Engineers plan, design and manage construction projects. NHS Scotland employs engineers for the construction of new buildings, hospitals or other health facilities.


My name’s Phillip. I’m currently working at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital as a Maintenance Engineer…

The Role(s)

Engineers plan, design and manage construction projects.

NHSScotland employs Engineers for the construction of new buildings, hospitals or other health facilities.

Engineers in the NHS can specialise in several areas such as electrical, mechanical, building services or biomedical.

You could be working as a:

  • Biomedical Engineer - maintaining and managing medical equipment in operating theatres, intensive care, neonatal units or accident and emergency
  • Plant Maintenance Engineer - making sure that water supplies and drainage, electrical systems, boilers and alarms are working well within NHS buildings
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer - making sure all hospital areas are safe to use and kept at the right temperature, for example to keep patients warm, or vital supplies cool
  • Prosthetic Engineer - creating and maintaining artificial limbs (prosthetics)
  • Building Services Engineer - overseeing the installation and maintenance of systems within buildings, including lighting, lifts, communications and security



Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skill include

  • mathematical skills
  • problem solving skills
  • IT skills

Relevant interests

  • Science and Engineering

Useful abilities

  • scientific and technical aptitude
  • able to plan your own work and organise the work of others
  • able to work alone and also as part of a team
  • physically fit enough to get around building sites and climb on scaffolding.

Entry Requirements

NHS engineers need an accredited engineering qualification, usually a degree or HNC in a particular branch of engineering (Electrical, Mechanical or Building Services, for example).

Employers usually ask for a qualification accredited by the Engineering Council. You can search for courses on their website.

Another entrance route into an engineering career with the NHS is by doing a Modern Apprenticeship, see the section below.

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern apprenticeship in Construction (Technical) (SVQF level 6)

Modern apprenticeship in Engineering Maintenance (SVQF level 7)

More details about becoming an engineering apprentice in Scotland are on the CITB: Construction Industry Training Board website.

Go to our page on Modern Apprenticeships for more information or check to see if an MA is available in this subject on the Modern Apprenticeship website.

Learning and Development

Engineers, like all the trade professions in the NHS, have the opportunity to move into higher management levels as their careers develop. Experience could lead to a role as a Site Manager or Head of Estates.

Modern Apprentices can go on to study for an HNC in an engineering subject by studying part time at a local college.

With experience and further qualifications, engineers can apply for incorporated or chartered status. Incorporated and chartered engineers have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Each professional institution for engineers (see the list in the Professional bodies section) runs courses, conferences and seminars where engineers can update their skills and network with others.