Career Development

How To Become a Natural Gas Technician: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as a natural gas technician, including education, skills, salary and more.

Natural gas technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of natural gas pipelines and equipment. This can be a very rewarding career for those who are interested in the energy industry and enjoy working with their hands. In this article, we discuss what natural gas technicians do, the average salary and the steps to take to pursue this career path.

What Does a Natural Gas Technician Do?

Natural gas technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of natural gas lines and equipment. They work in both residential and commercial settings and often travel to different job sites on a daily basis. Natural gas technicians typically have the following duties:

  • Installing natural gas lines and equipment according to code
  • Connecting appliances to existing natural gas lines
  • Inspecting natural gas lines and equipment for leaks or other damage
  • Repairing or replacing damaged natural gas lines and equipment
  • Testing natural gas lines and equipment to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Keeping accurate records of all work completed
  • Maintaining a clean and safe work environment
  • Adhering to all safety regulations

Natural Gas Technician Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a natural gas technician is $57,091.87 per year. This figure can vary based on the level of experience, education, industry and geographical location of the technician.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job prospects for natural gas technicians to decline over the next decade. This might result from an increase in the use of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

How to Become a Natural Gas Technician

Here are several steps you should take to become a natural gas technician.

1. Complete a high school diploma or equivalent

Natural gas technicians typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in natural gas technician training. Some programs may require specific math and science coursework, such as algebra and chemistry, to be eligible for admission. If you don’t have a high school diploma, consider taking classes at a local community college or vocational school to meet the educational requirements for natural gas technician training.

2. Enroll in an accredited natural gas technician program

Natural gas technician programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools and technical schools. Some high schools also offer natural gas technician programs for students who want to pursue a career in this field right after graduation.

To enroll in an accredited natural gas technician program, you will need to have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. You must be at least 18 years old to enroll in most natural gas technician programs. If the program is not available locally, you can take online courses.

3. Pass the industry certification exam to become a certified natural gas technician

Once you complete your training, you can take the certification exam offered by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC). This committee is a collaboration between the American Gas Association (AGA) and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry. The NJATC administers tests for several different types of gas technicians, including natural gas technician, water heater installer technician and meter reader/meter installer technician.

The NJATC certification test consists of two parts. The first part covers basic math and reading comprehension skills. The second part assesses knowledge of safety procedures, tools and equipment used in the industry and codes and standards related to natural gas work. Once you pass both sections of the test, you receive an associate level certificate from the NJATC that allows you to work as a trainee under a certified professional. You must renew this certificate every three years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.

4. Gain experience working with natural gas lines and equipment

Once you graduate from a natural gas technician program, you can gain hands-on experience working with natural gas equipment and lines. Many employers prefer candidates who have at least one year of experience in the field. You can find entry-level positions as a natural gas meter reader or customer service representative. These jobs provide opportunities to interact with natural gas equipment and learn about the industry.

You may also consider pursuing an apprenticeship under a certified natural gas technician. Apprenticeships typically last three years and allow aspiring technicians to work closely with experienced professionals in a variety of settings.

5. Develop strong problem-solving skills

Natural gas technicians must be able to identify and solve problems that may arise with the distribution of natural gas. They need to have a good understanding of how all the components of the system interact, as well as an awareness of potential hazards.

Natural gas technicians should also know how to use diagnostic tools and equipment to locate issues in the network. They must follow safety protocols at all times and wear protective gear when necessary.

6. Stay up to date on changes in technology and new developments in the industry

Technology and industry standards are constantly changing, so it’s important for natural gas technicians to stay up to date on the latest developments. For example, new building codes may require that certain buildings have updated natural gas systems.

Natural gas companies also often update their equipment and tools to make them more efficient or easier to use. Natural gas technicians should regularly review company materials and updates to ensure they’re knowledgeable about all of the changes.

7. Join professional organizations such as the American Gas Association (AGA)

The American Gas Association (AGA) is a professional organization that provides training and certification for natural gas technicians. Membership in the AGA can help you stay up to date on industry developments, connect with other professionals in the field and gain access to educational resources. The AGA also offers members discounts on products and services from various manufacturers and vendors.


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