Property management and building management companies may use a building maintenance engineer to oversee the advanced maintenance and repair needs of such structures and facilities. Companies with large building headquarters or campuses also employ persons for this position in order to ensure a safe and efficient work environment for all employees.
Building maintenance engineers routinely do walk-through inspections, inside and out, of the facilities in their care. They look for signs of wear and tear and damage, and then assess the repair options. In many situations, the engineer supervises a maintenance staff and assigns members of this team to perform these repairs. For smaller buildings, the maintenance engineer may be the entire repair team and be expected to personally perform these standard repairs in a timely manner. In situations requiring more specialized contracting knowledge, the engineer formulates a detailed assessment of repairs to be completed and request and assess bids from outside contractors to perform the work.
Much of what a building engineer does is geared around preventative maintenance; they must prevent small building imperfections from becoming major problems or safety hazards. The engineer is expected to have detailed knowledge and ability to detect and understand warning signs and know how to act upon them. The building maintenance engineer spends much of his or her time walking around and only a portion of the day working in an office environment. A person with this job may - in addition to working during regular business hours - be required to be “on call” during their off hours as well.
Education requirements for this position vary widely. For smaller companies and facilities, the building engineer may only be required to have a high school diploma and some vocational training. For larger facilities and companies where the supervision of a staff and budgeting and forecasting process is expected, an employer may look for persons with engineering degrees from accredited four-year universities.
Building Maintenance Engineer Tasks
- Test and replace parts and components in plumbing, electrical, and heating systems.
- Identify, recommend, and implement preventative and on-going changes to preserve or upgrade equipment.
- Evaluate and maintain facility and grounds, meeting operational standards, and schedule tests.
- Maintain fire and safety standards for all areas of the facility and grounds.