Mechanical engineers operate, maintain, test, and repair heating and ventilation systems, boiler plant, and steam distribution systems in hospital buildings, clinics, and other health facilities.
Starting your career
Choosing subjects at school
To become a mechanical engineer, you'll need a good standard of education. Useful subjects include:
- Practical Electronics
- Practical Metalworking
Work placements and volunteering
If you’re at school or thinking of changing career, volunteering or doing a work placement could help you when applying for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service.
Find out how to apply for work experience with the NHS.
Discover volunteering opportunities in healthcare.
An apprenticeship is a good way to start your career in healthcare.
With an apprenticeship, you'll gain an industry-recognised qualification. Learn more about an Engineering Modern Apprenticeship.
Find out more about apprenticeships at apprenticeships.scot.
In the NHS it's vital that healthcare settings are kept at the right temperature to keep patients warm, or to ensure vital supplies are kept cool.
You will be responsible for maintaining and repairing different systems, including heating and ventilation, steam distribution, air conditioning, and domestic water. You will be part of a team that can be working on a hospital site or other healthcare facility.
What you’ll do
Your main tasks include:
- essential repairs and planned maintenance activities
- emergency repairs
- work to approved codes of practice and relevant statutory compliance requirements
You’ll need these skills:
- communicating with people
- working in a team
Who you’ll work with
You could work with:
- maintenance supervisor
- estates officer
- other mechanical engineers
You could work in:
- other health and social care facilities
To work as a mechanical engineer, you’ll need to:
- complete occupational health checks
- join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland
Learning and development
As a mechanical engineer, you’ll work towards completing the Estates Workbook. During your career, you’ll also need to complete specialised training in systems and equipment. It will help you gain the knowledge required to comply with standards, laws, and national guidelines.
Gaining new qualifications could help you to progress your career in estates services, leading to more senior roles with greater responsibilities.
Professional bodies and related organisations
If you are an Engineer working in NHS Scotland there are several professionals you can join: