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Gas mains layer Gas networks operative (main laying)

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Gas mains layers install and maintain the pipelines that supply homes and businesses with gas. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £25,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Most employers will expect you to have 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English, maths and science or engineering.

Previous experience or qualifications in construction, roadworks, building services engineering, plumbing, or with another utility like water, will help.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • practical skills
  • the ability to follow technical plans and diagrams
  • a polite and professional manner with the public

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • checking technical drawings and plans to trace where you need to dig
  • digging holes by hand or using mechanical digging equipment
  • laying or repairing pipes and mains systems
  • connecting homes and businesses to the network
  • installing and maintaining gas pressure control equipment
  • responding to emergency gas escapes
  • filling in holes and repairing pavements and gardens once a job is complete

4. Salary

Starter: £25,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £40,000

Overtime and shift allowances could greatly increase your salary.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 37 hours a week. Overtime is common. You’ll usually work a rota with a mixture of day shifts and some unsocial hours, as work is often carried out at night or at the weekend.

You’ll mainly work outdoors, in all weather conditions. You’ll be provided with protective clothing like safety boots and high-visibility vests. The work can be physically demanding.

Your employer will supply a van and equipment, so a driving licence could be useful.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader and possibly into management. 

With further study you could move into field or project engineering.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018