Throughout commercial and industrial buildings are energy supply rooms that must be maintained and regulated at all times. Schools, hospitals, and malls are all examples of buildings that need someone regularly maintaining the energy room in order to keep the building safe and running efficiently. Boiler operators also help to monitor, maintain and repair certain types of equipment that is found within the boiler room.
In order to become certified in boiler operation and become a professional in the field, there are certain educational and training courses that must be completed. Below is a quick overview of how someone with enough motivation and ambition can launch a successful career in operating a boiler room.
The first step in your education is obtaining your high school diploma or the equivalent, such as a GED. During your high school career, you should focus your efforts specifically on science and math classes. Some examples are geometry, algebra, physics, and chemistry. Each of these courses will help to lay a basic foundation of the knowledge you need to complete the required boiler maintenance classes before your start your career.
Additional skills and courses that may not be necessary but can benefit an individual hoping to work in this field are:
- English speaking
- Interpersonal communication
- Computer science
It’s important that a boiler operator is able to effectively communicate with many people, and some individuals are surprised at how much of a benefit it can be to have good skills with people.
For many boiler operators, it is asked that an Associate’s degree be obtained. This is often a two-year degree that can be obtained from any university of community college in your area. Specific programs of study include welding technology, HVAC, and stationary engineering. During your course of study you will be trained and gain knowledge in burner repair, combustion processes, and boiler systems. You may also benefit from a course in computer drawing or design, as many systems are all run electronically and new technology is developed every day.
On The Job Training
The next step in becoming a boiler operator is an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a four to five year period of time, during which you work directly under an individual who is certified in operating and maintaining a boiler room. During this time, you gain valuable on the job experience and knowledge that is difficult to convey in a classroom. The benefit of having an apprenticeship period is that you are paid even as you are gaining your education and experience necessary for your career. While it may seem like the education and training period for becoming an operator of a boiler room is long, it’s important to remember that the longest period, the apprenticeship, will still allow you to earn a salary.
In some states, it is required that any boiler operator be licensed. While the requirements for licensing will differ from state to state, you can expect some sort of mix of experience, education, and the passing of a competency exam as the requirements to become a licensed boiler operator.
After you have obtained your license, the knowledge doesn’t end. You will have the opportunity to further your career by obtaining different levels of licensing within your specialty, and there is no limit to where you can go at this point.
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