How To Become a Boilermaker

Want to join an elite membership of skilled craftsmen and women who are trained to be the best? Looking for a defined benefit pension? Excellent healthcare for you and your family? A generous annuity plan? The Boilermakers union just might be for you.

How to become a boilermaker
  1. Earn a high school diploma or GED. To become a boilermaker, most employers require you to attain a high school diploma or complete a GED program. …
  2. Consider a welding certification. …
  3. Gain experience. …
  4. Build your network. …
  5. Update your resume. …
  6. Apply to jobs. …
  7. Problem-solving. …
  8. Detail-oriented.

Occupational Video – Boilermaker

What does a boilermaker do?

Here is a list of some primary duties that boilermakers might have no matter their employer or work environment:

Boilers and tanks are necessary equipment for many different industries. Therefore, a boilermakers work environment, and consequently their tasks, might change depending on where or for whom they work.

What is a boilermaker?

A boilermaker is a tradesperson who builds, installs and repairs boilers and tanks. Boilers heat the liquid that helps generate power or provides heat to buildings or ships, while tanks are storage units that hold chemicals, such as oil or gas. After gaining experience and possibly pursuing certification, a prospective boilermaker might begin their career as an associate or entry-level boilermaker before advancing to senior positions.

How to become a boilermaker

Here are some steps that can help assist you in becoming a professional boilermaker:

1. Earn a high school diploma or GED

To become a boilermaker, most employers require you to attain a high school diploma or complete a GED program. While obtaining a diploma or GED, you can take classes that help develop important skills for boilermakers to have. You might consider taking classes related to welding or woodworking so you can familiarize yourself with electric tools and heavy machinery. You may also consider taking geometry classes, which can help you analyze measurements accurately to understand where to place boilers.

2. Consider a welding certification

Boilermakers often use complex welding techniques to install boilers safely and accurately. Though most employers do not require you to have a welding certification, you may have a better chance of being accepted into apprenticeship programs if you have experience and certification in welding. Here is a list of welding certifications that can benefit you as a boilermaker:

3. Gain experience

The best way for a prospective boilermaker to obtain experience is through an apprenticeship program. In an apprenticeship program, you can gain valuable knowledge and training from experienced boilermakers, who teach proper installation techniques, how to repair boilers and how to use the tools that assist them in their craft. You may also gain experience using necessary equipment while under the close supervision of other boilermakers. Most boilermaker apprenticeships are two to four years long and include paid training.

To find a boilermaker apprenticeship program, you can search online or contact local trade schools to see if they offer apprenticeship programs that are a good fit for you. You can also apply to a union since many unions offer apprenticeships with on-the-job training included.

4. Build your network

As a boilermaker, its essential to build your network so you can pursue available job opportunities and eventually advance your career. To establish connections with other boilermakers, you may develop relationships with colleagues while you are an apprentice, or you can join professional boilermaker societies, such as the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers or the Boilermakers Union.

5. Update your resume

As you gain professional experience, its important to update your resume so potential employers can see your full range of talent and skills related to installing and repairing boilers. You can use keywords in your resume that might help separate yourself from competitive applicants. Some important keywords and phrases for a boilermaker resume may include:

6. Apply to jobs

Once you have updated your resume, be sure to apply to jobs for which you are qualified. For example, as you begin your career, consider applying to entry-level jobs or associate boilermaker positions. As you advance in your career, you may qualify for managerial positions, such as senior boilermaker positions.

Average salary and job outlook

Boilermakers often perform their work in small spaces. They might work in an underground basement, outdoor spaces or other small boiler room settings. Their worksite is often damp, dark and not well-ventilated since boiler rooms typically have no windows or air vents. Boilermakers might have to work in extreme heat or cold temperatures, depending on the location in which they work, as many boilers that are outside are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions.

Boilermaker skills

Here are several skills that boilermakers use on a daily basis:


Boilermakers often possess strong problem-solving skills to find potential issues that arise during boiler installation or repair any boilers that break post-installation. Its essential for boilermakers to develop solutions so employees and customers are safe, as a broken or damaged boiler may result in dangerous outcomes.


Its important for boilermakers to be detail-oriented since much of their job requires following precise measurements and blueprints as they install boilers. To avoid any errors, boilermakers study blueprints closely and follow measurements accurately.


Boiler installation typically requires a team of several professionals to install properly. Boilermakers often work to assist one another in moving heavy parts, diagnosing issues and installing boilers, so if each boilermaker on an installation team has excellent teamwork skills, a job may be completed more efficiently and safely.

Physical endurance

Boilermakers often possess excellent physical endurance since installing boilers requires individuals to stand for long periods of time. They may also squat, kneel or lift heavy objects to and from a worksite.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


Is it hard to be a boilermaker?

Boilermakers do physically demanding work in cramped spaces inside boilers, vats, or tanks that are often dark, damp, noisy, and poorly ventilated. They frequently work outdoors in all types of weather, including extreme heat and cold.

How much does a boilermaker earn per month?

The average salary for a Boilermaker in SA is R 17 680 gross per month (R 102 gross per hour), which is 25% lower than the South Africa’s national average salary. Salary Range: a Boilermaker can expect an average starting salary of R 8 840. The highest salaries can exceed R 34 666.

Is boiler making a good career?

Boilermakers are specialised artisans who mark off and fabricate structural steel and other metal stock to make or repair metal products and structures including boilers and pressure vessels. Becoming a boilermaker is a riveting career choice and holds a lot of responsibility and duties.

What is a boilermaker salary in SA?

The average boilermaker boilermaker salary in South Africa is R 287 200 per year or R 147 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 204 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 754 017 per year.

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