Gas engineers design equipment used to extract and store gas and also implement and test efficient methods in the exploration, transmission or use of gas.
They can also be known as petroleum engineers.
Gas engineers can perform a variety of roles in the gas industry. They can assess wells and drilling sites and modify gas pumps as well as being directly involved with the extraction, processing and transportation of natural gas. A gas engineer can also fit, test and repair gas appliance and piping in homes and businesses.
- Some gas engineers specialise in exploration. They can design, construct and maintain the terminals used to extract gas.
- Some use CAD technology to develop tools, machines, and equipment to extract gas products in the most efficient way.
- Some are involved in transportation and distribution including pipeline design, construction and maintenance and replacement of existing ones.
- Gas supply specialists are responsible for the control of gas flow.
- Gas engineers offer advice to large scale gas users such as businesses on how to use gas efficiently.
- Gas engineers visit customer premises, both domestic and commercial to fit, service and repair boilers and heating systems that have broken down.
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for gas engineers
As a gas engineer you need:
- Practical or technical skills
- Patience and a logical approach to your work
- Flexibility and ability to compromise
- Knowledge of safety issues
- Organisational and time management skills
- An interest in Maths, Science and Technology
- Good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work in teams
- Problem solving skills
- Management/leadership skills
- General IT skills including CAD technology
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of gas engineers
- Gas producing companies around the world and companies that provide support to these organisations
- Offshore gas terminal companies
- Gas distribution companies
- Gas appliance manufacturers and firms
- Design consultancies and project management firms
- Local authorities
Job vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, gas/energy organisations and specialist engineering recruitment agencies.
England and Wales
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into a career as gas engineer for both university graduates and school leavers.
Gas engineers usually complete a three-year BEng or a four-year MEng degree course (mechanical or chemical with an energy content), foundation degree or HND.
You can also get into civil, structural or geotechnical engineering through an apprenticeship, or school leaver programme, but the amount of responsibility you get in the workplace depends on your level of education and experience.
For entry to a relevant degree course the usual requirement is 3 A levels, normally to include Maths, and a Science or Technology subject, often Physics. GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C or above are also required along with a good mix of other subjects, including English, Maths and a science subject.
Other qualifications such as BTEC level 3 National or the International Baccalaureate Diploma are often accepted. Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
In Scotland, entry to a relevant engineering degree is normally with 4/5 Highers (A-C) to include Maths and either Physics or Engineering Science, plus a mix of other subjects at National 5, including English. Although the usual qualification for entry into this career is a degree, it may be possible to enter with a HND or HNC or via a Modern Apprenticeship.
In all cases it's important to check individual university/college prospectuses carefully, as specific requirements may well differ.