If you are considering a move into the gas industry, following your Armed Forces career, there are plenty of options available to you.
By Sue Mason
Based on research, EngineeringUK estimates that 203,000 people with Level 3+ engineering skills will be needed every year, through to 2024, to meet demand. (Although, this ﬁgure applies to all engineers; not just those in the utility sector.)
Perhaps you like the idea of becoming self-employed and choosing your own working hours?
If so, this could be the right route for you. The work can be interesting and challenging which means you can utilise transferable skills acquired in the Forces such as problem-solving and creative skills and, of course, you will be helping others.
What does the work involve?
Your day-to-day work could see you installing, maintaining, and repairing pipelines and gas appliances. Working with this potentially hazardous substance requires a specialist who is knowledgeable and able to follow safety procedures and regulations. As advising customers is often part of the role, you will also need good communication skills.
What are the requirements and how do you go about getting started?
The Government stipulates that to qualify, you will need ‘a recognised gas industry Level 3 qualiﬁ cation’ and ‘Gas Safe registration’ which was previously known as CORGI registration.
In order to become Gas Safe registered, you will need a qualiﬁ cation that is speciﬁ c to the type of appliances you are hoping to work with, such as boilers, for example. You could have your knowledge and skills assessed via the Accredited Certiﬁ cation Scheme (ACS), should your qualiﬁ cation not cover all necessary safety obligations. You will also need a good understanding of maths and science.
What salary can you expect to earn?
Gas engineer salaries tend to relate to experience levels, with qualiﬁed engineers typically earning between £24,500 and £31,000 per annum and
those that are highly experienced securing around £38,000. (There is often the opportunity to earn more, whether by way of shift allowances or overtime or bonuses.)
As experience and expertise is built up, opportunities to progress into management are more likely to materialise. If you are looking for a faster way to move forward, courses and accreditation can help. (The self-employed option requires a great deal of experience.)
Salary ﬁgures from: www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
Resources and training providers:
Energy & Utility Skills
Brookhouse Training Centre