- Work on installing and maintaining gas pipelines for homes and businesses
- Outdoor work, often with shifts and overtime hours
- Good opportunities to progress into supervisory roles or with training, into engineering
As a gas mains layer, you'll install and maintain the pipelines that supply gas to homes and businesses.
- 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
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.
The working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear protective clothing.
To be a gas mains layer, you'll need attention to detail, knowledge of maths, building and construction, the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools, to work well with others, persistence and determination, and patience in stressful situations.
You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in gas industry network operations.
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. Previous experience or qualifications in construction, roadworks, building services, engineering or plumbing will help.
With experience, you could progress to team leader and possibly into management. With further study you could move into field or project engineering.