stores, museums and leisure centres also have particular requirements that building services engineers need to meet. 

Some building engineers are mainly office based as they specialise in design work. They work closely with the architect, the customer and other members of the design team to prepare a design for a building project. This includes all drawings and detailed specifications for use by the contractor on-site. They often use computer-aided design (CAD) packages for this work.  
Designs must meet environmental needs, use energy efficiently and meet the budget set by the customer. Engineers need overall knowledge of the full range of building services, although they usually specialise in either mechanical services or lighting/electrical services.  
Building engineers maintain close links with other professionals such as the construction manager and the surveyor to decide how many staff are needed and to work out costs. They supervise the installation of the building services and inspect the quality of the work, dealing with any problems that arise.

There is a range of career paths available to graduates of buildingengineering including:

  • Design: designing layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments.
  • Construction: supervising the construction of the building services, commissioning systems and ongoing maintenance and operation of services.
  • Environmental: developing new energy saving methods for construction, designing new and improved energy conservation systems for buildings.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): specialising in the design, development, construction and operation of HVAC systems.
  • Electrical technology: specialising in the design and development of electrical systems required for safe and energy sustaining operation of buildings.

You don't necessarily need a building engineering degree to work in this sector: a mechanical or electrical engineering degree is also usually accepted and some employers accept other engineering degrees if you have taken relevant modules.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a building engineer, you should be:

  • A good team worker as you will work closely with various construction professionals.
  • A good communicator as you have to explain ideas and designs to other members of the team.
  • You need a creative and enquiring mind and strong problem solving ability.
  • You should be mathematically and technically minded.
  • You need to be reliable and efficient and have good management skills.

Entry Routesheader image

In order to become a Building Engineer it is necessary to have a degree in Engineering, ideally with a specialisation in BuildingEngineering. There are nine universities and thirteen institutes of technology offering a wide range of engineering programmes nationwide.

It is possible to work as a Building Engineer with a primary degree in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, or possibly Chemical or Electrical Engineering. 

Check out the list of college courses available on this page.

As building engineering graduate you can work for:

  • Engineering consultancy services.
  • Building services contractors.
  • Public authorities.
  • Architects.
  • Manufacturers.

Employers of building engineering graduates include:

  • ARUP Consulting Engineers
  • PH McCarthy
  • PJ Hegarty & Sons
  • SISK and
  • Local Authorities to name but a few

Engineering provides a wide range of exciting career opportunities in enterprise and job flexibility with rapid progress to creative, responsible and financially rewarding careers.

Last Updated: June, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Building Services Engineer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Building Services Engineer - from: GradIreland
Go..Building Services Engineer - from: STEPS

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Construction Industry Federation
Address: Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6
Tel: (01) 406 6000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers - CIBSE
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Engineers Ireland
Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 665 1300
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Architecture, Construction & Property
Government, Politics & EU
Engineering & Manufacturing

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