Boiler operators are in charge of running, repairing and maintaining boilers and other systems used in the heating and cooling of buildings. Boiler operators are usually found working for schools, hospitals and other institutions where there is a large amount of space that must be temperature-controlled. The job is usually conducted from an office to monitor the systems and pressure outputs remotely; however, repairs can mean working in cramped, hot and dangerous conditions. Similar maintenance jobs include positions such as Boiler Technician jobs.
Boiler Operator Educational Requirements
To become an boiler operator, a high school diploma is needed. New hires are given extensive on-the-job training, and a licensing exam is required after a lengthy internship, depending on the state the boiler operator works in. Experience with computer or mechanical systems is a plus. An eye for detail and the ability to react quickly under pressure and maintain composure are beneficial qualities. An applicant who is comfortable working in tight, cramped conditions with power tools will have a slight advantage over the competition.
Boiler Operator Job Market
There are currently 37,900 boiler operators employed across the country with a projected growth of 3 percent by the year 2022 to a total of 39,000. Employment usually begins as an internship, after which the boiler operator gains the required experience needed to work without supervision. As more buildings like schools, universities, hospitals and factories are built, boiler operators will be needed to help control the temperature and keep the working environment comfortable.
Boiler Operator Salary
Boiler operators at universities and other schools generally make less than those working in facilities such as factories and production areas. School boiler operators can expect to make around $50,000 annually while those at factories can look forward to anywhere between $68,000 and $73,000 per year. At smaller locations, the hourly wage can start at $11 an hour.