Boiler Operators

A boiler operator is, as the name suggests, someone who operates a boiler. But what exactly does that entail? Below we will discuss the tasks and responsibilities of a trained boiler operator.

A boiler operator is in charge of the maintenance and care of boilers utilized in businesses, homes, and large industrial spaces. These include both low and high-pressure boilers, power boilers, steam boilers, and hot water heating systems. Sometimes, the terms “stationary engineer” and “boiler engineer” will be used interchangeably with boiler operator. The main difference is what is on a formal title, as different states and trade unions will use alternate terms for the same position.

A critical boiler operator duty is performing a variety of tests and checks to ensure the safe operation of the boiler. Some of the tests include pressure checks, chemical levels, and water levels, in addition to standard safety checks. If an issue is detected, the source of the problem will need to be diagnosed quickly followed by repairs and the implementation of proper steps to alleviate future dangers or accidents. Once these issues have been resolved and all is in working order, the boiler operator needs to log work performed or notate lingering issues that need to be corrected.

Additionally, boiler operators are required to check gauges and watch the system during normal operation while keeping safety in mind. They perform tests to verify that the boiler is operating correctly, and will preform any required maintenance needed to prevent failure. This can include replacing worn parts, such as valves and filters, and performing minor pipe repairs. Safety is crucial while performing this maintenance requiring the boiler operator to have a comprehensive knowledge of proper safety procedures. Boiler operators can be exposed to electrical shocks, extreme temperatures, and loud noises. Strict safety procedures should be adhered to in order to avoid accidents and injury.

Certain states will require one or more license in order for a boiler operator to work on boiler systems. Regardless of license requirements, a level of manual dexterity, knowledge of how to use hand and power tools, basic math skills, and mechanical aptitude will be needed to perform the duties required of the position. Other general requirements include a high school diploma or GED certification, the aformentioned boiler operator's licence(s), completion of a training program or apprenticeship, and physical stamina. The requirements for higher-level positions are, naturally, more intensive compared to lower-level positions. However, it is important to note that the requirements will vary from state to state, so be sure to research what is needed in advance prior to applying.

If you’re interested in getting into the field of boiler operation, ASOPE can help. Our license programs can provide you with the knowledge needed for proper boiler operation. You can learn more about ASOPE and our programs here.