Stationary Engineers and boiler operators
Stationary engineers operate and maintain large equipment such as steam engines and generators.
Many factories and large buildings are powered by steam engines and generators. The energy from this equipment powers the heating and ventilation systems and may also provide electricity. Engineers start, monitor, and shut down engines and generators. They make sure equipment operates as safely and cheaply as possible. To make sure that the equipment is working within its limits, stationary engineers check meters, gauges, and computerized controls. If needed, they adjust the equipment.
Engineers also maintain and repair equipment. They lubricate parts and replace filters. They test boiler water and add chemicals to stop harmful deposits. In addition, engineers listen to the machinery for unusual sounds that indicate something is wrong. They also check safety devices. Engineers use hand and power tools when making repairs.
Stationary engineers keep records of breakdowns, repairs, fuel used, and other information about the equipment. In large buildings, stationary engineers may be in charge of all mechanical systems. They may use computers to monitor some of these systems. They may also supervise workers, such as assistant boiler engineers and boiler tenders. Some engineers do carpentry, plumbing, and electrical repairs. In a small building, there may be only one stationary engineer.
For different types of licenses and the requirements go to:
Annually on April 1.
For more details contact:
Department of Labor and Industry
Boiler, Blaster, and Crane Program
301 South Park, 4th Floor
PO Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
In Montana, about 170 stationary engineers and boiler operators are employed in this very small occupation. Many of these licensees work in other occupations and are licensed to fulfill the tasks of those occupations.
Nationally, about 34,600 stationary engineers work in this small occupation.
Major employers:General Medical and Surgical HospitalsLocal and state governmentsColleges, Universities, and Professional SchoolsElectric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
The following table gives the wages for this occupation:
Stationary engineers and boiler operators(SOC 51-8021)
|Region||Wages||Median||Half Earn Between|
Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The type of equipment operated and the engineer's experience also affect wages.
Stationary engineers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include health insurance, paid vacation, and sick leave. Some employers also provide a retirement plan. Some pay for job-related classes.
In Montana, employment for stationary engineers is projected to grow slower than the statewide average for all occupations through 2020.Nationally, the number of jobs for stationary engineers is expected to grow more slowly than average through the year 2020.
Although new industrial buildings are built each year, they often have automated systems and computerized controls. Thus, only a few stationary engineers will be needed to run new buildings. At the same time, older buildings are being shut down or equipment is being replaced. This further reduces the need for stationary engineers.
Job openings will be rare because this occupation has a low rate of turnover. Most openings will result from people leaving this occupation. Opportunities will be best for those who have completed an apprenticeship. Vocational school courses in computerized controls and instrumentation are also an asset.