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Heat pumps are a key technology for low-carbon heat in commercial and domestic properties. They also have strong backing from the government, which aims to increase the rate of installation to 600,000 a year by 2028.
But this number is held back by a shortage of engineers. For example, research from the charity Nesta has found the UK will need an extra 27,000 trained people to make this target feasible – that’s an increase of 4,000-6,000 per year.
So, there’s huge potential in this sector for people interested in switching careers through dedicated heat pump courses. And because it’s a skilled trade that’s in high demand, you can expect to earn well and enjoy good job security.
Being a relatively new trade, it’s difficult to give a concrete figure. Most online recruiters list fully qualified installer positions between £30,000-£45,000, though it’s not uncommon to see openings with a salary nearer to £60,000. The final figure will ultimately depend on the demand in your local area.
This is a trade with firm government backing and the number of engineers needed to keep ‘net zero by 2050’ on track is huge, making this one of the most in-demand trades.
Be aware that demand is also being driven by customers, with online searches for heat pumps rising significantly since 2020.
This is a trade that will require a good understanding of existing heating systems and electrical design. Expect to study hard if you’re completely new to the heating and hot water sector. You’ll need to consider becoming certified with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
Air source heat pump training courses typically run for three days, with some of it based in the classroom. Proving you’re able to install competently might also mean going on site as part of a practical exam.
As this is a specialist part of the hot water and heating industry, you’ll need to have one of the following entry requirements:
Entry requirements for heat pump engineer training are more restrictive because you’re working with gas and water, but the rewards are typically higher than other trades. Consider if you have the time to invest into this career before choosing a relevant course.
Heat pumps are still relatively new but that gives you plenty of scope to branch out once you’ve qualified. To begin with, it’s advisable to get some more hands-on experience with an existing business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eventually start your own company and take advantage of the high demand. Interest is only going to increase among consumers, so now is a great time to change career and become a heat pump installer.