Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

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About the Job

Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes. Operate equipment, such as steam engines, generators, motors, turbines, and steam boilers.

It is also Called

  • Air Compressor Engineer
  • Air Compressor Operator
  • Air Conditioning Engineer
  • Air Plant Engineer
  • Blowing Engineer
  • Boiler Engineer
  • Boiler Fireman
  • Boiler Operator
  • Boiler Operator Helper
  • Boiler Plant Operator

What They Do

  • Monitor and inspect equipment, computer terminals, switches, valves, gauges, alarms, safety devices, and meters to detect leaks or malfunctions and to ensure that equipment is operating efficiently and safely.
  • Activate valves to maintain required amounts of water in boilers, to adjust supplies of combustion air, and to control the flow of fuel into burners.
  • Monitor boiler water, chemical, and fuel levels, and make adjustments to maintain required levels.
  • Observe and interpret readings on gauges, meters, and charts registering various aspects of boiler operation to ensure that boilers are operating properly.
  • Test boiler water quality or arrange for testing and take necessary corrective action, such as adding chemicals to prevent corrosion and harmful deposits.
  • Analyze problems and take appropriate action to ensure continuous and reliable operation of equipment and systems.
  • Operate or tend stationary engines, boilers, and auxiliary equipment such as pumps, compressors, and air-conditioning equipment, to supply and maintain steam or heat for buildings, marine vessels, or pneumatic tools.
  • Adjust controls and/or valves on equipment to provide power, and to regulate and set operations of system or industrial processes.
  • Switch from automatic to manual controls and isolate equipment mechanically and electrically to allow for safe inspection and repair work.
  • Maintain daily logs of operation, maintenance, and safety activities, including test results, instrument readings, and details of equipment malfunctions and maintenance work.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in Washington was $61,280 with most people making between $40,930 and $83,470

Outlook

0.79%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 890 people in Washington. It is projected that there will be 960 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 7 openings due to growth and about 13 replacement openings for approximately 20 total annual openings.