An HVAC design engineer will usually work for a consulting or design company to create new or replacement heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Increasingly design and build contractors are also offering design services. This may include finding solutions to improve a system’s air quality, environmental credentials or energy efficiency.
An HVAC design engineer’s tasks can be wide ranging and may include developing a project brief, completing detailed designs and specifications, calculating costs and overseeing projects from installation to completion.
The role involves liaising directly with clients in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors to ensure that a design fulfils their needs as well as satisfying any building specifications. Attendance may be required at client meetings and presentations.
Other activities could include surveying and reporting on existing installations, and monitoring compliance with project requirements.
In smaller companies you might be expected to get involved in other tasks such as estimating and project managing. Whereas in the larger companies you will be more focused on pure design work.
Each employer will be looking for slightly different qualifications and experience depending on their priorities and markets. An HNC or a degree in either Mechanical or Building Services Engineering is usually a requirement.
Skills and attributes
HVAC design engineers will be expected to be familiar in the use of design programs such as Hevacomp and AutoCAD. Increasingly now. experience in REVITT and BIM are desired. You will also be expected to have excellent communication, project management and time management skills.
An ability to work quickly and efficiently to meet deadlines is a must, as are teamwork and leadership skills.
Experience and a working knowledge of HVAC systems are also high on employers’ wish lists, along with an understanding of building regulations. An interest in sustainable design is increasingly being seen as an advantage, too.
HVAC design engineers typically earn between £25K and £45Kbasic salary, with a range of additional benefits. Typically a junior would earn £25K, and someone with around 4 years experience would command £30K, a senior £35K, and an associate around £45K.
HVAC manufacturers demand design skills to help support consultants and other design customers in selecting the appropriate HVAC kit for a specific project. This is because consultants can’t be experts on all products so the manufacturers act as a support network for them. These roles tend to be called Applications Engineers.
Working as an HVAC design engineer can be rewarding as the work can be varied, interesting, challenging and creative. The role can involve a diverse range of projects, and many companies also offer technical and career development.
Find out more
If there’s something you’d like to know about the role of an HVAC engineer or if you’d like to discuss our current opportunities for building your career as an HVAC design engineer call us on 0115 8714 777.