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Career profile Boilermaker

Also known as Boiler Maker, Boiler Mechanic, Boiler Repairman, Boiler Service Technician, Boiler Technician, Boilermaker, Boilermaker Mechanic, Boilermaker Pipe Fitter, Boilermaker Welder, Service Technician

Boilermaker

Also known as Boiler Maker, Boiler Mechanic, Boiler Repairman

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$39,620 - $99,920 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Design
  • Mathematics
  • Building and Construction
Core tasks
  • Attach rigging and signal crane or hoist operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections or other parts into place.
  • Study blueprints to determine locations, relationships, or dimensions of parts.
  • Repair or replace defective pressure vessel parts, such as safety valves or regulators, using torches, jacks, caulking hammers, power saws, threading dies, welding equipment, or metalworking machinery.
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What does a Boilermaker do?

Boilermakers construct, assemble, maintain, and repair stationary steam boilers and boiler house auxiliaries.

In addition, Boilermakers

  • align structures or plate sections to assemble boiler frame tanks or vats, following blueprints,
  • work involves use of hand and power tools, plumb bobs, levels, wedges, dogs, or turnbuckles,
  • assist in testing assembled vessels,
  • direct cleaning of boilers and boiler furnaces,
  • inspect and repair boiler fittings, such as safety valves, regulators, automatic-control mechanisms, water columns, and auxiliary machines.

What kind of tasks does a Boilermaker perform regularly?

Boilermakers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Attach rigging and signal crane or hoist operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections or other parts into place.
  • Study blueprints to determine locations, relationships, or dimensions of parts.
  • Repair or replace defective pressure vessel parts, such as safety valves or regulators, using torches, jacks, caulking hammers, power saws, threading dies, welding equipment, or metalworking machinery.
  • Locate and mark reference points for columns or plates on boiler foundations, following blueprints and using straightedges, squares, transits, or measuring instruments.
  • Bolt or arc weld pressure vessel structures and parts together, using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Position, align, and secure structural parts or related assemblies to boiler frames, tanks, or vats of pressure vessels, following blueprints.
  • Assemble large vessels in an on-site fabrication shop prior to installation to ensure proper fit.
  • Shape or fabricate parts, such as stacks, uptakes, or chutes, to adapt pressure vessels, heat exchangers, or piping to premises, using heavy-metalworking machines such as brakes, rolls, or drill presses.
  • Install manholes, handholes, taps, tubes, valves, gauges, or feedwater connections in drums of water tube boilers, using hand tools.
  • Lay out plate, sheet steel, or other heavy metal and locate and mark bending and cutting lines, using protractors, compasses, and drawing instruments or templates.
  • Examine boilers, pressure vessels, tanks, or vats to locate defects, such as leaks, weak spots, or defective sections, so that they can be repaired.
  • Inspect assembled vessels or individual components, such as tubes, fittings, valves, controls, or auxiliary mechanisms, to locate any defects.
  • Shape seams, joints, or irregular edges of pressure vessel sections or structural parts to attain specified fit of parts, using cutting torches, hammers, files, or metalworking machines.
  • Straighten or reshape bent pressure vessel plates or structure parts, using hammers, jacks, or torches.
  • Install refractory bricks or other heat-resistant materials in fireboxes of pressure vessels.
  • Clean pressure vessel equipment, using scrapers, wire brushes, and cleaning solvents.

The above responsibilities are specific to Boilermakers. More generally, Boilermakers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

What is a Boilermaker salary?

The median salary for a Boilermaker is $65,360, and the average salary is $67,430. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Boilermaker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Boilermakers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Boilermakers earn less than $39,620 per year, 25% earn less than $53,240, 75% earn less than $81,150, and 90% earn less than $99,920.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Boilermakers is expected to change by -1.3%, and there should be roughly 1,300 open positions for Boilermakers every year.

Median annual salary
$65,360
Typical salary range
$39,620 - $99,920
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-1.3%

What personality traits are common among Boilermakers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Boilermaker are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Boilermakers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Boilermaker tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Boilermakers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Boilermakers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Boilermakers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Boilermakers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and initiative.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Boilermakers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Boilermakers need?

Boilermakers often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Boilermakers usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Boilermakers

  • 11.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 53.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 27.2% completed some college coursework
  • 4.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 2.8% earned a Bachelor's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Boilermakers

Boilermakers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as design, mathematics, or building and construction knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Boilermakers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Important Abilities needed by Boilermakers

Boilermakers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Boilermakers need abilities such as finger dexterity, problem sensitivity, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Boilermakers, ranked by their relative importance.

Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Boilermakers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Boilermakers frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Boilermakers, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.