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Gas Service Technician

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Gas Service Technician

The Work

Gas service technicians, also known as gas fitters, work in customers’ homes, installing, servicing and repairing gas appliances and systems, including:

  • gas fires
  • boilers and cookers
  • central heating systems
  • shower units.

Your duties as a gas service technician could include:

  • installing and connecting appliances
  • carrying out scheduled maintenance checks on systems and equipment
  • testing controls and safety devices to make sure they are working properly
  • searching for and repairing gas leaks, using computerised fault-finding equipment
  • replacing or repairing faulty or old parts
  • checking parts are in stock using a laptop PC or hand-held computer
  • recording details of work you have carried out.

You would also give customers quotes for job costs and timescales, sell additional company services and occasionally deal with complaints.

Hours and Environment

Your working hours would usually be 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may have to work on a rota if your employer offers 24-hour emergency cover.

Most of your work would take place in customers’ homes or premises. The job can be physically demanding and may involve working in confined spaces or at heights.

Skills and Interests


  • good practical skills
  • good communication, organisational and problem solving skills
  • basic IT skills and good maths skills for making calculations
  • the ability to follow technical layouts and diagrams
  • a polite, friendly and professional manner
  • the ability to work alone, or in a small team
  • the confidence to take decisions and accept responsibility
  • an awareness of safe working practices, industry regulations and environmental guidelines.

Entry

To qualify as a gas service technician you need the following:

  • NVQ Level 3 in Domestic Natural Gas Installation (you normally need to be employed by a company to complete this)
  • Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) registration
  • entry on to the Gas Safe Register (formerly Corgi registration).

See the training and development section below for more details.

You could get into this career through an Apprenticeship scheme with a gas service engineering or plumbing firm. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information on Apprenticeships, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

Some utility companies offer national apprenticeship schemes in a variety of technical and engineering roles. For more information, visit the Energy and Utility Skills website.

Alternatively, you could start by completing the City & Guilds Technical Certificate in Domestic Natural Gas Installation (course code 6132). This would teach you some of the skills needed to work in the industry, but you would not be able to apply for ACS registration or entry on to the Gas Safe Register without the full NVQ 3 qualification.

Industry bodies strongly recommend that you gain a work placement or job with a gas servicing firm as soon as possible after starting the Technical Certificate. This would allow you to study for the full NVQ. Your college may help you to find a placement, but you could also contact companies directly.

You may have an advantage when looking for work if you have experience in related areas, such as:

  • engineering
  • building services engineering
  • plumbing.

You may need a driving licence, as this job normally involves travelling to customer's premises.

Training

As a trainee gas service technician, you would work towards the City & Guilds NVQ in Domestic Natural Gas Installation and Maintenance (course code 6012) at levels 2 and 3. Units include:

  • designing, commissioning and de-commissioning natural gas systems
  • installing, servicing and maintaining domestic and complex natural gas systems
  • applying safety checks to all gas related work through testing and monitoring.

Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS)
ACS is a nationally recognised scheme which demonstrates your ability to work safely with gas systems and equipment. You will need it to join the Gas Safe Register (formerly known as Corgi Registration).

You must complete ACS safety assessments covering your specific areas of work and the types of appliances you service (the City & Guilds NVQ has the ACS built into its training programme). If you have qualifications from any other fields, for example engineering, you will have to complete separate ACS assessments at an approved centre.

A training provider will put you in one of three categories when you apply for ACS assessment:

  • experienced operative whose existing certification has expired, including ACoPs (this also applies to overseas-qualified technicians)
  • qualified worker from a related industry, such as heating engineering, refrigeration, welding or plumbing
  • new entrant to the industry.

For details of ACS approved centres, see the Energy & Utility Skills website.

Gas Safe Register (formerly Corgi registration)
You and your company are legally required to be on the Gas Safe Register if you are working in gas installation and servicing work. To apply for registration, you need to show that you have appropriate experience, qualifications and ACS assessments for your area of work. To find out more about registration requirements, see the Gas Safe Register website.

If you work with oil-fired equipment, such as heating systems and oil storage tanks, you could gain accreditation with the Oil Firing Technical Association for the Petroleum Industry (OFTEC). Contact OFTEC for more information.

Part L of the Building Regulations – Energy Efficiency
The C & G Certificate in Energy Efficiency for Domestic Heating (6084) will give you the knowledge and competence you need to meet Part L of the Building Regulations.

Environmental Technologies
The government has recently set tagets for greater energy efficiency in a bid to combat climate change. With further training, you may be able to install and maintain renewable energy technologies like solar powered heating systems. To find out more about this growing area of work, see the Environmental Technologies section of the SummitSkills website.

Opportunities

You will find most vacancies with British Gas. Check with their recruitment centre for details of vacancies.

You may also find work with manufacturers of industrial and domestic gas appliances, retailers, and specialist servicing and repair companies. Vacancies are advertised through Jobcentre Plus and in the local press.

With experience, you could move into gas engineering or supervisory and management roles. Some employers may sponsor you to study for higher level qualifications. You could also set up your own gas fitting business.

Annual Income


  • British Gas apprenticeship salaries are around £15,000 a year.
  • Qualified technicians can earn between £19,000 and £30,000 a year.

Bonuses, shift allowances and overtime will increase basic salaries.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.
 

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