Gas Technician: Employment Info & Requirements
See what it takes to become a gas technician and find out what your job responsibilities would be. Learn about the career prospects and salary potential to see if being a gas technician is the right decision for you.
Gas technicians work in commercial establishments, industrial buildings, and residences to install, service, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair gas systems and appliances. The systems and appliances that gas technicians typically work on include boilers, ovens, central heating systems, gas fires, water heaters, shower units, and so on. Common duties of a gas technician include installing and connecting appliances to gas, water, and electrical supplies, performing maintenance checks on systems, testing safety devices and controls, identifying gas leaks, replacing or repairing parts, and recording details of repairs.
Become a Gas Technician
The educational requirements to work as a gas technician vary by employer and with the exact duties of the role; typically, you'll need at least a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Many jobs offer on-the-job training or apprenticeship; training in a one- or two-year program from a technical college or vocational school will increase your competitiveness in the field of gas technology. Courses that will help prepare you for a career as a gas technician include appliance installation and repair, refrigeration and air conditioning, electrical theory, gas fundamentals, and occupational math.
Basic math and mechanical skills are required for a career as a gas technician. An ability to communicate, both with customers and co-workers, will also be helpful for a career in gas technology. In addition, strong English reading, writing, and speaking abilities are important.
Employment and Economic Outlook
Because gas technicians perform a variety of repair work, the employment of gas technicians from 2012-2022 is expected to increase at varying rates. The employment of home appliance repairers is projected to grow by 1%, general maintenance and repair workers could see opportunities increase by 9%, and industrial machinery mechanics are expected to enjoy employment growth of 19%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. Median annual wages for these positions were $35,170 for home appliance repairers, $35,210 for general maintenance and repair workers and $46,920 for industrial machinery mechanics as of May 2012, according to the BLS.
Alternative Career Options
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer
Workers in this occupation install, inspect, troubleshoot, and repair heating, cooling, refrigeration, and ventilation systems for residential or commercial customers. Certificate and associate's degree programs are offered in this field; on-the-job training and apprenticeships are also sometimes ways to break into the field. State and local licensing requirements may apply, and some heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers need to have Environmental Protection Agency certification to handle refrigerants. This career field offers 21% job growth from 2012-2022, as predicted by the BLS. The agency also reports that this occupation paid a median salary of $43,640 in 2012.
Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of electronic equipment for a variety of purposes, using specialized diagnostic tools and common hand tools to get the job done. For example, they may work on transportation equipment, like sonar or navigational tools. Some relevant post-secondary education is typically required for employment; on-the-job training also takes place for new hires. Professional certification is also available. The BLS reports that electrical and electronics installers and repairers can expect job growth of 1% from 2012-2022. Pay can vary slightly by area of specialization; for example, the BLS reported that those who worked in transportation earned median pay of $51,240, while those who worked on commercial or industrial equipment earned $52,650.
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