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Become An Engine Room Operator

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Working As An Engine Room 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

  • $68,210

    Average Salary

What Does An Engine Room 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 An Engine Room 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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Engine Room Operator Jobs

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Engine Room Operator Career Paths

Engine Room Operator
Machine Operator Technician Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Hostess Office Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Accounts Receivable Specialist Property Manager
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Operator Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Hostess Security Officer Operator
Lead Operator
5 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Specialist Operation Supervisor
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Operation Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Office Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operator Foreman Technician
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Dispatcher Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Production Supervisor
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Quality Control Inspector Quality Control Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Licensed Practical Nurse Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse Quality Assurance
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Specialist Account Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Shipping Clerk Shipping Supervisor
Shipping Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Delivery Driver Welder
Shop Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Home Health Aid Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Engine Room Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

53.5%

Female

44.9%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.6%

Hispanic or Latino

18.7%

Black or African American

10.2%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.2%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.4%

French

10.3%

Japanese

7.7%

Tagalog

5.1%

Swedish

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Filipino

2.6%

German

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Carrier

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%
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Engine Room Operator Education

Schools

Maine Maritime Academy

9.6%

State University of New York College at Oswego

7.7%

University of Phoenix

7.7%

Illinois State University

5.8%

Greenville Technical College

5.8%

Drexel University

5.8%

Rasmussen College

5.8%

Central Piedmont Community College

5.8%

Amarillo College

3.8%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

3.8%

Johnson & Wales University

3.8%

Fresno City College

3.8%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.8%

Anne Arundel Community College

3.8%

Temple University

3.8%

Emory University

3.8%

Savannah Technical College

3.8%

University of Central Florida

3.8%

Delgado Community College

3.8%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

3.8%
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Majors

Business

17.3%

Nursing

11.3%

Health Care Administration

9.1%

Criminal Justice

6.1%

General Studies

5.6%

Liberal Arts

5.2%

Medical Assisting Services

4.3%

Engineering

4.3%

Accounting

4.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.9%

Computer Science

3.9%

Communication

3.5%

Psychology

3.0%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.0%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Management

2.6%

Physician Assistant

2.6%

Social Work

2.2%

English

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

38.4%

Bachelors

27.7%

Associate

16.4%

Certificate

7.3%

Masters

6.4%

Diploma

2.6%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Top Skills for An Engine Room Operator

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  1. Customer Service
  2. Sales Floor
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Demonstrated excellent customer service by answering questions in a clear orderly fashion and provided checkout assistance as needed
  • Assured that all products were in good standing before sending them out to the sales floor.
  • Answer all the telephone calls, and direct them to the correct department.
  • Worked as a barge control room operator and construction support facilitator on board Petrobras' first FPS facility offshore Brazil.
  • Check fitting room stalls, sort merchandise to racks as defined by sorting process in store.

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Top Engine Room Operator Employers

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Jobs From Top Engine Room Operator Employers

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