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Trade Legends Guest
A Career in Commercial Heating – An Engineer’s Perspective

While many heating engineers focus on domestic installations, the commercial sector offers its own unique challenges and opportunities. We spoke to Beck, a female heating engineer who has found her niche working on large industrial projects.

Beck got her start in the trades by pursuing plumbing qualifications from a technical college. After a number of years in social housing maintenance, she developed her skills troubleshooting complex breakdowns. This experience helped her transition to working for a private company, where she gained exposure to commercial jobs.

What drew Beck to commercial work was the variety each day brought. Instead of the same boiler types seen in homes, commercial projects involve diverse equipment on a much larger scale. She enjoys tackling high output burners and boilers the size of rooms. The complex calculations required for nozzle sizing and combustion also provide mental stimulation.

Plant rooms offer a less hectic environment compared to busy domestic calls. Beck appreciates having the dedicated time and workspace to fully service appliances. While mistakes carry higher risks, commercial technicians work as a team for safety. Exoskeleton suits even assist with lifting components too heavy for one person.

For women considering the trades, Beck’s advice is to ignore naysayers and follow your interests. With the right qualifications and skills, she says commercial opportunities are available regardless of gender. Due to specialized expertise, the commercial sector is seen by some as a path forward as technologies evolve. Heat pumps may struggle to replace all oil and gas use in multi-story buildings or industries requiring constant heat output.

Beck has pioneered her role as one of few female commercial heating engineers in the UK. Her passion and problem-solving attitude prove that with hard work, commercial facilities maintenance can offer rewarding long-term careers.