Gas mains layer

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Gas networks operative (main laying)

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

Salary Range: £25,000 to £40,000

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How to become a gas mains layer

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in gas industry network operations.

This will usually take 1 year to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

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Direct application

You could apply directly to work as a trainee gas mains layer. Most employers will expect you to have 3 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and science or engineering.

Experience and qualifications in construction, roadworks, building services engineering or plumbing will help,

You could also move from another utility, like water.

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Further information

You can find out more about careers in the gas industry from Talent Source Network.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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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.