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Found in many industrial and commercial buildings as well as schools and hospitals, boilers are the lifeline for keeping these and other buildings running smoothly day after day. As technology has evolved, highly-skilled technicians are needed to service boilers. Whether it is valves, gauges, meters, or other parts of boilers, technicians must have the necessary training and certifications to perform complex repairs and other related tasks. To become a boiler technician, here are the training and certification steps you will need to take.
To become a boiler technician, you will need a high school diploma as the minimum educational requirement. To get further training, be it in college or an apprenticeship program, a high school diploma will be required. While in high school, try to excel in algebra, electronics, physics, and other similar courses.
If you want to jump directly into learning how to become a boiler technician after high school, apply for an apprenticeship offered through the International Union of Operating Engineers. In a typical boiler technician apprenticeship program, expect to receive almost 600 hours of classroom instruction and more than 4,000 hours of actual hands-on training in boiler safety, operations, maintenance, and the different types of boilers. Most apprenticeship programs last four years.
If you want to get the necessary training to service boilers in a shorter period of time, enroll in a local community college or trade school that offers a diploma program in boiler service. Like an apprenticeship, you can expect to have classroom instruction as well as hands-on learning. In this type of program, you will receive training in blueprint reading, hydraulics, technical math, power controls, and metering.
In most states, boiler technicians are required to be licensed. Many states have different licensing programs for low-pressure and high-pressure boilers, so keep this in mind when seeking licensure. To be eligible to obtain a license, you will need to be a resident of the state, be at least 18 years old, and have previous experience as a boiler operator. To get licensed, you will need to pass the state exam with a score of at least 70. If you are successful in doing so, your license will usually be good for three years.
A complex and important job that continues to be in high demand, consider becoming a boiler technician if you have strong mechanical aptitude, are good at math, and are great at keeping track of the smallest of details.