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Heating & Ventilation Fitter Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Heating & Ventilation Fitter. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Heating & Ventilation Fitter
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Heating & Ventilation Fitter Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Heating and ventilatiing fitters install heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in all types of new building and upgrade and repair systems in older buildings. The materials they work with include steel, copper, iron, plastic and stainless steel.

Fitting involves installation of boilers, radiators, pumps and of pipe-work to carry the fluids and gasses required. The piped systems may be serving a chilled water air conditioning system and/or a central heating system, or could be for transporting natural gas.

Welding is an important part of the work, and involves joining metal parts by applying intense heat, so that they flow together and become permanently joined, forming load-bearing, leak-proof joints. Electric arc or gas flames are used.

Ductwork is used to provide clean air or remove used air from areas within buildings. Ductwork installers carry out this work.

Fitters and welders work to plans and specifications which detail where all components should go, the type of pipe-work required and where joints and bends are needed.

Once the system is installed it must be tested and fitters need to understand the limitations and properties of the materials used to manufacture the pipework.

Hours and Environment

The basic working week is 38 hours. However, many craftsmen work around 45 hours.

A lot of time will be spent indoors, either in new or existing buildings, but some work may be outside, working on buildings under construction where you will be exposed to the elements. As a large part of the work involves installing pipework, this will often mean working in cramped conditions. It may also be necessary to work from ladders or scaffolding.

It will be necessary to wear protective clothing such as safety helmets, masks or goggles.

Skills and Interests

To be a heating and ventilating fitter you should:

  • have practical skills and enjoy working with your hands
  • be logical and methodical and enjoy problem solving
  • be good at maths and be accurate with measurements and calculations
  • be able to follow detailed diagrams and specifications
  • be able to work in a team
  • be capable of physically demanding work
  • have a head for heights
  • have good eyesight and colour vision
  • be safety conscious.


There are no set entry requirements for courses and apprenticeships, but normally you will need at least four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), or equivalent vocational qualifications. Maths, English, science, and design and technology subjects may be useful for parts of the job that involve measurements, and for theoretical training.

Mature entrants should check with individual providers on entry requirements, as it may be necessary to be in related employment or have relevant experience in order to be accepted onto courses.


NVQ/SVQs are available at Level 2 in:

  • Mechanical Engineering Services Heating and Ventilating Installation: Industrial and Commercial, Domestic or Ductwork
  • Mechanical Engineering Services Heating and Ventilating: Maintenance of System Components.
  • and at Level 3 in:
  • Mechanical Engineering Services Heating and Ventilating Installation: Industrial and Commercial, Domestic or Ductwork
  • Mechanical Engineering Services Heating and Ventilating: Rectification of Systems.

As well as assessing your practical skills, the NVQ in England and Wales will incorporate the appropriate technical knowledge-based certificates. At Level 2 these are:

  • Certificate in Heating and Ventilating Installation: Domestic Installation, Industrial and Commercial Installation or Ductwork
  • Certificate in Heating and Ventilating: Maintenance of System Components.

And at Level 3 these are:

  • Certificate in Heating and Ventilating Installation: Domestic Installation, Industrial and Commercial Installation or Ductwork Systems Installation
  • Certificate in Heating and Ventilating: Rectification of Systems.

The NVQ/SVQ is normally available on a part-time or day-release basis through colleges and training centres. If you are already employed within the industry but do not have qualifications, you can work directly towards the NVQ/SVQs. Mature entrants wishing to enter the industry should check entry requirements with training providers, as mentioned in the entry section.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships may be available for people aged 16-24.

For details see: Modern Apprenticeships (England); Modern Apprenticeships (Scotland);
Modern Apprenticeships (Wales); or Modern Apprenticeships (Northern Ireland).

Apprenticeships in the industry are generally for four years, broken down into block or day release at college and work-based learning on site with an employer.

For engineers working in the domestic field, stringent controls on the energy efficiency of domestic boilers are being introduced through Building Regulations from April 2005. To meet these new standards the Energy Saving Trust, in conjunction with local Learning and Skills Councils and partners, are providing one-day training and assessment workshops for gas installers, plumbers and domestic heating engineers. The workshops lead to the City & Guilds Certificate in Energy Efficiency for Domestic Heating (6084). At the moment the award is a voluntary qualification. For details see Further Information below.


Employers range from specialist heating and ventilation firms to large organisations such as local authorities and health authorities. A number of fitters are self-employed. It is also common for several fitters to work together for a firm as sub-contractors.

Because of the increased demand in servicing and maintenance areas, this area of work is less affected by economic fluctuation than many areas in construction.

Promotion is possible to foreman/woman or site supervisor. It is also possible to undertake further study for Edexcel national or higher national qualifications. This would give access to degree level studies and employment as contract manager or design engineer. With enough experience and responsibility it would then be possible to apply for recognition as a chartered engineer.

Annual Income

This section is intended as a guideline only.

Craftsmen receive around £18,179 based on a 38-hour week. However, most craftsmen work an average of around 45 hours a week and this, inclusive of overtime premium rates, would result in an annual figure of around £23,000.

Further information

Summit Skills*
Tel: 08000 688 336

Engineering Services Training Trust Ltd (ESTTL)*
Gear House
Saltmeadows Road
Tel: 0191 490 3306

Energy Efficiency Helpline
Tel: 08080 100 222

Other Useful Heating & Ventilation Fitter Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Heating & Ventilation Fitter job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Heating & Ventilation Fitter Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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