Gas Service Technician jobs(Also known as Gas fitter, Gas engineer)
A gas service technician sets up, maintains and repairs gas systems and appliances in domestic homes, offices and industrial premises. Gas continues to be one of the most economical and popular forms of energy in today’s society. Gas is pumped though a complicated delivery system arriving at its destination – residential homes and corporate business - where it is metered for subsequent billing. We use it to power water boilers that in turn fill the central heating systems to keep us warm. Gas is also used for cooking where it provides an instant and controllable heat source that is superior to electrically powered hobs. Gas is an extremely volatile substance and a leakage can lead to asphyxiation through inhalation, fire or explosion. As such, the gas service industry is tightly regulated and gas engineers are subject to regular testing and assessment.
- An apprentice working and studying at the same time earns between £12,000 and £15,000 per annum.
- An experienced gas service technician can earn from £18,000 to £40,000 per annum.
- Gas service technicians who own their own company and have a couple of employees may earn in excess of £40,000 per annum.
ResponsibilitiesA gas service technician is likely to encounter any of the following during his daily routine:
- Installing a system to deliver gas throughout a premises, to water boilers and ovens.
- Repairing or replacing old and faulty equipment.
- Searching for gas leaks using specialised equipment.
- Carrying out tests on displays and control mechanisms.
- Ordering new parts where necessary.
- Keeping a detailed record of work carried out.
QualificationsIn order to work as a gas service technician you need to fulfil the following:
- Have completed an NVQ level 3 in Gas Installation and Maintenance.
- Be registered on the Gas Safe Register.
- Carry an ACS registration.
SkillsA gas service technician will need to develop the following personal attributes:
- Good communication skills as you will be dealing directly with the public.
- Good problem solving skills; no two jobs are the same.
- Mathematical ability for making measurements and estimates.
- The ability to work with technical instructions and diagrams.
- Team-work skills and the ability to work under your own initiative.
- Excellent attention to detail.
- A fully responsible attitude to your own work.
- Good ability with manual work.
- Strict adherence to industry-approved safe working practices.
Working ConditionsGas service technicians work on-site. That is wherever the job is taking place, be it a private home, business or building site. For this reason, a van is the most essential piece of equipment, in order to travel to a job and to store all the necessary tools and parts. Working with gas appliances is physically intensive and can involve periods of working on one’s knees in cramped conditions. Additionally, hours can be long with early starts and late finishes in the case of complex or emergency jobs. Usual business hours do apply but gas emergencies can happen at any hour of the day, so shift work is common in companies dealing in this area. As with most manual occupations, the demographic of gas service technicians is mostly male. There is no obstruction to women joining the workforce, however, and it is not exclusively male.
ExperienceIn order to gain the essential ACS and Gas Safe Registration you need to prove that you not only have the relevant qualifications but also enough experience working in the field. Your college can put you in touch with registered gas service firms looking for trainees or you may apply directly to firms to ask about apprenticeships and then apply for college.
EmployersBritish Gas is the largest UK national employer of gas service technicians. Alternatively, countless gas and plumbing firms, ranging from just a couple of employees upwards, use gas service technicians. Check your local company directory and apply direct.
Career ProgressionQualified plumbers, engineers and building service technicians can apply for ACS registration in a separate category. They must complete a series of ACS study and assessment modules to gain entry to the Gas Safe register and to work as gas service technicians. Some gas service technicians go on to start up their own gas service company. You can complete additional qualifications to work in specialised areas such as:
- Designing complex gas delivery systems.
- Assessing energy efficiency in large-scale developments.
- Working with renewable energy sources such as solar or ground heated power.
Dan Shanks, 35, is Company Director of Go with the Flow Gas Plumbing and Heating firm.