Stationary engineers and boiler operators
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Overview
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Stationary engineers and boiler operators control stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment.
Titles for this career often contain these words
OperatorEngineerBoilerPlantStationaryAirFiremanPowerSteamEnginePumpPressureCompressorWorkerHeatingLowFirerHousePowerhouseConditioningHelperRoomCoolingDieselFanVentilationAttendantTenderOperatingUtilitiesStationTurboWaterAuxiliaryBlowingTechnicianBreakerBuildingByproductSystemTowerDredgeEnginemanExhaustExhausterRunnerGasVentilatingOperatorsMechanicHighHumidifierMarineCombustionPlugmanPumpingRefrigeratingRefrigerationRetortApprenticeTurbineTankFarmElectricWatchPumper
Education
Only 12% of stationary engineers and boiler operators have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by stationary engineers and boiler operators
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer stationary engineers and boiler operators have bachelor's degrees than 66% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Stationary engineers and boiler operators, with 33,700 workers, form a smaller workforce than 61% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for stationary engineers and boiler operators are expected to grow by 3%, and should have about 3,700 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Stationary engineers and boiler operators are more likely to be automated than 74% of other careers.
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Salaries
The median (middle) salary for stationary engineers and boiler operators is higher than 68% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most stationary engineers and boiler operators.
This job's median $60KAll jobs' median $39K$60K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 3% of stationary engineers and boiler operators -- that's a smaller percentage than 90% of other jobs.
Gender of stationary engineers and boiler operators
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For stationary engineers and boiler operators, the median men's salary was 3% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 19% of stationary engineers and boiler operators are minority, and 13% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of stationary engineers and boiler operators
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (13%)
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Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 71% of stationary engineers and boiler operators, and 78% have company-sponsored health insurance (15% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for stationary engineers and boiler operators
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
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Injury and Illness
About 109 stationary engineers and boiler operators become injured or ill for every 10,000 workers, making this job more dangerous than 72% of other careers. The most common specific illnesses or injuries are detailed following.
All cuts, lacerations, punctures
Bruises and contusions
Sprains, strains, tears
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of stationary engineers and boiler operators who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (100%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (91%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (89%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (76%)
  • Exposed to High Places (74%)
  • Consequence of Error (73%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (71%)
  • Time Pressure (61%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (48%)
  • Degree of Automation (41%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do stationary engineers and boiler operators earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for stationary engineers and boiler operators compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators (BLS Salary Data)
$60K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$60K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all stationary engineers and boiler operators, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for stationary engineers and boiler operators compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators (ACS Salary Data)
$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where stationary engineers and boiler operators work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Stationary engineers and boiler operators (ACS)
Private for-profit (72.8%)
Private not-for-profit (8.7%)
Local government (7.1%)
State government (5.4%)
Federal government (5.5%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.2%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.4%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of stationary engineers and boiler operators by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$58K$60K$55K$57K$56K$54K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of stationary engineers and boiler operators by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$60K$60K$65K$60K$59K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for stationary engineers and boiler operators

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? This first chart suggests how much this job rewards experience with increased salaries.

Now let's dive a little deeper. Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$62K$62K$63K$61K$48K$54K$54K$26K$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Stationary engineers and boiler operators and gender

With 3% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 90% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
3%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Stationary engineers and boiler operators
Men (97%)
Women (3%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 21%. The situation is better for stationary engineers and boiler operators, with the median salary for men only 2.9% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$57K$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Stationary engineers and boiler operators have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 89% of other jobs.

3%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of stationary engineers and boiler operators

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. The percentage of minority stationary engineers and boiler operators falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of stationary engineers and boiler operators
White (78% )
Black (10% )
Asian (4% )
Other (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$48K$49K$56K$57K$60K$64K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KHispanicBlackOtherMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators by nativity
$53K$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Part-time/Full-time
Stationary engineers and boiler operators and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 3% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 87% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
3%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by stationary engineers and boiler operators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), stationary engineers and boiler operators typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as stationary engineers and boiler operators as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for stationary engineers and boiler operators.

Education attained by stationary engineers and boiler operators
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for stationary engineers and boiler operators

Stationary engineers and boiler operators need at least a high school diploma. Students should take courses in math, science, and mechanical and technical subjects.

With the growing complexity of the work, vocational school or college courses may benefit workers trying to advance in the occupation.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for stationary engineers and boiler operators

Some state and local governments require licensure for stationary engineers and boiler operators. These governments typically have several classes of stationary engineer and boiler operator licenses. Each class specifies the type and size of equipment the engineer is permitted to operate without supervision. Many employers require stationary engineers and boiler operators to demonstrate competency through licenses or company-specific exams before they are allowed to operate the equipment without supervision.

A top-level engineer or operator is qualified to run a large facility, supervise others, and operate equipment of all types and capacities. Engineers and operators with licenses below this level are limited in the types or capacities of equipment they may operate without supervision.

Applicants for licensure usually must meet experience requirements and pass a written exam. In some cases, employers may require that workers be licensed before starting the job. A stationary engineer or boiler operator who moves from one state or city to another may have to pass an examination for a new license because of regional differences in licensing requirements.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for stationary engineers and boiler operators? Below we see the distribution of stationary engineers and boiler operators salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as stationary engineers and boiler operators, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$41K$54K$61K$63K$71K$81K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (6%)High School (40%)Some College (31%)Associate's Degree (11%)Bachelor's Degree (10%)Master's Degree (2%)
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for stationary engineers and boiler operators

What jobs will most stationary engineers and boiler operators hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of stationary engineers and boiler operators reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Stationary engineers and boiler operatorsJanitors and building cleanersHeating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installersEngineers (specialized areas)Mechanical engineersConstruction equipment operatorsPipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfittersManagers (specialized areas)Engineering techniciansIndustrial and refractory machinery mechanicsArchitectural and engineering managersDriver/sales workers and truck driversGrounds maintenance workersMaintenance and repair workersProduction workersChief executives and legislatorsDental assistantsComputer programmersCivil engineers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for stationary engineers and boiler operators

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as stationary engineers and boiler operators as well as 1% of respondents after working as stationary engineers and boiler operators. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for stationary engineers and boiler operators: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as stationary engineers and boiler operators? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of stationary engineers and boiler operators surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Read about stationary engineers and boiler operators
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Stationary engineers and boiler operators typically do the following:

  • Operate engines, boilers, and auxiliary equipment
  • Read gauges, meters, and charts to track boiler operations
  • Monitor boiler water, chemical, and fuel levels
  • Activate valves to change the amount of water, air, and fuel in boilers
  • Fire coal furnaces or feed boilers, using gas feeds or oil pumps
  • Inspect equipment to ensure that it is operating efficiently
  • Check safety devices routinely
  • Record data and keep logs of operation, maintenance, and safety activity

Most large commercial facilities have extensive heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems that maintain comfortable temperatures all year long. Industrial plants often have additional facilities to provide electrical power, steam, or other services. Stationary engineers and boiler operators control and maintain boilers, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, turbines, generators, pumps, and compressors.

Stationary engineers and boiler operators start up, regulate, repair, and shut down equipment. They monitor meters, gauges, and computerized controls to ensure that equipment operates safely and within established limits. They use sophisticated electrical and electronic test equipment to service, troubleshoot, repair, and monitor heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.

Stationary engineers and boiler operators also perform routine maintenance. They may completely overhaul or replace defective valves, gaskets, or bearings. In addition, they lubricate moving parts, replace filters, and remove soot and corrosion that can make a boiler less efficient.

Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for stationary engineers and boiler operators was higher than 68% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $60KAll jobs' median $39K$58K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for stationary engineers and boiler operators are anticipated to grow by 3% over the next decade; 60% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for stationary engineers and boiler operators is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030020,00040,00060,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most stationary engineers and boiler operators? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as stationary engineers and boiler operators. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where stationary engineers and boiler operators earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for stationary engineers and boiler operators.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which stationary engineers and boiler operators earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Stationary engineers and boiler operators (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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