How Do You Become a Gas Engineer? What Kind of Training Is Required?
Gas engineering is a professional and regulated field, so you will need the appropriate certifications and qualifications to work. If you're wondering what qualifications you need to become a gas engineer, we've got you covered.
Gas engineers, like all skilled professionals, must go through extensive training before they can legally work. This can be intimidating when you're just getting started, but it doesn't have to be. Indeed, if you begin your training today, you could be fully qualified and ready to work in as little as 25 weeks if you enroll in a fast track managed learning program.
Whether you're a new adult or looking to change careers, now is an excellent time to begin working as a gas engineer. That's because Britain is currently experiencing a trades skills shortage, which means that there aren't enough professionals to meet consumer demand: with natural gas being the most commonly used form of energy in the UK, there's plenty of work to go around.
This high demand is reflected in the average wage of a gas engineer, which starts at £32,000 and can rise to £60,000 as your experience grows. However, before you can start enjoying this attractive salary, you must first obtain your qualifications and become Gas Safe registered. If you're considering training and qualifying as a gas engineer but aren't sure where to start, this article will walk you through your options.
What exactly is a Gas Engineer?
If your boiler ever broke and you needed to call in a professional, you've already met a gas engineer; someone who has been trained and is professionally qualified to work with boilers. However, gas engineers are trained to work on a wide range of other gas appliances in both domestic and commercial settings, including wall heaters, gas cookers, and gas fires, to name a few.
Each appliance on which gas engineers work has its own set of certifications; for example, CKR1 is for domestic gas cookers, whereas CENWAT is for domestic gas central heating, boilers, and water heaters.
Not all of these certifications are required to become a gas engineer. This means that you will be able to choose what you want to work on by selecting your broader certifications and qualifications by taking specific courses.
While all gas engineers work on some type of gas appliance, their actual day-to-day work will be determined by their unique set of skills and qualifications. Aside from this flexibility, you also have a choice in how you will work: because of the skills shortage, you can be just as successful as a self-employed gas engineer as you would in an employed position at a company.
What Qualifications Does a Gas Engineer Require?
A gas engineer should, first and foremost, be a practical person who can solve technical problems. If you enjoy tinkering, a career in gas engineering is ideal because your keen eye and attention to detail can help you solve problems that others find perplexing. Many gas engineers have also worked as plumbers because pipework, fittings, and infrastructure are important aspects of both jobs.
In addition to these more technical skills, you should be a people person because you will be working in people's homes and workplaces, often when something has gone wrong. Not only will you need to calm frayed nerves, but you will also need to explain problems, explain how products work, and provide excellent customer service while repairing problems and installing new gas appliances.
Good time management skills are also required: on a typical day, you will be working on multiple projects and traveling to and from various locations. You must not only complete your work on time, but you must also keep your appointments.
Gas engineers who choose to work for themselves will also need some additional skills to manage day-to-day administrative tasks in order to keep their business running smoothly. Marketing, sales, networking, and project management are just a few examples.
What Courses Are There?
There are two options for people interested in becoming gas engineers: traditional apprenticeships and modern fast track managed learning programs.
Apprenticeships are a time-honored method of entering this profession, involving placement within companies where you learn 'on the job' with a more experienced gas engineer. This training is comprehensive, provides a lot of experience, and even pays. As a result, they are popular; however, training takes years, and competition for positions is fierce.
Fast track managed learning programs have exploded in popularity in recent years. One reason for this is that they are quick - some can train you in just 25 weeks - and comprehensive, so you will have all the qualifications you need to start working right away.
It is well worth investigating the available options in your area as well as the specifics of the training you will receive. This way, you can make an informed decision and, of course, select the type that best meets your needs.
What GCSEs Are Required for a Gas Engineering Course?
If you want to join an apprentice scheme for gas engineering, you must have a minimum of four GCSEs with grades ranging from A* to C. Two of these should be in English and Math, while the other two should be in subjects that are relevant, such as Engineering, Science, or Design and Technology.
Fast track managed learning programs, such as those offered by Skills Training Group, do not have a minimum GCSE requirement and will provide full training so that you can obtain your qualifications. In other words, no prior knowledge or experience is required to get started.
It's important to remember that this is a career for practical people who are good with their hands and enjoy solving technical problems, as well as those who can communicate effectively and have a strong mathematical foundation. You'll also need a keen eye for detail; if you have these qualities, you'll be a good gas engineer even if your GCSEs aren't "perfect."
What Skills Do You Learn in a Gas Engineering Course?
There are numerous gas engineering certifications available, many of which focus on a specific type of gas appliance. As a result, the content of many training courses for gas engineers will differ.
These specific course differences are rarely significant and may reflect local skill demand. Many will have the same core qualifications, with some of the most common being:
- CCN1 (Core Domestic Gas Safety)
- CPA1 (Combustion Performance Analysis)
- CENWAT stands for Domestic Gas Central Heating, Boilers, and Water Heaters.
- Gas Cookers for the Home (CKR1)
- HTR1 Domestic Gas Fires and Wall Heaters
At the end of any gas engineering training course, you should have two additional qualifications: Gas Safe registration and your ACS in Gas.
You will not be able to work legally as a gas engineer unless you have these two certifications, regardless of how much training you have. A good course, such as Skills Training Group's Full Time Gas Managed Learning Programme (25 weeks), covers everything you'll need to know to pass your ACS and get on the Gas Safe register.
How to Get Your Name on the Gas Safe Register
You must first obtain your ACS in Gas before you can register with Gas Safe. Both certifications are now required for anyone wishing to work as a gas engineer in the United Kingdom.
Your ACS certification demonstrates that you have been thoroughly evaluated in terms of your professional competence for working with the gas appliances for which you are qualified. Passing the ACS demonstrates that you are current with best practices and standards, as well as being able to work with the latest in gas appliance technology.
Because the industry is constantly changing, you must retake your ACS in Gas every twelve months. Once you have your ACS in Gas, you can become Gas Safe registered, which is the final step before you can begin working as a gas engineer. Many professionals use the mandatory annual ACS certification to improve and learn new skills.
What Other Certifications Can Gas Engineers Get After Qualifying?
Because of the versatility of a career in gas engineering, the world truly is your oyster once you have completed your training. Because you are only permitted to work on appliances for which you are qualified, you can expand your areas of expertise through additional training - or focus on a specialist niche of your industry.
Because your ACS certification must be renewed every five years, you'll have plenty of opportunities to assess your progress as a gas engineer. You may dislike working with boilers but enjoy working with gas fires and wall heaters. To make the switch, all you'd have to do is go through the necessary training to obtain the certifications that allow you to work on those types of gas appliances - in this case, the HTR1 certification.
There are no right or wrong paths here: you can do whatever you want as long as you have the necessary qualifications. Whether you work for a gas company or on your own as a self-employed gas engineer, you have control over where your career goes and what types of gas appliances you work on.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Gas Engineer?
As you can see, there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to this question, as much depends on your prior qualifications as well as the path you take to become a gas engineer. Consider your own personal needs and which route will best suit you.
In general, the quickest way to become a gas engineer is to enroll in a fast track managed learning program, such as those offered by Skills Training Group, which can get you fully qualified in as little as 25 weeks. Unlike apprenticeships, these are also simple to join and have far less competition for available positions.
Call 0808 164 2780 today if you're ready to begin your training and obtain your qualifications to become a gas engineer. Skills Training Group will assist you in better understanding your options and will schedule a free tour of your local gas engineering training facilities so you can get a sense of what to expect.
Download a free copy of our information pack to learn more about becoming a domestic gas engineer.
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