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Boiler Engineer: What Qualifications Do You Need
Posted by: Richard Firth on: 16 February 2021
To become a boiler engineer, also known as a gas engineer, you will need education and specific training. Like all skilled professionals, boiler engineers must be trained so as to work legally in the United Kingdom. With natural gas being the most commonly used form of energy in the UK, the demand for skilled workers is high. So what is a boiler engineer, and what education and qualifications do they need? Continue reading further to find the answers to these questions and more.
With over 20 million gas customers located in the UK, installation, service and repair is needed for new and existing gas boilers and appliances. From boilers and gas cookers to water and wall heaters, there is a variety of equipment to work on, especially since each one has their own set of certifications. The demand for trained gas engineers to install and work on this equipment is very high and there is no shortage of jobs.
Thinking of becoming a boiler engineer, it is important to see if the job suits you. First and foremost, practicality while problem solving is important. If you possess analytical thinking skills that allow you to work efficiently and in a timely manner, then gas engineering is for you. Other skills that a gas engineer needs are good time management and people skills as well as the following:
A gas engineer will experience daily tasks that include installing systems and appliances, ordering and replacing parts, repairing existing units, testing controls, and performing preventative maintenance. You will also be expected to keep and maintain reports for each job carried out. Other daily tasks might include:
Boiler engineers that decide to be self-employed will need additional skills that will include networking, marketing, sales and project management. These additional skills will help an independent gas engineer run their business smoothly, as well as be successful and trusted in their local community that they service.
Whether you are just starting out or you have been an engineer in the gas industry for awhile and need to renew qualifications, training is available in various ways. There is college, apprenticeship, Accredited Certification Scheme(ACS) or a Managed Learning Programme(MLP) to help you become a boiler engineer.
A Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating will teach the skills needed to become a trainee with a gas company. Entry requirements for a Level 2 diploma will be 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D). In order to be fully qualified as a boiler engineer, one of the following will be needed:
Generally you will need to be employed in the industry of gas in order to complete the level qualification. It is best to choose a course that offers work placement either during training or after. Requirements for entry to Level 3 courses are 4 to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).
For a gas engineering apprenticeship, you will need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent. This will need to include English and Maths for advanced apprenticeships. Apprenticeships usually take 18 months to complete and include on-the-job training as well as some time spent at a college or training centre.
Apprenticeships are a more traditional approach to entering into the gas engineer career field. Placement comes within the company you currently work for or applying to. The on-the-job training in conjunction with the courses is very comprehensive and offers a salary. Apprenticeships are hard to come by because they are paid positions. Due to this, they are quite popular and the competition is stiff to obtain one.
With an ACS provider, you can acquire a recognised competency certificate or renew it. This assessment is intended for experienced engineers working in related industries like heating and ventilation or plumbing.
Managed learning programmes have gained popularity in recent years due their fast track approach. From 15 to 25 weeks, these programmes involve a combination of on site experience combined with courses and assessments. Both new entrants and candidates with related experience can gain the comprehensive training quickly and be working in less than 6 months.
There is an array of certifications in gas engineering. The reason for this is that the certifications are specific to the type of appliance, and training courses will vary. As for core qualifications of gas engineering course, those are listed below.
Upon completion of training, you need to obtain your ACS in Gas in order to apply to be on the Gas Safety Register. Passing your ACS shows that your qualifications are up to date with the current standards, practices and technology. The ACS will need to be retaken every 12 months due to the gas industry continuously evolving. As for the Gas Safety Register, it is the official gas safety authority in the UK. Upon registry acceptance, you will be able to legally work as a boiler engineer in the United Kingdom.
Additional certs can always be added to specialise you within the gas engineering career field. The career is flexible, allowing you to work on any number of appliances and subsets. With the appropriate qualifications, you can easily grow your areas of expertise. Since the ACS certification must be renewed often, you will have the opportunity to review how your career is progressing in the gas industry. Maybe you are ready for a change and want to work on something different, or maybe your company has expanded its service and product line. Making the switch is easy by simply completing the relevant training and acquire the certifications.
As a boiler engineer, there is no particular path you have to take. You can choose what you want to do as long as you complete the training for it. Whether you want to work independently or you like working with a company, you can have total control of your career as a boiler engineer. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a gas engineer and the courses you would need to take to obtain qualifications, give us a call. Viva Training Academy provides a variety of gas engineering and plumbing courses that offers training for new entrants as well as those needing to renew their certifications.