There is a skills shortage throughout the UK, and there has been for some time. Subsequently, a qualified gas engineer is in demand more than ever before. Existing engineers are overwhelmed with work and offered more than they can accept, meaning there is a waiting list of work to complete. As a result, there has never been a better time to learn a trade and become a gas engineer.
Whether you’re a beginner in the industry or currently working in a different trade, becoming a gas engineer is a significant step. Not only is being a gas engineer rewarding, but it’s also a profitable career.
Leaving your current role behind you and embarking on a new one can be daunting. However, it won’t be long before you can work as a qualified gas engineer.
What Are Your Options?
How long it takes to become a qualified gas engineer will depend on the route you take to get there. An apprenticeship is usually the first route people think about when learning a trade, and it is a route you can take to becoming a gas engineer – but there are others.
You’ll be in college and on-site as an apprentice, with a minimum of 20% of your working hours being hands-on. Typically, apprenticeships can take anywhere from one year to five years to complete and are generally aimed at those aged 16 and over. During your time as an apprentice, you will be able to earn as you train:
- 16-18: £4.81 per hour
- 19+ (first year): £4.81
- 19+ (second year onwards: National minimum wage for your age
Apprenticeships are a popular choice for those without significant financial responsibilities, which is why they’re attractive to those just leaving education.
Training courses, however, can be completed in a shorter time, allowing students to earn a full wage sooner. With our training course, you’ll spend eight weeks in our centre learning essential skills and knowledge of the trade before going out on-site to build up a portfolio with your mentor. The time it takes to build your portfolio will depend on how often you can go out to work. The flexibility of the portfolio stage of training allows students to work around their existing commitments, such as other work and childcare.
We find that training courses are particularly popular with mature students looking for a career change. While they require an initial investment to cover the cost of training, you can become qualified and earn within a year.
New qualified engineers can expect to earn around £20,000, with the number rising to over £30,000 after a few years in the industry. (Source: CV-Library)
Domestic Gas & Renewables Training
As the industry evolves, so do the demands of heating engineers. At Options Skills, we’ve updated our training options to include renewables heating training, helping to future-proof your career in the industry.
Our Domestic Gas Training Course consists of three simple steps. First, you will receive training from experienced tutors in our centre before working alongside a gas engineer on-site. The breakdown of the course looks like this:
- Centre-Led Training – 300 Guided Learning Hours
- Portfolio Building – 100 Days*
- ACS Initial Training – 80 Guided Learning Hours
*The duration of step two varies from person to person. How long it takes to complete your portfolio depends on your working situation. Some people can work full-time, while others can only do part-time. The most important thing is completing it at a pace that suits you. To complete step two, trainees must meet the portfolio criteria set.
Renewables – 2 Weeks
You then have the option of completing our two-week Heat Pump Courses, earning qualifications in the following:
- Water Regulations (WRAS)
- Energy Efficiency EEDHS (Part L of Building Regulations)
- Low-Temperature Heating Design (LTHWS)
- Air Source Heat Pump Installation and Maintenance (IMASHPS)
- Ground Source Heat Pump Installation and Maintenance (IMHPS21)
Gas Safe Register
To become a qualified legal gas engineer, you must join the Gas Safe Register.
Replacing CORGI in 2009, Gas Safe Register became the gas registration body. Gas Safe Register is the official list of businesses and engineers legally registered to work on gas appliances. It is a legal requirement that all gas engineers be on the register.
If you’re unsure what registering entails, look at our How to join the Gas Safe Register guide.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Qualified Gas Engineer?
Hard work, motivation, and dedication are essential to becoming a gas & heating engineer. It may take an extra year or two if you cannot train full-time. But on average, a student can complete their training and become a qualified gas engineer within 1-3 years.
Regardless of your path, the most important thing is that you’re taking a significant step in your working life.