What is a Boilermaker?
A Boilermaker is a highly skilled tradesman who erects and maintains various types of pressure vessels. These vessels include small boilers in schools and hospitals, coal fired boilers in power generation plants, blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces in the steel industry, precipitators and scrubbers which clean the exhaust from these furnaces and boilers, and numerous other tanks and pressurized containment vessels in industrial plants. Welding, burning, heavy and high rigging and layout work are the most important skills a Boilermaker needs to perform his job.
A Boilermaker works primarily in plants that are considered heavy industry. Steel mills, power generation plants for utilities, chemical plants, refineries, and paper mills are just a few of the industries that Boilermakers and their contractors’ service. These plants can also pose dangerous working conditions, so safety training is constantly taught and reviewed by the union, the contractor, and the owner. This tripartite alliance has proved very successful in minimizing lost time accidents. Persons interested in becoming a Boilermaker must not be afraid of heights or be claustrophobic, and can expect to work night shifts.