Building Engineer Job Description

building engineer job descriptionYou must have been trying to find a building engineer job description yeah? It’s a good thing you came here to learn more. Why? I’ve been in building engineering for almost 20 years and held a variety of random titles along the way. This isn’t going to be like all of the other posts you’ve probably found everywhere else, the ones that just list stuff or building engineer job description articles that you can just tell were copied and pasted from some other site.

For this post we are going to first give a building engineer job description, one of the generic ones. Then a short and sweet building engineer job description based on my own experiences. After that are some actual job ads from three different places describing what these employers are looking for when seeking actual building engineers. Finally, I think we’ll wrap it up by simply listing some basic skills, trades, or knowledge you should have when looking into a career in this field.

It’s sometimes fun, it can also sometimes be hard work. Where you work also plays a role, not only location but also the industry – commercial, private, healthcare, production. Building engineers are everywhere.

Also note, that this is about building engineering in regards to maintaining buildings, facilities, properties. Not the actual engineering of buildings, but the engineering of the operation of the systems behind them running everything. With that, let’s get into what you came here for, a building engineer job description.

Building Engineer Job Description

First, let’s start off with what I called the generic building engineer job description. I would like to apologize and say I found a decent one. From ehow of all places. Unfortunately it wasn’t near the top result so finding it may be difficult for someone else. Anyways, I think they have provided a very accurate and good definition of what a person could expect as a building engineer.

Let’s look at it, maybe break it down. Any comments I have may be at the paragraph breaks in bold or something.

Again, from ehow:

Building engineers are responsible for the facility design and functionality, systems operation and safe management of buildings and/or business campus environments. Providing valuable insight at the construction phase and management through operation, building engineers have many responsibilities to consider in their profession.


Building engineers are responsible for overseeing the building maintenance, planning and inspection and function of the facility for the organization or employer. These individuals manage one or multiple building within a campus and, depending on the employer, will have responsibilities in building field inspection, construction or design.

Building Design and Construction

A chief responsibility in this function is building design and maintenance. As building engineer you will consult with state agencies providing assessment and assistance in preparing building design programs using budget projections to appropriate funds within the project. You will also design building systems to project specification and budget, consulting with architects and engineers on layout, ensuring designs are followed and meet performance requirements of the company.


As building engineer, once a building is constructed and in operation, you will oversee the maintenance required to keep it on good order. These duties may include repairing HVAC systems, irrigation, electrical and septic systems. While conducting maintenance you will also be responsible for aesthetic maintenance like painting, fence repair and general landscaping care of the surrounding grounds.

Staff and Personnel Duties

As building manager, many of the elements of building maintenance and planning will require interaction with other building staff. These interactions may include planning and directing the activities of trade and labor personnel, scheduling duties and assigning equipment and material to conduct required maintenance. To stay in compliance with building and system codes, you will establish and review operating instructions and rules and regulations with staff, overseeing projects to ensure they are performed within guidelines.


To verify compliance as building engineer, you will be responsible for keeping record of activities linked to the operation and facilities management of your assigned location. These reports may include staff assignments and hours, types of equipment used and any budget allotments factored into those activities. In addition, as engineer, you will be need to ensure all procedures, manuals and guidelines for all facility tasks are available and updated according to building codes and compliance.

Building Engineer Requirements

Experience requirements will vary for this position according to work level, task requirements, size of facility and state regulations. For many positions you will need a high school diploma or equivalent with demonstrated experience in the maintenance, repair and installation of HVAC and other facility management systems. You will also need to demonstrate experience at a leadership or supervisory level in a similar role. Engineering licensing at the local level may be required based on state regulations and compliance codes. Larger facilities or senior level building engineer positions may require a bachelor’s degree with math and science background and professional engineer (PE) certification.

You can read the original ehow article here.

My Building Engineer Job Description

Building engineers have to know a little bit about everything. Sometimes the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” is thrown around when describing a building engineer. But that’s not true. We are masters of running and operating buildings or facilities, properties and campuses.

If a person were to read a building engineer job description, it probably wouldn’t sound like much. It would sound a lot like system maintenance. As we know though, maintenance is only a small part of it.

Building engineers need to understand how all of it ties together. How a piece of equipment or system ties in to another, a boiler making steam that then heats up water in a heating loop. If we shut down that boiler, will we lose heat to that loop? Do we have a system cross connect that will allow us to continue heating that system?

It is by far more than just maintenance. We need to be able to respond to emergency situations and act quickly like in a loss of electrical power. A building engineer may need to not only respond to a fire but also take care of the fire alarm control panel and direct the fire department crew.

Things like this are for sure missing from the job description of a building engineer.

It can be exciting and boring, but can switch in a second. One moment the plant may be running smoothly and the next instant the city loses all electricity. Every piece of equipment, every pump and machine, shuts down. Who is going to start it up and restore the building safely? All the while reporting conditions and monitoring? The building engineer. Below are just some of the systems a building engineer could expect to work on.

  • Plumbing
  • Domestic water
  • Fire protection
  • Compressed air & gases


  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Air conditioning
  • Boilers
  • Hot Water
  • Heating
  • Air handling units


  • Power distribution
  • Emergency power distribution
  • Emergency power generation
  • Electrical troubleshooting – outlets, light fixtures, motors.


  • Pneumatic tube systems
  • Digital controls
  • Energy conservation
  • Fire & life safety
  • Access controls (keys/locks/badges/ID cards)
  • Safety
  • Tenant Relations
  • Central Plant Operations
  • Alarms
  • General Maintenance

Even still, this isn’t everything. A building engineer will meet with contractors as described in the ehow building engineer job description above. You will have construction and tenant meetings. You may write operating procedures or improve upon existing maintenance practices.

Sample Building Engineer Job Description from Employers

In this section, I went out and grabbed three listings from employers that are looking for building engineers. Below are the actual building engineer job descriptions they listed when posting the job opening. Pretty much the only thing different is maybe the formatting. Check it out. How does your knowledge stack up? Based on the building engineer job description below, are you qualified?

Here is one from Hines, a real estate and property management company. As you may or may not know, I used to work for this company.

Hines Building Engineer Job Description
building engineer job description

The Hines logo.


As a Building Engineer with Hines, you will operate and maintain all building equipment and systems. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform preventative maintenance work on mechanical, electrical, plumbing and HVAC related equipment.
  • Troubleshoot operations failures and re-establish building services under minimal supervision.
  • Supervise maintenance work as needed.


Minimum Requirements include:

  • High school diploma or equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • Two or more years experience in commercial HVAC or related field.
  • Strong mechanical aptitude.
  • Strong customer service orientation and the ability to professionally respond to tenant requests.

You can view this actual building engineer job description here.

Swedish Building Engineer Job Description


The Maintenance Engineer I performs high skill level troubleshooting, diagnosis, installation and repair of critical and non-critical mechanical plant systems and equipment.

Systems include:

  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Medical gas
  • Fire and life safety
  • Other specialized equipment

Plans and completes repairs and installations using diagrams, blueprints, schematics and O&M manuals. Performs preventative and predictive maintenance and documentation of plant systems. Ability to perform code red drills. Works autonomously with little direct supervision.

Building Engineer Job Description – in this position you will:

  • Specifies and installs all industry standard piping, valves and fittings
  • Installs and repairs faucets, flushometers, sinks, toilets, DWV, drain cleaning, backflows, steam traps
  • Responsible for generators, ATS, MCC, motors, disconnects, inter-ties, breakers, lighting, ballasts, testing equipment, switches, and outlets
  • Assist with monthly generator testing and scheduled maintenance
  • Performs all of the requirements for the preventative maintenance of all equipment and spaces


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Must have completed at least two formal, specialized, related training
  • Must have valid licenses as required to perform assigned tasks
  • Previous related experience in equipment inspection, testing, repair and maintenance
  • Must have a least 2 years experience in general equipment maintenance
  • Ten key and computer keyboard experience

You can view this actual building engineer job description here.

McKinstry Building Engineer Job Description

This person will be responsible for:

  • People management
  • Support the creation, review, and approval of maintenance procedures
  • Resolution of facility-related maintenance issues.
  • Ensure adherence to McKinstry safety policy and procedures
  • Maintain building systems

Perform predictive and preventative maintenance on mechanical and building systems, including:

  • HVAC pumps, motors, valves
  • Chilled water distribution systems including chillers and cooling towers
  • Filter changes, belt changes, equipment cleaning and equipment painting
  • Assist with ancillary building systems necessary to keep systems operating at peak performance with minimal downtime
  • Receive direction from lead facility engineer or facility manager
  • Maintain facility equipment as indicated by preventative maintenance plan
  • Provide general building maintenance and perform routine maintenance tasks
  • Inspect buildings, grounds, and equipment for unsafe or malfunctioning conditions
  • Troubleshoot, evaluate and recommend upgrades
  • Order parts and supplies for maintenance and repairs
  • Customer service
  • Respond to customer service requests in a timely manner
  • Monitor service requests in work order management system
  • Demonstrate exceptional customer service skills and maintain positive and professional working relationship with internal and external clients
  • Respond to off hour emergency calls
  • Work with vendors and contractors to oversee and ensure work meets McKinstry standards

Required education, knowledge, and abilities:

  • Must have demonstrated proficiency for all the responsibilities of a Maintenance Technician
  • Two (2) years of experience in a data center or other critical environment required
  • High School diploma or general education degree (GED) or equivalent work experience required
  • Two (2) years of experience in commercial or industrial environment with increasing responsibility for managing daily building operations preferred
  • Experience with HVAC system maintenance is preferred
  • Management experience a plus
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite – Word, Excel, Outlook and Visio required
  • Working knowledge of SharePoint preferred
  • Ability to read blueprints/CAD drawing preferred

You can check out this building engineer job description here.

Notice how in the building engineer job description for McKinstry the first skill they listed and apparently is most important to them is people management. Interesting.


Probably way more information that any single human could possibly want. Now though you’re up to speed. After reading through all of the different building engineer job descriptions you should be able to determine if this would be a good choice for you.

I think anyone with good mechanical aptitude and at least a little bit of customer service skill could be a good fit for building engineering.

In this post we tried to provide a very in depth building engineer job description. First we borrowed an article from another site that actual had a really good explanation for what we do. Then I tried to provide a little insight into the systems that a building engineer has to learn about and become familiar with. Finally we found three job openings from employers and included each individual building engineer job description for you to look at.

Questions? Comments? Hope you found this useful and helpful! Until next time.

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