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Become A Shift Engineer

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Working As A Shift Engineer

  • 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

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Shift Engineer 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 Shift Engineer

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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Shift Engineer Career Paths

Shift Engineer
Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Building Engineer Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Building Engineer Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Building Engineer Maintenance Supervisor Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Engineer Project Manager Assistant Director
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Engineer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Engineer Operations Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Production Supervisor
Plant Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Consultant Case Manager
Utilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Senior Engineer Chief Engineer
Assistant Director Of Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Maintenance Manager Director Of Facilities
Director, Facilities & Operations
6 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Technical Manager Technical Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Project Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Boiler Operator Maintenance Technician Journeyman
Systems Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Boiler Operator Hvac Technician Facility Supervisor
Manager, Facilities Services
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Shift Engineer?

Shift Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

84.2%

Unknown

11.0%

Female

4.8%
Ethnicity

White

53.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

11.3%

Unknown

8.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8%

Arabic

15.8%

Portuguese

5.3%

Welsh

5.3%

Amharic

5.3%

Gujarati

5.3%

Carrier

5.3%

Hindi

5.3%

Tagalog

5.3%

Korean

5.3%

Bengali

5.3%
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Shift Engineer Education

Schools

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

12.5%

Old Dominion University

11.4%

More Tech Institute

8.0%

Triton College

6.8%

Delgado Community College

5.7%

Arizona State University

4.5%

University of Idaho

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Polytechnic Institute

4.5%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

3.4%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.4%

University of Kentucky

3.4%

Ashworth College

3.4%

Wayne State University

3.4%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

3.4%

College of William and Mary

3.4%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.4%

Lamar University

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.4%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

20.6%

Electrical Engineering

13.3%

Chemical Engineering

10.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

9.0%

Business

7.5%

Engineering

6.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

6.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.7%

Industrial Technology

3.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.4%

Education

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Property Management

2.1%

Industrial Engineering

1.7%

Civil Engineering

1.7%

Computer Engineering

1.5%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.3%

Accounting

1.3%

Nuclear Engineering

1.3%

Computer Science

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.6%

Other

27.5%

Masters

16.1%

Certificate

6.4%

Associate

5.7%

Diploma

5.7%

License

1.3%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$162,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Trinity Health
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Shift Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Shift Engineer in the United States is $76,803 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $162,000.

Real Shift Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Dry Etch Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Dec 19, 2009 $95,475
E3 CMP Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT May 14, 2015 $92,773
Lead Shift Engineer, Manufacturing Operations Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Oct 11, 2016 $91,284 -
$140,000
Dry Etch Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Nov 01, 2010 $89,326
Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Aug 22, 2016 $86,230
Shift Engineer-Supervisor Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Mar 13, 2013 $86,119
Shift Engineer-Supervisor Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Sep 10, 2013 $86,119
Shift Engineer-Supervisor Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Jan 26, 2013 $86,119
CVD Shift Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Manassas, VA Sep 13, 2014 $84,490
E3 CMP Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Nov 01, 2013 $83,273
E3 CMP Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Nov 15, 2013 $83,273
CVD Shift Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Manassas, VA Aug 08, 2015 $75,500
CVD Shift Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Manassas, VA Sep 01, 2015 $75,500
Diffusion Shift Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Manassas, VA Nov 13, 2009 $75,430
Shift Engineer, Metrology Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Dec 13, 2010 $75,000
Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Aug 17, 2015 $75,000
Shift Engineer-Industrial Jindal Saw USA, LLC Baytown, TX Jan 14, 2015 $73,154
Shift Engineer-Industrial Jindal Saw USA LLC Baytown, TX Nov 03, 2015 $73,100
Metrology Shift Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Manassas, VA Aug 15, 2014 $73,000
Shift Engineer-Process Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Jan 02, 2013 $71,500
Photo Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Dec 03, 2013 $71,500
Dry Etch Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT May 24, 2013 $71,200
CVD Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Oct 01, 2013 $70,500
Shift Engineer-Dry Etch Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Sep 10, 2013 $70,000
CMP Shift Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Manassas, VA Nov 05, 2010 $70,000
Shift Engineer-Dry Etch Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Mar 13, 2013 $70,000
Shift Engineer Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Jul 15, 2013 $69,500

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Top Skills for A Shift Engineer

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Life Safety Systems
  3. Air Compressors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Planned and executed start-ups, shutdowns, and managed facility-wide preventative maintenance program.
  • Worked with vendors performing testing of life safety systems.
  • Associated equipment includes high and low pressure air compressors, turbine and electrical driven auxiliary pumps, and water treatment systems.
  • Maintained all hotel mechanical systems/HVAC - General building maintenance and mechanical problems
  • Performed power Plant operations to provide operational facilities to the hospital

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Top 10 Best States for Shift Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Connecticut
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Nevada
  5. Alaska
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. New York
  10. Rhode Island
  • (186 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (575 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (113 jobs)
  • (227 jobs)
  • (434 jobs)
  • (610 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)

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