Gas Engineer

Introduction

Gas engineers have a wide range of roles within the gas industry. They may specialise in the exploration, transmission or use of gas, or design equipment and facilities used to extract and store gas.

Also known as

  • Engineer, Gas

Work Activities

As a Gas Engineer, you will have a wide variety of roles within the gas industry.

Gas Engineers who specialise in exploration design construct and maintain the terminals, equipment and facilities used to extract and store gas.

You will use computer-aided design (CAD) technology as the standard tool for designing safer and more efficient equipment and facilities.

Gas Engineers who deal with transportation and distribution are involved in many different activities, including pipeline design, construction and maintenance.

If you develop sections of the network, you may begin by building computer models of the new section. You examine local plans that show existing buildings, water pipelines and electricity cables.

You notify the local authority, and any residents and Shopkeepers who may be affected, and ensure that sufficient labour and materials are available. While work is in progress, you will visit the site and resolve any technical difficulties.

Gas Supply Specialists are responsible for either the control of gas flow or laying new pipelines and replacing existing ones.

Some Gas Engineers are based in a control room where you monitor gas flow and pressure by means of visual display unit screens. You work on systems control, checking the compressor systems and valves that regulate the flow of gas throughout the UK.

Gas Engineers who specialise in gas usage have knowledge of gas burners, plant design, gas supply, combustion, thermodynamics and manufacturing processes.

Some Gas Engineers visit manufacturing companies, hospitals and other large-scale gas users to advise on how they could use gas more efficiently.

This involves conducting surveys of current fuel use and possibly comparing gas with other fuels. Where appropriate, you will design and arrange for the installation of new equipment such as boilers or heating systems.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Gas Engineer, you need:

  • an interest in maths, science and technology
  • to be able to solve problems, using a combination of logical, analytical thinking, as well as creativity and imagination
  • to be committed to keeping up to date with advances in this fast-changing area
  • an excellent grasp of modern technology, including the ability to use computers
  • organisational skills to plan your own time and to co-ordinate resources
  • a willingness to take on responsibility and to lead and motivate other people
  • to be able to work as part of a team
  • the ability to encourage other people's ideas
  • to be flexible and able to compromise
  • strong communication skills to write reports and to explain complex information to people from non-technical backgrounds
  • a thorough knowledge of safety legislation and procedures - safety is a very important issue in all areas of gas engineering
  • to be able to train and supervise other staff, such as Technicians and Craftspeople, making sure they are fully aware of safety legislation

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £24,000 - £26,000
  • With experience: £29,000 - £32,500
  • Senior Gas Engineers earn £35,000 - £37,500

Hours of work

Gas Engineers usually work around 35-40 hours Monday to Friday. However, early starts, late finishes, stand by rotas and some weekend work may be required.

Engineers who work in gas extraction may spend up to two weeks at a time on board an offshore gas terminal.

Where could I work?

Employers include:

  • gas distribution companies
  • GL Noble Denton
  • contracting companies
  • gas appliance manufacturers
  • firms in the chemical and petroleum industries

Opportunities for Gas Engineers occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Universal Jobmatch website.

Vacancies can also be found through specialist engineering recruitment agencies, internet job boards and the websites of professional engineering bodies and gas/energy organisations.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Gas Engineers usually complete a relevant engineering degree, foundation degree or HND, such as offshore engineering, and mechanical or chemical engineering with an energy content.

It's essential to check prospectuses carefully to make sure the course you choose is relevant to the branch of engineering you want to follow.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

An Intermediate Apprenticeship is also a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

After completing your A levels, you might be able to get onto a Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area.

Training

Some graduates join graduate training schemes, which offer structured training and experience.

Depending on their level of entry, engineers can gain Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) professional status. Both are highly regarded by employers throughout industry.

To register as a CEng or an IEng, you must join a relevant, professional engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council, such as the Energy Institute.

To become a CEng or an IEng, you need to demonstrate the appropriate competence and commitment. The standards for this are set out in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC document, which can be downloaded from their website.

UK-SPEC and the engineering institution you've joined can tell you which qualifications are accredited or approved towards CEng or IEng status. Your engineering institution will also advise you on, and process, your application.

Routes to CEng status include completing:

  • an accredited honours degree in engineering or technology, plus either an appropriate Masters degree or Engineering Doctorate (EngD) accredited by a professional engineering institution, or appropriate further learning to Masters level
  • or, an accredited integrated MEng degree

Routes to IEng status include completing:

  • an accredited Bachelors or honours degree in engineering or technology
  • or, an HNC, HND or foundation degree in engineering or technology, plus appropriate further learning to degree level
  • or, an NVQ level 4, which has been approved by a licensed engineering institution

However, you can still become a CEng or an IEng if you don't have these academic qualifications. Further information about the assessment process can be found in UK-SPEC.

Health and safety is an important part of working in the gas industry. Any gas engineer who works on a gas site must hold a valid Utility SHEA (Gas) Passport (which is usually delivered as a one-day course).

Work Experience

Previous experience working in an engineering role such as in electrical or mechanical would be really useful for this career.

Progression

Depending on their qualification, Gas Engineers can progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of engineering projects and teams of Engineers.

Some Engineers choose to become self-employed or take contract work on a freelance basis.

Qualifications

To enter a relevant degree course in engineering, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • maths and a science or technology subject, eg, physics or chemistry, are normally required at A level
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

Other qualifications, such as a relevant BTEC level 3 qualification or the International Baccalaureate Diploma are often accepted. Check prospectuses carefully.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

To get onto an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need at least 2 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Engineering) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Distance learning

The Robert Gordon University offers an MSc in Oil and Gas Engineering by distance learning.

The University of Aberdeen offers an MSc in Oil and Gas Structural Engineering by distance learning.

Training

Information on pathways to registration as a Chartered (CEng) or Incorporated (IEng) Engineer can be found on the Engineering Council's website.

Statistics

  • 16% of people in occupations such as gas engineer are self-employed.
  • 6% work part-time.
  • 17% have flexible hours.
  • 3% of employees work on a temporary basis.

Further Information

Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

For more information on the institution(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Engineer Jobs

Publisher: Venture Marketing Group

Email: ner@vmgl.com

Website: www.engineerjobs.co.uk

Getting into Engineering Courses

Author: James Burnett Publisher: Trotman

Website: www.mpw.ac.uk/university-guides/getting-into/engineering-courses/

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500

Website: www.engc.org.uk

Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377

Email: info@etcni.org.uk

Website: www.etcni.org.uk

Utility Week

Publisher: Faversham House

Website: www.utilityweek.co.uk

Energy & Utility Skills

Skills for the gas, power, waste management and water industries

Address: Friars Gate, 1011 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 4BN

Tel: 0845 0779922

Email: enquiries@euskills.co.uk

Website: www.euskills.co.uk/careers

Cogent Skills

Science industries

Address: Unit 5, Mandarin Court, Centre Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1GG

Tel: 01925 515200

Website: www.cogent-ssc.com

Energy Institute

Address: 61 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7AR

Tel: 020 7467 7100

Email: info@energyinst.org.uk

Website: www.energyinst.org.uk

Energy Networks Association (ENA)

Address: 6th Floor, Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF

Tel: 020 7706 5100

Email: info@energynetworks.org

Website: www.energynetworks.org

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

Welcome to Careers Wales

Please select your language

English