The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
A Modern Apprentice may start on the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £5.28 an hour (1 April 2023). Some employers may pay their apprentices more.
Salaries for experienced gas heating engineers can be between £23,000 and £38,000 a year before overtime. Some companies also provide a car or a van and benefits such as a pension.
You work mainly in private homes or business premises but occasionally on building sites.
You pick up appliances and parts at your base then travel to the customer’s premises.
You usually work regular hours but there might be some evening and weekend work.
You do a lot of lifting, bending and kneeling.
You may be exposed to dust and fumes.
You may need to crawl under floorboards in confined spaces.
You can start through an apprenticeship with Scottish Gas (part of British Gas) or through a Modern Apprenticeship with another company.
Entry requirements are usually 4 subjects at National 5 including English, Maths and preferably a science or technological subject.
Scottish Gas advertise home installation engineer apprenticeships through their British Gas Jobs website (see address below). They recruit on an ongoing basis. Entry is very competitive and if you are still at school or college you should apply well before you are due to leave.
You could get an apprenticeship with another company.
If you work with another company it is important that the company is registered with the Gas Safe Register. You can get more information on the Gas Safe Register website.
You should be physically fit as the job involves heavy lifting.
You normally need a full UK driving licence.
Because you will be working in individual homes, you may need to apply to Disclosure Scotland for entry onto the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme, to show that you are suitable for this type of work.
Many gas service engineers work for large companies such as Scottish Gas (British Gas). Others are employed by private gas fitting firms or by the manufacturers of gas appliances. Employment prospects are good.
a pleasant manner and good customer service skills
maths skills to make calculations
a careful, accurate and methodical approach
good attention to detail.
You need to be able to:
work alone and as part of a time
work to a schedule
understand technical plans and drawings.
Modern Apprenticeship training involves paid work combined with attendance at college or a training academy.
You would work towards City and Guilds Level 3 (SCQF Level 6) Diploma in Domestic Gas Engineering.
Alternatively you could do a Modern Apprenticeship in Plumbing and Heating at SCQF Level 7.
After completing an apprenticeship, all employees working with gas systems or appliances must pass the assessments of the Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme for Individual Gas Fitting Operatives (ACS). This is a legal requirement.
Once qualified, you must join the Gas Safe Register as an individual, even if the company you work for is registered. This is a legal requirement for anyone working on gas appliances and installations.
You may need the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.
With experience you may move into a supervisory or management position.
Some gas heating engineers move into other areas of the industry such as sales.
If you gain qualifications at HNC (SCQF Level 7), HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Level 9-10) level, you could move into building services engineering.
Energy and Utility Skills is the Sector Skills Council for the electricity, gas, waste management and water sectors. Their website Talent Source Network provides information on careers in the energy and utilities sector.