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Become A Boiler Operator

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Working As A Boiler Operator

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $44,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Boiler Operator Do

Stationary engineers and boiler operators control stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or for industrial purposes.

Duties

Stationary engineers and boiler operators typically do the following:

  • Operate engines, boilers, and auxiliary equipment
  • Read gauges, meters, and charts to track boiler operations
  • Monitor boiler water, chemical, and fuel levels
  • Activate valves to change the amount of water, air, and fuel in boilers
  • Fire coal furnaces or feed boilers, using gas feeds or oil pumps
  • Inspect equipment to ensure that it is operating efficiently
  • Check safety devices routinely
  • Record data and keep logs of operation, maintenance, and safety activity

Most large office buildings, malls, warehouses, and other commercial facilities have extensive heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems that maintain comfortable temperatures all year long. Industrial plants often have additional facilities to provide electrical power, steam, or other services. Stationary engineers and boiler operators control and maintain these systems, which include boilers, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, turbines, generators, pumps, and compressors.

Stationary engineers and boiler operators start up, regulate, repair, and shut down equipment. They monitor meters, gauges, and computerized controls to ensure that equipment operates safely and within established limits. They use sophisticated electrical and electronic test equipment to service, troubleshoot, repair, and monitor heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.

Stationary engineers and boiler operators also perform routine maintenance. They may completely overhaul or replace defective valves, gaskets, or bearings. In addition, stationary engineers and boiler operators lubricate moving parts, replace filters, and remove soot and corrosion that can make a boiler less efficient.

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How To Become A Boiler Operator

Stationary engineers and boiler operators need at least a high school diploma and are trained on the job by more experienced engineers and operators. Many employers require stationary engineers and boiler operators to demonstrate competency through licenses or company-specific exams before they are allowed to operate equipment without supervision.

Education

Stationary engineers and boiler operators need at least a high school diploma. Students should take courses in math, science, and mechanical and technical subjects.

With the growing complexity of the work, vocational school or college courses may benefit workers trying to advance in the occupation.

Training

Stationary engineers and boiler operators typically learn their work through long-term on-the-job training under the supervision of an experienced engineer or operator. Trainees are assigned basic tasks, such as monitoring the temperatures and pressures in the heating and cooling systems and low-pressure boilers. After they demonstrate competence in basic tasks, trainees move on to more complicated tasks, such as the repair of cracks or ruptured tubes for high-pressure boilers.

Some stationary engineers and boiler operators complete apprenticeship programs sponsored by the International Union of Operating Engineers. Apprenticeships usually last 4 years, include 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, and require 600 hours of technical instruction. Apprentices learn about operating and maintaining equipment; using controls and balancing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; safety; electricity; and air quality. Employers may prefer to hire these workers because they usually require considerably less on-the-job training. However, because of the limited number of apprenticeship programs, employers often have difficulty finding workers who have completed one. 

Experienced stationary engineers and boiler operators update their skills regularly through training, especially when new equipment is introduced or when regulations change.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some state and local governments require licensure for stationary engineers and boiler operators. These governments typically have several classes of stationary engineer and boiler operator licenses. Each class specifies the type and size of equipment the engineer is permitted to operate without supervision. Many employers require stationary engineers and boiler operators to demonstrate competency through licenses or company-specific exams before they are allowed to operate the equipment without supervision.

A top-level engineer or operator is qualified to run a large facility, supervise others, and operate equipment of all types and capacities. Engineers and operators with licenses below this level are limited in the types or capacities of equipment they may operate without supervision.

Applicants for licensure usually must be at least 18 years of age, meet experience requirements, and pass a written exam. In some cases, employers may require that workers be licensed before starting the job. A stationary engineer or boiler operator who moves from one state or city to another may have to pass an examination for a new license because of regional differences in licensing requirements.

Advancement

Generally, stationary engineers and boiler operators can advance as they become qualified to operate larger, more powerful, and more varied equipment by obtaining higher class licenses. In jurisdictions where licenses are not required, workers usually advance by taking company-administered exams, ensuring a level of knowledge needed to operate different types of boilers safely.

Important Qualities 

Detail oriented. Stationary engineers and boiler operators monitor intricate machinery, gauges, and meters to ensure that everything is operating properly.

Dexterity. Stationary engineers and boiler operators must use precise motions to control or repair machines. They grasp tools and use their hands to perform many tasks.

Mechanical skills. Stationary engineers and boiler operators must know how to use tools and work with machines. They must be able to repair, maintain, and operate equipment.

Problem-solving skills. Stationary engineers and boiler operators must figure out how things work and quickly solve problems that arise with equipment or controls.

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Average Length of Employment
Boiler Operator 6.0 years
Boiler Technician 5.3 years
Boiler Mechanic 4.4 years
Plant Operator 4.2 years
Utility Operator 4.2 years
Boiler 4.0 years
Power Operator 3.7 years
Auxiliary Operator 3.6 years
Operator 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Boiler Operator
Operator 5.7%
Technician 4.1%
Welder 3.8%
Mechanic 3.3%
Top Careers After Boiler Operator
Operator 5.0%
Owner 3.9%
Mechanic 3.1%
Supervisor 2.9%
Welder 2.9%
Technician 2.8%

Do you work as a Boiler Operator?

Average Yearly Salary
$44,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Baker Commodities
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
5.5 years
How much does a Boiler Operator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Boiler Operator in the United States is $44,468 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $89,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Boiler Operator?

Have you worked as a Boiler Operator? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Boiler Operator.

Top Skills for A Boiler Operator

  1. Boilers
  2. Safety Devices
  3. Chillers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Started and secured boilers using automated sequencing system and manually.
  • Operated, maintained and repaired air-conditioning machinery, mechanical, electrical and pneumatic controls and safety devices.
  • Operated boilers chillers air handlers to maintain building for operations
  • Operated and maintained lithium bromide absorption chillers, air handlers, low pressure air compressors, and vacuum pumps.
  • Performed duties as boiler operator which consisted of preventative maintenance on boiler; monitoring and adjusting chemicals.

Boiler Operator Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,973 Boiler Operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Boiler Operator Resume

View Resume Examples

Boiler Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

89.1%

Unknown

6.3%

Female

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

65.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.9%

French

9.5%

Cornish

4.8%

German

4.8%

Romanian

4.8%

Carrier

4.8%

Russian

4.8%

Tamil

4.8%
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Boiler Operator Education

Schools

Henry Ford College

12.1%

Maine Maritime Academy

8.1%

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

Riverland Community College

5.4%

Ferris State University

4.7%

A-Technical College

4.7%

More Tech Institute

4.7%

Lincoln Technical Institute

4.7%

Sacramento City College

4.7%

Essex County College

4.7%

The Academy

4.0%

Target Training Center

4.0%

Technology Learning Center

4.0%

Rochester Community and Technical College

4.0%

Technical Institute of Camden County

4.0%

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

3.4%

Union County College

3.4%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

3.4%

Clark College

2.7%
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Majors

Heating And Air Conditioning

14.1%

Engineering

12.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

10.2%

Business

9.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.8%

Industrial Technology

5.4%

Electrical Engineering

5.4%

Precision Metal Working

4.2%

Education

4.1%

General Studies

3.7%

Automotive Technology

3.7%

Mechanical Engineering

3.7%

Management

3.6%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Engineering Technology

1.9%

Computer Science

1.9%

Applied Horticulture

1.9%

Plant Sciences

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

48.0%

Associate

14.9%

Bachelors

13.7%

Certificate

13.7%

Diploma

4.4%

Masters

3.0%

License

2.3%
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