Career Definition of a Boiler Technician
Boiler technicians regulate high- or low-pressure boilers through regular inspection, including reading and recording pressures and temperatures. They also perform routine boiler maintenance and make necessary replacements or repairs. Boiler technicians must follow safety regulations and shut down equipment when necessary.
|Educational Requirements||Certificate or associate's degree; may need to acquire a license|
|Job Skills||Manual dexterity, detail-focused, good physical ability and good troubleshooting skills|
|Median Salary (2017)||$59,890 (all stationary engineers and boiler technicians)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||5% growth (all stationary engineers and boiler technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Boiler technicians typically hold a certificate or associate degree in stationary engineering or a similar field, which can be earned in one to two years. Courses for prospective boiler technicians may include piping systems, HVAC, boiler systems, combustion processes and burner repair. Many students also complete apprenticeships with senior boiler technicians through the International Union of Operating Engineers. In some locales, boiler technicians must be licensed.
Boiler technicians must display manual dexterity and mechanical and troubleshooting skills. They must be detail-oriented to keep proper records and understand the importance of adhering to safety standards. Boiler technicians also must be in good physical shape to maneuver within boilers and work in awkward positions, such as kneeling, for extended periods of time.
Job growth for stationary engineers and boiler operators is set to increase by 5% between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the BLS noted that those who have completed an apprenticeship program would have the best prospects. The annual median salary for stationary engineers and boiler operators was $59,890 as of May 2017, according to the BLS.
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options in this field include:
Through training programs with apprenticeships and experience as a boiler technician, boilermakers assemble and install boilers and other large containers holding gases and liquids. Faster than average employment growth of 9% was anticipated from 2016-2026 by the BLS, and a median annual wage of $62,260 was reported in 2017.
General Maintenance and Repair Worker
Those individuals who wish to repair and maintain a variety of machines and equipment might find this occupation appealing. Postsecondary education is not required, with most skills being learned on the job. However, some do benefit from classes at vocational schools and community colleges. The BLS predicted an 8% increase in jobs from 2016-2026. In 2017, the BLS revealed an annual median salary of $37,670 for this occupation.