Understanding Boiler Operator Jobs and General Boiler Jobs

Boiler jobs are seeing a shortage here lately due to the retirement of baby boomers. Many people are reluctant to commit to such a dangerous job, in spite of the high rate of pay. Employment is usually steady and year around done in shifts of 8 hours. Someone is always needed to keep an eye on the equipment. This also means that often there is weekend or holiday shifts.

Since boilers work at heats that are dangerous and are pressurized they put boiler operators at risk of burns and explosions. Boiler operator jobs are not as attractive when you add in the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, chemicals that could lead to eye and skin problems, and the hot and humid environment that they work in. However, this job is a stable one with a good pay because boilers will always need maintenance and repair and that is the bulk of the boilers jobs. Of course, boiler operators also need good record keeping skills in order to keep track of repairs, maintenance, and parts replaced.

The types of people who generally enjoy a boiler operator job are those that enjoy working with their hands, solving problems, and independently working. If you want a bit more responsibility, you might consider boiler engineer jobs. As a boiler engineer you’ll operate and oversee a boiler plant. You will also have to train personnel who will be under your supervision.

Boiler plant operator jobs offer three classifications, first class, second class, and third class. When you get your first class engineer license, you may also be referred to as a chief boiler engineer. Each classification qualifies you for a higher steam generation capacity, first class being the highest.

To begin your engineer license you must meet a minimum two year experience as a boiler operator. Boiler operators and engineers are usually taught by apprenticeship and vocational schools. While you do not need a college degree, many employers do prefer that you have at least graduated high school. Most people begin as boiler helpers to a more experienced boiler operator and go on from there. Because of the growing complexity of equipment, some college courses may be required. Some unions and employers will pay for skill improvement training and some unions will even sponsor your apprenticeship. There are formal apprenticeship programs available as well. After completing an apprenticeship, you can then apply for a license.