How To Become A Gas Service Engineer
Keeping The Country Warm
When things break, do you leave it alone hoping someone else will notice it and fix it for you, or are you the first person to be searching the house for the nearest screwdriver and spanner?
Are you good with your hands? Do you think you’d be able to work out a problem, whilst under time constraints?
If you’ve got a flare for fixing thing and a genuine interest in engineering, you might want to consider a career as a gas service engineer.
Gas Service Engineers (sometimes called Gas Service Technicians) install, service, maintain and repair gas appliances and heating systems. The sorts of appliances they typically work on include boilers, cookers, central heating systems and gas fires.
They typically work in either small teams or solo and play a vital role in the installation and maintenance of domestic and/or commercial gas fired systems and appliances. They’re the ‘go-to person’ for dealing with those dreaded winter boiler breakdowns, making them a highly sought-after service during the colder seasons.
Those that are successful within this career path tend to not only have strong practical skills but also display great people skills. Afterall travelling to their customer’s homes and offices to repair their appliances, they need to ensure they have a warm and friendly approach, yet being able to remain professional at all times.
So, if this sounds like the career you’d like to pursue, just how do you become a Gas Service Engineer?
What does a Gas Service Engineer do?
While it can be difficult to generalise, most gas service engineers will be expected to:
- Install appliances and systems – including gas fires, boilers, and shower units
- Respond to breakdowns
- Cutting, bending and joining pipes and fittings
- Diagnose and investigate faults
- Repair equipment
- Carry out planned maintenance checks on systems and equipment
- Providing cost estimates to customers, and talking through additional cover and insurance options
- Find and repairing gas leaks using computerised fault-finding equipment
- Obtain specialist components, fixtures or fittings required to perform the job at hand
- Manage maintenance cost and budgets
- Manage stocks and supplies
- Ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation throughout
- Upgrade and modify systems
- Possibly provide customers with advice about gas safety and energy efficiency
- Fit and calibrate new parts and systems.
What hours do Gas Service Engineers work?
Most gas service engineers are typically required to work 40-hour weeks (between 8am and 6pm Mon-Fri) however, if operating on as an on-call 24/7 breakdown cover service, this work can often be during unsociable hours. From a commercial/industrial perspective it may also be the case that these hours will be during what is classed as unsociable times, predominately to alleviate downtime in business operations.
Many industrial plants for example operate 24 hours a day, all year round, highlighting the need in some industries, for gas service engineers to work shifts that cover nights, weekends and early mornings.
What skills do Gas Service Engineers need to have?
- Great attention to detail.
- Highly developed technical and mechanical skills
- Excellent organisational skills.
- A good level of mathematical ability
- Exceptional diagnostic and problem-solving skills
- Ability to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
- Good verbal and written communication skills, especially when dealing with the general public
- Certain degree of knowledge of building and construction
- Willing to show initiative.
- Ability to work well under pressure and maintain patience.
- A thorough and methodical approach to your work.
How much does a Gas Service Engineer earn?
Again, the salary of a gas service engineer will vary depending on the size of the employer, location in the UK, working hours and so on, so the figures below are to be intended to be used as a guide only.
- Starting salaries for maintenance engineers are typically at least £20,000.
- Rising to between £30,000 and £33,000 for mid-level gas engineers
- And with experience, current salaries can be seen at £37,500.
What qualifications do Gas Service Engineers require?
To become a Gas service Engineer you’ll need to pass an industry qualification along with obtaining Gas Safe registration . Firstly, an industry qualification could include Level 3 NVQ or Diploma in courses such as:
- Domestic Natural Gas Installation and Maintenance
- Domestic Plumbing and Heating
- Gas Utilisation
Entry requirements typically requiring you to need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
In addition to these qualifications, in order to allow you to work on specific domestic appliances such as Boilers and heating systems, you will need to be on the Gas Safe register.
Are there any bad points to becoming a Gas Service Engineer?
Aside from the often awkward and tight uncomfortable working conditions, and the occasional heavy lifting of larger heating system components, becoming a Gas service engineer requires a high degree of commitment and learning particularly at the beginning. You need to ensure you have mastered your trade at apprenticeship level before you can take any qualification exams and join the Gas Safety Register. However, once you’ve passed and become qualified, things get easier from then on.
Is it the right job for me?
If you find yourself struggling to do more than one or two things at a time, have next to no practical ability or find the thought of working in often cramped spaces and having to adhere to strict health and safety procedure repulsive then maybe this role isn’t quite right for you.
If you’re great at multitasking, enjoy problem solving and understanding how things operate then this is a role you should definitely consider, plus when you’ve got a few years’ experience behind you, you may be able to move into related areas, such as technical sales, service team management and contract management, so there’s a lot of room to grow within and beyond the role.
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