How to become a gas engineer

Are you a practical person that enjoys solving challenges? Do you think you’d be able to work out a problem, whilst under time constraints? Are you a people person, with a friendly, approachable nature? A Gas Engineer could be just the role you’re looking for. Let’s see how you can put your practical skills to good use…

As a gas engineer, what would I be doing?

A Gas Engineer, sometimes referred to as a Gas Service Technician, incorporates elements of problem-solving and practical skills. To succeed in this varied role, you’ll need to have a keen eye, great attention to detail. You also need excellent abilities in Maths and Science.

You’ll be responsible for installing, servicing and repairing your client’s gas appliances and heating systems. The sorts of appliances you may handle include boilers, cookers, central heating systems or gas fires.

Whilst practical skills are vital, you’ll also need to have great people skills. As you’ll be travelling to your customer’s homes to fix their appliances, you’ll need to ensure you have a professional yet friendly approach at all times.

Throughout the day there will be many jobs assigned to you. And, it will be your responsibility to get them all completed within the time frame. So, excellent time management and an efficient way of working will be beneficial.

What sorts of salaries do Gas Engineers earn?

Once you’re a qualified Gas Engineer or Technician, you can earn between £25,000 – £35,000 per year. Though, this will depend on your location and company. Many are likely to get into this career through an apprenticeship, where salaries are around £15,000 per year, as a starting point. There may often be opportunities from time to time for you to earn more. For example, through overtime and bonus structures.

Are there any qualification requirements, before becoming a Gas Engineer?

To become a Gas Engineer you’ll need to pass an industry qualification and gas safe registration. Firstly, an industry qualification could include an NVQ or Diploma in courses such as Domestic Natural Gas Installation and Maintenance, Domestic Plumbing and Heating or Gas Utilisation for example.

Secondly, you will be legally required to get on to the gas safe register. This covers the types of appliances you’ll be working on, for example boilers. You’ll only be able to conduct engineer work on these sorts of appliances. So, it’s worth noting exactly which appliances you are intending on working with from the beginning. This means you can ensure you have the relevant qualifications and experience necessary before applying.

To access the Gas Safety Register, you may be able to take a Gas Assessment Training (ACS) certification, which will allow you to have your skills and experience assessed and prove you are qualified to safely work on gas or heating systems.

However, to start studying toward these qualifications, you’ll firstly need to be employed by a company; therefore most Gas Engineers start within an apprenticeship scheme. To get onto an apprenticeship scheme, you’ll be required to have four GCSEs from A* to C grade, which should include Maths, English and another two relevant subjects such as Engineering, Science or Technology.

Once you start an apprenticeship, you’ll be put on training to ensure you are crystal clear on how to service and repair gas and heating appliances, alongside gas safety.

It will be important for you to keep training throughout your career as a Gas Engineer, to continue developing your professional skills, knowledge and keeping up to date with the latest appliances and technologies. The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) is a good starting place to look for courses and relevant information in the field.

Are there any key skills Gas Engineers should have?

As this is a practical, customer facing job, there are a variety of skills you should have. This includes:

  • A passion to work in the gas and heating industry, fixing and maintaining appliances on a daily basis
  • Excellent practical skills and knowledge in the appliances you are working with, alongside good mathematics and basic IT skills
  • Good customer service, through being communicative, friendly, responsible and understanding of the customers issues
  • Good time management
  • Ability to work alone and be proactive in your approach, alongside being able to work in a team from time to time
  • Ability to follow instructions and be assertive in your decision making skills
  • Attention to detail will be important to ensure you carry out every job to a high standard

How will my day look, as a Gas Engineer?

You’ll be working Monday to Friday, around the hours of 8am to 6pm. However, your employer may ask you to be on call from time-to-time, if your company offers 24-hour breakdown cover. Your employer will normally be able to give you a vehicle and you’ll drive to your customers’ homes or properties doing tasks such as:

  • Carrying out checks on the equipment to ensure safety of the appliances and ordering new parts if required
  • Working in tight spaces around boilers
  • Installing the new equipment and removing the old appliances from the property
  • Receiving calls to look at gas leaks; this will involve using equipment to locate the fault and then repairing the issue quick and efficiently
  • Ability to keep track of your work through writing up reports on the work you’ve done within the day or at a particular property and give accurate quotes or bills
  • Communicating with the clients to make them feel at ease

Is there any progression in this field?

The key to progression is to ensure you have plenty of experience in the field. With this, there will be opportunities to move up to more senior, supervisory or management roles. Some companies may like for you to specialise further and encourage you to take further qualifications in order for you to do so.

What are the good points about working as a Gas Engineer?

As a Gas Engineer you’ll have the luxury of working out of the office and being your own boss in many day-to-day situations. You’ll constantly be meeting new people, and you’ll be able to take on a lot of responsibility yourself. Progression really will be in your hands; the more you’re experience you gain and the more you learn about, the higher up the career ladder you can progress.

What are the bad points about working as a Gas Engineer?

Starting as a Gas Engineer does take a lot of commitment and learning. You’ll need to be an expert in your field at apprenticeship level, before you can take any qualifications and join the Gas Safety Register. However, once you’ve passed and qualified, things get easier from then on.

Life as a Gas Engineer can mean a lot of heavy lifting, especially when you need to bring in new parts and get rid of old appliances. You will also be working in some quite tight working conditions at times, which may not be the comfiest working spots. It may be worth taking a cushion to look after your knees!

Is a career as a Gas Engineer really for me?

This is a job for people who can take responsibility and ownership of projects and run with them to solve the problem. They’ll be held accountable for their own actions so attention to detail and a clear way of communicating with the customer will be key.