Stationary Engineers

Stationary engineers operate and maintain boilers, engines, air compressors, generators, and other equipment used in providing utilities such as heat, ventilation, light, and power for large buildings, industrial plants, and other facilities. They are called stationary engineers because the equipment they work with is similar to equipment on ships or locomotives, except that it is stationary rather than located on a moving vehicle. There are approximately 35,960 stationary engineers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Boiler Operators
Duties Operate and maintain boilers, engines, air compressors, generators, and other equipment used in providing heat, light, and power
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but are best in large, urban areas
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Apprenticeship
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Apprenticeship or experience as a boiler tender or helper required
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Skills
  • Building/Trades
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Chief Plant Engineer, or Building Superintendent, or Boiler Inspector
  • Stationary Engineer
  • Assistant Stationary Engineer
  • Apprentice, or Boiler Tender, or Helper

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