Trades & Services

Boilermaker

Boilermakers assemble, install, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other vessels that hold liquids and gases under pressure.

  • Entry-level education

    Apprenticeship

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Boilermaker do?

Boilermakers assemble, install, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other large vessels or containers that hold liquids and gases, and have to withstand pressure.

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Work activities

As a boilermaker, you would:

  • examine boilers, pressure vessels, tanks, or vats to locate defects, so that they can be repaired
  • bolt or arc weld pressure vessel structures and parts together, using wrenches or welding equipment
  • inspect individual components, such as tubes, fittings, valves, controls, or auxiliary mechanisms, to locate any defects
  • repair or replace defective pressure vessel parts, such as safety valves or regulators, using torches, jacks, caulking hammers, power saws, threading dies, welding equipment, or metalworking machinery
  • attach rigging or hoist operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections or other parts into place
  • bell, bead with power hammers, or weld pressure vessel tube ends to ensure leakproof joints.

Boilermakers trained in structural fabrication may be involved in fitting, assembling and joining aluminium and steel in the construction or repair of towers, bridges, structural supports, girders and ships.

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Key skills and interests

To become a boilermaker, you would need:

  • practical skills and enjoy working with machines
  • an interest in computer-programmable machinery
  • to be able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • the strength to handle materials, tools and machines
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • patience, and to be safety-conscious
  • to be able to carry out accurate work.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would generally work a standard number of hours, Monday to Friday.

Conditions

Boilermakers perform physically demanding and dangerous work. You would need to travel to worksites and may be required to be away from home for periods of time. You would usually need a valid drivers' licence.

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How to become an Boilermaker?

Entry Level Education

To become a boilermaker you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Engineering - Fabrication Trade. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Some tradesperson roles require working at heights or in confined spaces. To work at heights, you must complete a Work Safely at Heights short course provided by a Registered Training Organisation. To work in confined spaces, you must have a Confined Space Entry Permit.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of boilermakers is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

The installation of new boilers and pressure vessels, air pollution equipment, water treatment plants, storage and process tanks, electric static precipitators, and stacks and liners will spur some demand for boilermakers, although to a lesser extent than repairs and upgrades will.

While boilers typically last more than 50 years, the need to replace parts, such as boiler tubes, heating elements, and ductwork, is an ongoing process that will require the work of boilermakers.

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Devices

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