Construction, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • High school diploma or GED
    • Boiler Operating License, if required by local government

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Driver’s license


    • Troubleshooting
    • Problem-solving
    • Interpreting blueprints, schematics, and mechanical diagrams
    • Mechanical aptitude for welding and working with tools
    • Physical abilities (extended standing, able to lift and move up to 100 pounds) 
    • Communication
    • Customer service
    • Complete written documentation


    Boilermakers install boiler systems, and they are responsible for providing regular maintenance and repair. They work on a variety of equipment including boilers, vats, tanks, pressure vessels that store liquid or gas, blast furnaces, and pollution-reducing equipment. Projects range in size from small boiler installation in a single building to working with large utility boilers. These jobs are sometimes advertised with the title boiler technicians.

    Boilermakers are one of several types of specialized tradespeople who work on HVAC/R systems. Technicians with proper training can install, maintain, and repair HVAC/R systems in their entirety, or many trades specialists, who are responsible for specific parts of the system, can perform these tasks. The role of specialized tradespeople is more common in union jobs than in non-union jobs.

    Boilermakers need to accurately read blueprints, schematics, and electrical or mechanical diagrams to correctly install and repair boiler systems and associated equipment such as piping, valves, and controls. They lay out the system parts, and then they align and assemble them to ensure a proper fit. Routine maintenance tasks include cleaning and testing boiler systems and adjusting controls to maximize performance. When inspections determine inefficiencies or malfunctions in the system, boilermakers troubleshoot the issue and need strong problem-solving skills to determine and execute the appropriate repairs, which can include replacing parts or equipment that may be under pressure. 

    Boilermakers’ work is physically strenuous. It requires extended periods of standing, lifting, carrying, loading, unloading, rigging heavy boiler parts and materials (up to 100 pounds), setting up and breaking down scaffolding, and constructing steel supports. Cranes are used to move extremely large parts, and boilermakers guide crane operators to place the components appropriately. Work spaces may be tight, damp, and poorly lit. Boilermakers use welding equipment and hand and power tools, which can make the work dangerous, so they must follow safety protocols to avoid injuries.

    Boilermakers may engage with customers on a regular basis, and they need to be able to explain the services offered, provide advice and pricing information, and answer questions. Strong interpersonal and service skills are needed to build and maintain good client relationships. Writing and organizational skills are also important, because boilermakers keep service and repair logs to document their work.

    Boilermakers typically travel various distances to worksites, including commuting short distances from home or traveling to remote locations that require overnight accommodations. Work schedules can include nights or weekends. When emergencies arise, overtime shifts may be required, and, because much of this work is contract-based, boilermakers may experience periods without work in between contract assignments.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 400 boilermakers in New York State. The Department projects this occupation will only grow by 50 jobs between 2020 and 2030, so employment prospects are fairly limited. Because of the small size of this field, there are expected to be fewer opportunities to work as a boilermaker through 2030 compared to other occupations in New York State.

    Building owners’ increasing use of electricity-based clean energy HVAC/R mechanicals over traditional heating and cooling systems that rely on fossil fuels is expected to result in fewer employment opportunities for boilermakers compared to other jobs in the HVAC/R field. As boilers and furnaces are replaced by heat pumps, boilermakers’ job duties (and job title) may shift and they may need retraining to work on making piping systems for fluids rather than fuel and combustion devices. Boilermakers could also use their core skillset (e.g., mechanical aptitude, interpreting schematics, adjusting controls, problem-solving, customer service) to transition into one of the related HVAC/R jobs identified on this website’s career map.

    Entering the Field

    Workers need to have a high school diploma or GED to be employed as a boilermaker, and they typically attend an apprenticeship program in which they complete self-study, receive on-the-job training, and attend classroom instruction. Workers become journey-level boilermakers after completing the apprenticeship, which usually takes four years. Some workers enter the apprenticeship directly, while others apply after working as pipefitters, welders, or sheet metal workers. Some boilermaker apprenticeship programs give priority acceptance to individuals with welding experience.

    Some local governments require individuals working on boiler systems to be licensed. In New York City, workers who operate stationary or portable high pressure boilers must obtain a High Pressure Boiler Operating Engineer License from the City’s Department of Buildings. A driver’s license may be needed to get from one worksite to another.

    Check local government requirements for more information regarding working as a boilermaker.


    In New York State, the median wage for boilermakers is approximately $83,500. Entry-level workers earn about $61,000, and experienced workers earn about $95,000.

    Annual Wage (Q1 2023 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region

    New York State$61,000$83,500$95,000
    Capital Region$58,600$83,500$95,700
    Central New YorkN/AN/AN/A
    Finger LakesN/AN/AN/A
    Hudson ValleyN/AN/AN/A
    Long IslandN/AN/AN/A
    Mohawk ValleyN/AN/AN/A
    New York CityN/AN/AN/A
    North CountryN/AN/AN/A
    Southern TierN/AN/AN/A
    Western New York$65,500$80,300$84,700

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 47-2011 (Boilermakers); N/A denotes wage data that is not available.


    Boilermakers are likely to be hired by fabricated metal products companies or construction contractors, including those that focus on nonresidential structures and building equipment (such as contractors for large commercial properties, where boilers are used to provide steam heat and hot water).

    Job openings across New York State in 2022 for boilermakers who work in the HVAC field were most often advertised online with the job title “boiler technician.” This job title and keywords such as “boiler,” “boilermaker,” “HVAC,” or “heating” can be used when searching job advertisements online to identify opportunities to work as boilermakers.

    Note: Construction jobs are often underrepresented in online job ads. Check with local manufacturing and contracting businesses and local union websites for additional opportunities to gain employment as a boilermaker.

    Labor Unions

    The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local Lodge No. 5 includes union boilermakers throughout New York State. The lodge is organized into four zones that cover New York’s labor market regions. Visit the union website to see which zones have jurisdiction in various counties and to learn more about the apprenticeship program offered by Local Lodge No. 5. 

    Workers employed by New York State or local governments may also belong to unions. Check with local communities to see if there are public unions for boilermakers.

    Capital Region

    • Zone 197 (Albany) 

    Central New York

    • Zone 175 (Oswego) 

    Finger Lakes

    • Zone 7 (Orchard Park)
    • Zone 175 (Oswego)

    Hudson Valley

    • Zone 5 (Floral Park) 

    Long Island

    • Zone 5 (Floral Park)

    Mohawk Valley

    • Zone 175 (Oswego)
    • Zone 197 (Albany)

    New York City

    • Zone 5 (Floral Park)

    North Country

    • Zone 175 (Oswego)
    • Zone 197 (Albany)

    Southern Tier

    • Zone 7 (Orchard Park)
    • Zone 175 (Oswego)
    • Zone 197 (Albany)

    Western New York

    • Zone 7 (Orchard Park)

    Education and Training Programs

    Becoming a boilermaker does not require a formal education beyond a high school diploma or GED, and schools in New York do not have programs that focus on boilermaking. There are some schools in New York (listed in the table below) that offer certificates and/or associate degrees in the related field of welding, which could be an advantage when applying to a boilermaker apprentice program. Other schools may offer professional development coursework in welding. Monroe Community College and SUNY at Corning are two schools that have those types of programs.

    Boilermakers who are looking to apply their skillset to a related job in the HVAC/R field that involves working with electricity-based HVAC/R systems instead of those that use fossil fuels can choose from a variety of retraining opportunities. They can take training courses offered by manufacturers and distributors of specific clean energy technologies (e.g., heat pumps), pursue educational opportunities provided by HVAC/R industry organizations – many of which offer certificates demonstrating competence in a particular specialization, or enroll in a degree program at a college or university. Explore the related jobs on this website to see how people get started in those positions and what trainings are available.

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeEngineering, Architecture and ManufacturingNoYesNoNoNo
    Modern Welding SchoolHomepageYesNoNoNoNo
    Central New York
    Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCESWelder/FitterYesNoNoNoNo
    Finger Lakes
    Monroe 2-Orleans BOCESCertificate ProgramsYesNoNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley
    Mohawk Valley Community CollegeSchool of STEMYesYesNoNoNo
    New York City
    Apex Technical SchoolWelder SchoolYesNoNoNoNo
    North Country
    Champlain Valley Educational ServicesWeldingYesNoNoNoNo
    Southern Tier
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Applied Technologies and ArchitectureNoYesNoNoNo
    The Greater Southern Tier BOCESWeldingYesNoNoNoNo
    Western New York
    Erie 1 BOCESCareer Training ProgramsYesNoNoNoNo
    Jamestown Community CollegeEngineering, Manufacturing, & Applied TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Niagara County Community CollegeBusiness & STEMNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at AlfredElectrical, Machine Tool, and Welding TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo

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