What does a heating and ventilation engineer do?
Heating and ventilation engineers install and maintain the heating and air conditioning systems found in larger buildings – from offices and schools to shops and sports centres.
There is a variety of roles in the industry, for example:
- heating installers fit heating equipment and pipework systems in buildings like office blocks, hospitals and schools
- ductwork installers put in ductwork and ventilation systems in large buildings like sports stadia, airport terminals and shopping centres
- domestic heating installers fit central heating systems in homes and make sure they work properly
- service engineers plan and carry out regular maintenance and repairs on all systems to make sure they are working safely and efficiently
- commissioning engineers make sure systems meet their original design specification by testing and checking carefully that they do what the customer needs them to do
- control engineers design and install the control panels that operate and adjust heating systems
Energy efficiency is extremely important and part of your job would be to make sure systems work as efficiently as possible. This is to reduce fossil fuel consumption, carbon emissions and help people save energy.
You would also work with renewable energy heating systems like ground source heat pumps, which take the heat from underground and pump it to the surface into buildings to supply warm air.
What do I need to do to become a heating and ventilation engineer?
Most people start as an apprenticeship from school or college and train on the job.
If you are not already working or training in the industry, you may be able to take a Level 2 college course, which would give you some of the knowledge and skills needed to help find a trainee job.
- Level 2 Certificate in Heating and Ventilation Studies
- Level 2 Certificate in Plumbing and Heating
- Level 2 Diploma in Access to Building Services Engineering
- Level 2 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
- Level 2 Diploma in Heating and Ventilating
Where to find out more
Where could I be working?
You would travel in your local or regional area but if you work for a big national company, you may have to work away from home at certain times, anywhere in the country. You're likely to need a driving licence.
You work in all types of buildings like offices, shopping centres and schools. You might also work on construction sites, which could be dusty and cold, and sometimes work in cramped and uncomfortable spaces to get access to heating systems and equipment.