There are many reasons why you might be considering a change of career – And switching to the role of a Heating Engineer has many benefits!
Whether you’re ready to quit a job you hate, or you’re looking for more flexibility alongside financial stability, re-training as a Gas Engineer could offer you just the challenge and career progression you’re searching for.
Not everyone leaves school knowing what they want to be. Only a small number of people have a ‘job for life’ in mind when they’re aged 16 – 18.
This means that for many, a career change at some point in their life is inevitable. Gas engineering is a fantastic career opportunity for anyone – Regardless of age or sex.
Why should I Retrain as a Gas Heating Engineer?
The role of a Heating Engineer lends itself well to anyone, at any stage of their career. Whether you are just leaving school and looking for an apprenticeship, or completely changing careers during mid-life, becoming a Gas Safe Heating Engineer offers lots of benefits.
- There is always work. Heating Engineers are in demand, which means there is consistent work in this industry. This gives you job security – People will always need skilled people in this trade to carry out work.
- You likely already have useful transferable skills. There are many skills that are useful in this trade, alongside the professional heating qualifications. Things like good communication skills, excellent customer service and good organisational skills will all stand you in good stead as a Heating Engineer.
- There is no ‘one route’ in. You can become a Heating Engineer in various ways. An apprenticeship straight out of school might suit you, or perhaps gaining college qualifications as part of a change of career would work better. Many Heating Engineers come from the Army or Navy with a wealth of relevant knowledge and expertise.
- This is not a ‘men only’ zone. Whatever your route in, this career is available to everyone – Whether you are male or female. Trade roles are often perceived as being for just men – But there is no reason whatsoever why a woman couldn’t succeed as a Heating Engineer. You might be interested in our previous blog on just this topic, you can find it here.
- It offers a good salary. The average Heating Engineer is on around £32K. Whilst you may not start on that salary, this industry offers good career progression. The more you put in, the more you get out!
- It’s flexible. If working 9 to 5 doesn’t work for you, then this could offer you the flexibility you need. Perhaps you need to be available to do the school run in the morning and afternoon – Fit your hours around it! Perhaps you’re not a morning person, but don’t mind working into the evening – Work your hours around you as a Heating Engineer.
- No two days are the same. The role of a Gas Heating Engineer offers variety – No job is quite the same as the last, and you’ll be meeting new people every day! They do say variety is the spice of life.
- Job satisfaction. If you get a buzz from a job well done, and relish in getting a job finished to a high standard, then becoming a Heating Engineer could be just what you are looking for. Imagine how rewarding it feels to leave a home and the people inside it feeling cosy and warm, and all down to your work?
Is the role of a Heating Engineer a good career change option for women?
As we just said above, the heating industry is not a ‘men only’ zone. Representations of trade roles in the media and entertainment industry create a perception that these roles aren’t suitable for or sought after by women.
Coupled with the fact that apprenticeship schemes in trade industries seem to be aimed more at boys than girls of school-leaving age, and we find that not many women are pursuing roles in the heating industry and other trade professions.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! All of the above reasons as to why a Heating Engineer role is a great career choice applies to women as well as men.
The transferable skills and professional qualifications we’ll talk about below are just as often found in and can be achieved by women than as men.
There is no reason, physical or otherwise, why a woman couldn’t enjoy a successful career in the heating industry as a Gas Safe Heating Engineer.
For more information on how we can attract more women into the heating industry, have a read of our previous blog here.
What does being a Gas Heating Engineer involve?
It’s a common misconception that a certain type of person enters trade roles. Gas engineering is a highly skilled profession; One which relies on many areas of expertise.
You will be working with natural gas, which can be dangerous if not handled carefully. You will need professional qualifications for this part of the role, enabling you to work competently with various gas appliances as well as joining the Gas Safe register.
There are other softer skills that a Heating Engineer would also find helpful.
If you have a background in plumbing, or some knowledge in that area then you’ll find that some of the skills needed will overlap when working as a Heating Engineer. Handy to have, but not essential.
You should be of a practical nature and be good at problem solving as you will be identifying issues with gas appliances and then working out how to solve them.
You also need to be more than just good with your hands, but good with people too. You will be invited into the homes of strangers – You’ll need to be able to communicate well and put people at ease. Remember that many of your customers may be feeling worried or stressed out – Having no heating or hot water can be very frustrating! It’s your job to reassure them that you’ll have everything back in working order.
You’ll need to be cool under pressure. Not all jobs will go to plan, so you’ll need to be able to go with the flow and stay calm in tricky situations.
Quite often, you’ll be expected to do multiple jobs in one day. This means managing your time, as well as the expectations of your customers. You will also need to work as efficiently as possible on all jobs.
What qualifications do I need to become a Heating Engineer?
In the UK, by law you need to be Gas Safe registered to be able to work on gas appliances. This means you must be fully trained and competent, with an ACS (Accredited Certification Scheme) in gas which must be re-taken every 5 years.
The most common courses for gas engineering are:
- CCN1 (including CPA1) – Core Gas Safety (with Combustion Performance Analysis)
- CENWAT – Domestic Gas Boilers & Water Heaters
- HTR1 – Gas Fires and Wall Heaters
- CKR1 – Domestic Gas Cookers
How do I retrain as a Gas Heating Engineer?
As we’ve said above, there are two main routes into gas engineering. To become a Heating Engineer you can either join an apprenticeship scheme, or do a fast-track programme.
Whilst apprenticeship schemes offer paid work whilst you train, they are often subject to age limits. Even though fast-track programmes are unpaid while you train, you will be trained up and ready to work quicker.
This is a great option for those wanting to change careers, as well as those transitioning from the Navy or Army. It is open to everyone, regardless of gender or age.
There are training centres across the UK offering the necessary training to become a Heating Engineer. Once you have completed your training, passed the assessments you can obtain your ACS in gas and become Gas Safe registered.
At this point you will be deemed competent and ready to work as a qualified Heating Engineer!
Is there a future for Gas Heating Engineers?
There has been much in the media recently about the future of gas boilers, and the rise of renewable ways of heating our homes such as heat pumps.
The reality is that gas appliances will still be in people’s homes for a long while yet. Gas boilers are not going to be ripped out of homes overnight, and whilst there are gas appliances, there will be a need for Gas Heating Engineers.
The role of a Heating Engineer is a fantastic career option to anyone. Whether you are just leaving school and starting out in your career, or you are wanting a complete career overhaul mid-way through your life. Whether you are a man or woman, becoming a Heating Engineer could be a brilliant career option for you.