Is heat pump installation training worth it?
We’re all being encouraged to replace our boilers with heat pumps to help the UK meet its Net Zero targets by 2050. The prime minister’s speech in the Commons last week has brought the issue to the fore again as he’s put the date for banning the installation of new fossil fuel boilers back five years, to 2030.
Is not bad news for heat pumps, however, as the government has also increased the funding homeowners receive under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, from £5,000 per household to £7,500.
Where does this leave you if you’re a gas engineer or new entrant to the BSE sector?
Taking the decision to re-train or commit yourself to several years training or an apprenticeship on leaving school is a big decision and one that’s not to be taken lightly.
Here are some points to consider:
- What will you earn as a heat pump engineer?
- Will there be a demand for your services?
How much do heat pump installers earn?
Checkatrade.com is a good place to look when you’re searching as they regularly update the information on their site. According to Checkatrade, a newly qualified gas engineer makes £19K a year, whereas a newly qualified heat pump engineer makes £29K. The gap is even greater if you compare the pay of experienced engineers who make £30K and £45K respectively.
What is the demand for heat pumps in the UK?
The government’s aim is to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. According to several sources, currently there are only 3,000 qualified heat pump engineers in the UK. This clearly isn’t nearly enough if we’re meet the targets. The construction industry is already suffering labour shortages - those 3,000 engineers must be in high demand!
The increase in funding for households applying for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will only fuel the need for more trained installers, so there’s never been a better time to bite the bullet.
Taking the significant increase in salary into account, the time and money you’d need to invest in re-training would be earnt back in a couple of years and you’d be future proofing your career for good.
Gas boilers will be around for years to come, but if you can add another string to your bow that supports the UK’s drive towards low-carbon heating - and make a healthy increase in earnings on the way - why wouldn’t you?
If you’re a recent school leaver or considering a new career in the industry, you might be interested the new The Low-Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship which has been designed to train up a new generation of workers to support the UK’s green economy.
MCS, (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), which led the development of the new apprenticeship, estimates that the UK will require 39,000 qualified heat pump installers by the end of the decade. MCS CEO, Ian Rippon, said:
“It is critical that we have dedicated pathways to develop an army of renewable heating installers with certifiable skills who know how to design and fit these systems efficiently.”
You can find out more about the new apprenticeship here