MANY people fancy a change of path in mid life - but one Chippenham woman decided not only to retrain but to take on the challenge of a male-dominated industry.

Susann Wingert grew frustrated by the challenges of juggling a career with raising children, and after nearly two decades in the hospitality industry she was motivated to move into an entirely new sector - by training to be a Gas Safe Engineer.

She also hoped to show her children, aged seven and nine, it is never too late to learn new things or discover new passions, and to demonstrate that you should never be limited other people’s stereotypes or gender expectations. Susann, who moved to Britain from Germany 15 years ago, trained from 2015 to 2018.

Asked why she chose this field she said: "I am really interested in repairing things, and making things - I have always loved that. I wanted to learn something new, and I have always paid a lot of money to have the boiler done, so I thought wouldn't it be great if I could do it."

Susann, 37, now runs a business called Boiler Repairs Chippenham, which she set up in May.

She said: “As a Gas Safe Engineer I am qualified to deal with all types of boiler breakdown and un-vented hot water systems; from emergencies to minor faults, for homeowners and landlords."

Response from customers and other gas engineers has been positive, she says, and while some have wondered if she could lift a boiler, others have suggested women might find it easier to bond with customers.

According to Boiler Guide, of the 100,000 Gas Safe registered engineers, fewer than 500 are female, and of more than 9,000 OFTEC engineers (register for Oil Fired Technical Association), fewer than 30 are female. According to the Institute of Engineering and Technology, less than 10 per cent of the UK’s engineers are women – the lowest percentage in Europe.

To become a gas engineer you need to pass an industry qualification and acquire gas safe registration. Industry qualifications include an NVQ or Diploma in courses such as Domestic Natural Gas Installation and Maintenance, Domestic Plumbing and Heating or Gas Utilisation.

For more on Susann’s business, visit