Boilermaker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Constructs, assembles, maintains, and repairs stationary steam boilers and boiler house auxiliaries. Aligns 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. Assists in testing assembled vessels. Directs cleaning of boilers and boiler furnaces. Inspects and repairs boiler fittings, such as safety valves, regulators, automatic-control mechanisms, water columns, and auxiliary machines.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Maintenance/Operations pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Attaches rigging and signal crane or hoist operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections or other parts into place.
  • Studies blueprints to determine locations, relationships, or dimensions of parts.
  • Repairs or replaces defective pressure vessel parts, such as safety valves or regulators, using torches, jacks, caulking hammers, power saws, threading dies, welding equipment, or metalworking machinery.
  • Locates and marks reference points for columns or plates on boiler foundations, following blueprints and using straightedges, squares, transits, or measuring instruments.
  • Bolts or arc welds pressure vessel structures and parts together, using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Positions, aligns, and secures structural parts or related assemblies to boiler frames, tanks, or vats of pressure vessels, following blueprints.
  • Installs manholes, handholes, taps, tubes, valves, gauges, or feedwater connections in drums of water tube boilers, using hand tools.
  • Shapes or fabricates 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.
  • Assembles large vessels in an on-site fabrication shop prior to installation to ensure proper fit.
  • Lays out plate, sheet steel, or other heavy metal and locate and marks bending and cutting lines, using protractors, compasses, and drawing instruments or templates.

Multimedia

Watch a one-minute video showing what it's like to work in this career or related careers


Manufacturing

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Boiler Mechanic --
  • Boiler Technician --
  • Boiler Welder --
  • Boilermaker Pipe Fitter --