Retraining as a gas engineer offers the opportunity to move away from a job you don’t enjoy into a well-paying occupation that you enjoy and interests you.
If you appreciate hands-on work in a field that requires technical knowledge, you’ll find becoming a gas engineer rewarding on many levels. The job provides a good living while offering a high degree of independence and flexibility.
What Is a Gas Engineer?
A gas engineer is generally considered by people as the technician that repairs their boiler. However, the scope and skill set of a gas engineer far exceeds that limited perception. A gas engineer works on a wide range of gas appliances that can pertain to home and commercial use. Gas engineers are registered as Gas Safe, a certification that allows them to work on devices that regular technicians cannot.
What Does a Gas Engineer Do?
A gas engineer installs, services. Maintains and repairs domestic or residential gas appliances. As a gas engineer, you will often work in conjunction with other contractors, such as when a house is being built or a brick and mortar business is being set up.
Installing and repairing appliances to deliver gas is one of the main tasks related to the job. You will also be called upon to maintain or replace faulty systems. Apart from the appliances themselves, a gas engineer must cut, bend and fit pipes that transfer gas from the source.
As a gas engineer, you must tend to safety issues such as gas leaks and make sure that an installation is up to code. On top of the mathematics you’ll need for the job, you’ll need to use your numerical skills to draw up cost estimates for clients. Gas engineers are called upon to provide energy-saving and environment-friendly solutions.
Why Retrain as a Gas Engineer
Starting with the economic crisis of 2008, job security has taken on a new meaning. The resulting volatility in the global economy has set the stage for large portions of the population to be uncertain about their employment.
One of the advantages of being a gas engineer is that you provide a vital service. Millions of homes and business owners across the country rely on gas appliances. The demand for competent gas engineers will continue to exist for years to come. Since you provide an essential service that’s in demand, you can expect your income to be more than satisfactory.
Depending on whether you work for a company as a technician or start your own service, you can make a good living. Furthermore, if you don’t operate best in a nine-to-five environment, becoming a gas engineer is a perfect choice.
For those that appreciate the ability to work outside the office, every day will be a unique experience. Rather than having the weeks, months and years blend into the memory of sitting behind an office desk or sales counter, your workday as a gas engineer will leave you with valuable acquaintances and stories. If you are a problem solver that thrives under constantly changing conditions, being a gas engineer will bring out the best in you.
What Qualities Should a Prospective Gas Engineer Have?
The element that sets a gas engineer apart from other technical jobs is the fact that you work with natural gas. This means that becoming proficient and certified in dealing with gas is a prerequisite. Additionally, you’ll need to be able to handle the physical demands that the job places on you.
While creativity factors into the job, having a knack for practical problem solving is necessary. Paying attention to the smallest details is essential and the ability to concentrate on the task at hand is vital. Gas engineers need to possess high-level mathematical knowledge which is necessary on a daily basis.
If you already have technical and mechanical skills, you will find retraining as a gas engineer very intuitive. In the case that you lack a technical background, the willingness to acquire mechanical skills will make things easier for you. If you find practical mechanics to be outside your comfort zone, you may want to consider a different career path.
One of the intangibles that will boost your effectiveness as a gas engineer is your ability to communicate. Gas engineers spend most of their time making repairs and installations. However, one of the most important aspects of the job is the interactions you have with customers, other technicians and supervisors. Your ability to pinpoint the issue from your customer’s description will help you diagnose the problem quickly and efficiently. You’ll have to put customers at ease, negotiate your fee and resolve many other matters.
What Does It Take To Retrain as a Gas Engineer?
There are two basic paths you can follow to become a gas engineer. The first is to apply to a National Vocational Qualification, or NVQ, apprenticeship. This involves working for an established company where you will gain the necessary experience while studying for the attainment of the respective qualifications.
The other option is to enrol in a fast-track gas training course. This study program cuts down on the time you’ll need to achieve full qualification. By opting for a training program, you’ll have more control over your education. Furthermore, NVQ apprenticeships can be highly contested, meaning that spaces are limited. This can mean having to waste time waiting for spots to free up. Becoming a gas engineer requires you to pass an industry qualification such as a level three NVQ or receive a diploma in a gas-related course.
A complete Accredited Certification Scheme, or ACS, for gas training will be needed before you can be considered Gas Safe Registered. Finally, you’ll need to register with the Gas Safe Register for the appliances you will be working on. Some of the qualifications you obtain include Core Gas Safety (CCN1), Domestic Gas Boilers & Water Heaters (CENWAT) and Gas Fires and Wall Heaters (HTR1). The earlier you decide on what kinds of gas appliances you want to focus on, the sooner you can finish your training.
Spend some time researching the different paths you can take within the field. Consider your own preferences as well as the potential for growth that your local area offers for each appliance type. Do you prefer working more with homeowners or businesses? What opportunities exist in your town for each appliance type? Is there a higher earnings potential for certain certifications over others?
What Are the Benefits?
The biggest benefit most prospective gas engineers will cite is the salary. With certified gas engineers making up to £35,000 upon becoming qualified, this is a major selling point. Even as an apprentice, you can earn £15,000 while you learn. Looking further at the advantages of becoming a gas engineer, the flexibility to decide who you’ll be working for is high on the list. You can choose to work for an insurance company, become a subcontractor for British Gas or focus on doing maintenance work for letting agents.
The more experience you rack up, the more opportunities will avail themselves. If you’re working within the framework of a big company, you will have the capacity to move up into a management or senior role. Taking initiative in furthering your education and qualifications while on the job will also lead to a higher salary and increased opportunities.
One of the benefits that aren’t mentioned often in connection with the job of a gas engineer is the opportunity to network. As a specialist that provides valuable services to residents and business owners, you will meet a wide range of people. Offering quality service and possessing good communication skills can open your horizons to business opportunities.
For example, a residential customer that is happy with your work may employ your services for their business or recommend you to a friend. If you’re an independent contractor, this will increase your bottom line. However, even if you’re working within a company, bringing in sales will be appreciated and can lead to an upgraded job role down the road.
Regarding your job growth, every year when you retake your ACS, you will have the ability to refocus your skills. As you spot trends in the market, you can centre your attention around new technologies or services.
How Long It Will Take
As mentioned above, the time it takes to become a gas engineer depends on the path you take regarding your training. Choosing to go with the apprenticeship option will take years if you can grab a spot, to begin with.
Electing to enrol in a fast-track program can take as little as six months. While a fast-track specialised training course isn’t paid like the internship, the time saved in obtaining your certification will translate to more money upon entering the workforce.
Get on the Path to Becoming a Gas Engineer
As the climate agenda becomes a greater issue on the national agenda, gas appliances will continue to grow in their prevalence and use. Starting your journey as a gas engineer today has the potential to provide you with a financially secure future in a field that homeowners appreciate and respect. Finding the best fast-track program today will allow you to achieve job security in a growing sector of the economy.
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