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Heat Pump Installer

The role of a Heat Pump Installer is to oversee the system installation and commissioning of heat pump systems. They undertake the installation, servicing, repair, and maintenance in accordance with up-to-date manufacturer guidelines, assessing and diagnosing faults.

Heat Pump Installers also highlight and manage risks, ensuring risk assessment and safety plans are in place and will troubleshoot when appropriate. They will liaise closely with and support Coordinators, customer service teams, sales teams and Project Managers and provide a professional customer service.

Man in high-vis jacket installing a heat pump

The information in our job profiles aims to give a general overview of the role and a guideline to what it involves. The content is not intended to be exhaustive and roles will vary depending on the organisation and sector. The salary ranges are a guide only, as these are dependent on the size and location of the organisation.

Salary range for apprentices
£10k – £15k
Salary range for qualified Heat Pump Installers under supervision
£25k – £28k
Salary range for advanced Heat Pump Installers or Technicians
£28k – £34k
Salary range for management or director level
£40k – £65k

How does this role align to the green agenda?

The installation of heat pumps and low-carbon heating systems is vital in decarbonising UK housing stock and commercial buildings, and in achieving our national net zero goals. Heat pumps reduce the carbon footprint of homeowners and business owners, make their properties more energy efficient, provide independence from the national gas grid and reduce heating bills in the long-term. Those who work in green energy are engaged and interested in how things around us work and want to improve or provide better alternatives to improve their functionality, sustainability, and impact on the environment.

Two men in high-visibility jackets working on heat pumps

Skills and capabilities

Technical knowledge

  • Extensive health and safety knowledge
  • Building regulations and construction legislation
  • Electrical, plumbing and hand tool skills
  • IT skills such as customer relationship management system (CRM) and computer-aided design
  • (CAD)
  • A curiosity for and specialist interest in electrical systems, appliances, and water systems
  • Specification / design knowledge of heating and hot systems:
    • Thermodynamics / energy flows
    • Fluid mechanics / pipework and pump sizing
    • Heat emitters / heat exchangers
    • Heat cost calculations

Transferable skills

  • Problem reframing and resolution
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Project management
  • Organising
  • Analytical thinking
  • Relationship development

A positive mindset towards, and a commitment to learning and improving is essential.

A day in the life

A day in the life of a Heat Pump Installer involves many tasks. Larger organisations tend to have more segmented roles, as they have access to more IT-based functions and administrative support staff. In smaller organisations, you would work on a wider variety of tasks, including some paperwork and administrative jobs.

The day may generally begin with communication checks and equipment checks for the upcoming site visit. Standard tasks may include completing health and safety and risk assessment checks on site at arrival, and consulting with colleagues, other trades and the Site Manager, or the customer. A Heat Pump Installer will then perform the repair/servicing itself (examples are listed below). The day will end with work completion checks and further liaison with Site Managers and / or the customer. Finally, the work done will be logged and relevant paperwork / administration will be finalised

Photo of female plumber at work
Typical duties and responsibilities include:
  • Install indoor or outdoor unit / hot water cylinder / buffers / expansion vessels
  • Install / change radiators / radiator pipework / towel rails / underfloor heating / manifolds
  • Fusion welding (for ground-source installations)
  • Ground works, digging trenches and laying pipes for some ground-source installations
  • Drilling / press fitting pipe work / pressure testing
  • Filling and purging plumbing systems / wiring
  • Commissioning and resetting / hydraulic balancing

Working can be inflexible as time-frames are usually determined by building works. Hours will typically be 8am-4pm, but some companies can expect overtime and / or operate piecework policies. Location is often dependent on the size of the company; some operate nationwide, so you may work all over the UK. The role presents the potential to boost your income with overtime.

Entry routes

You can enter the profession through an apprenticeship in plumbing or electrics at entry-level. As a minimum plumbing qualification, installers would need a Level 2 NVQ/SVQ with Unvented Hot Water Cylinder certification and a Water Bylaws qualification. At this level, little experience, if any, is required. To become qualified in heat pumps, you would then need to complete one of the UK-wide qualifications listed below.

To note: in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, it will typically take three years to complete a full-time, undergraduate degree. In Scotland, it typically takes four years. Apprenticeship courses vary in length, and also require an end-point assessment period. Please check this information on a case-by-case basis.

If you are based in England, you may be eligible for the Heat Training Grant. More information can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Potential career progression

The skills used as an installer of heat pump systems can be carried through to a multitude of career paths; they are highly valued throughout multiple industries. Roles related to Heat Pump Installer include:
• Apprentice Engineer, Junior Engineer, Senior Engineer
• Service and Maintenance engineer
• Installation Manager
• Operations Manager or Operations Director
• Sales Manager or Director
• Technical Manager

The skill set would be of particular use if moving into another engineering field that is not specifically in renewables or building services, but where effective communication, and other transferable skills are valued.

As you become more experienced, you may have the opportunity to advance into management or specialise in defined roles, such as service, sales, or system design. More senior roles come with more responsibility and people management, but also with more desk work, and health and safety processes etc.

Managerial roles will require evidence of responsibility for a project or people working on a project. You will need to demonstrate how your contribution and management style helped improve the project outcomes.

Some other example next steps include setting up your own installation company or joining a larger commercial company to install bigger systems.

Relevant sectors

  • Construction and the built environment
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Technology
Housing development in the process of being built, with solar panels on roofs

Learn about the green agenda across different sectors

Information kindly supplied by:
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MCS

Working with industry, MCS define, maintain and improve quality – certifying products and installers so people can have confidence in the low-carbon technology they invest in, from solar and heat pumps to battery storage or biomass.

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