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Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators - 51-8021.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes. Operate equipment, such as steam engines, generators, motors, turbines, and steam boilers.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Boiler Operator
  • Boiler Technician
  • Building Engineer
  • Fireman
  • Operating Engineer
  • Plant Operator
  • Plant Utilities Engineer
  • Stationary Engineer
  • Stationary Steam Engineer
  • Utilities Operator

SOC Occupation Groups

51-0000 Production Occupations
51-8000 Plant and System Operators
51-8020 Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
51-8021.00 Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

Related Occupations


  • Activate valves to maintain required amounts of water in boilers, to adjust supplies of combustion air, and to control the flow of fuel into burners.
  • Adjust controls and/or valves on equipment to provide power, and to regulate and set operations of system or industrial processes.
  • Analyze problems and take appropriate action to ensure continuous and reliable operation of equipment and systems.
  • Check the air quality of ventilation systems and make adjustments to ensure compliance with mandated safety codes.
  • Clean and lubricate boilers and auxiliary equipment and make minor adjustments as needed, using hand tools.
  • Contact equipment manufacturers or appropriate specialists when necessary to resolve equipment problems.
  • Develop operation, safety, and maintenance procedures or assist in their development.
  • Fire coal furnaces by hand or with stokers and gas- or oil-fed boilers, using automatic gas feeds or oil pumps.
  • Ignite fuel in burners, using torches or flames.
  • Install burners and auxiliary equipment, using hand tools.
  • Investigate and report on accidents.
  • Maintain daily logs of operation, maintenance, and safety activities, including test results, instrument readings, and details of equipment malfunctions and maintenance work.
  • Monitor and inspect equipment, computer terminals, switches, valves, gauges, alarms, safety devices, and meters to detect leaks or malfunctions and to ensure that equipment is operating efficiently and safely.
  • Monitor boiler water, chemical, and fuel levels, and make adjustments to maintain required levels.
  • Observe and interpret readings on gauges, meters, and charts registering various aspects of boiler operation to ensure that boilers are operating properly.
  • Operate mechanical hoppers and provide assistance in their adjustment and repair.
  • Operate or tend stationary engines, boilers, and auxiliary equipment such as pumps, compressors, and air-conditioning equipment, to supply and maintain steam or heat for buildings, marine vessels, or pneumatic tools.
  • Perform or arrange for repairs, such as complete overhauls, replacement of defective valves, gaskets, or bearings, or fabrication of new parts.
  • Provide assistance to plumbers in repairing or replacing water, sewer, or waste lines, and in daily maintenance activities.
  • Receive instructions from steam engineers regarding steam plant and air compressor operations.
  • Supervise the work of assistant stationary engineers, turbine operators, boiler tenders, or air conditioning and refrigeration operators and mechanics.
  • Switch from automatic to manual controls and isolate equipment mechanically and electrically to allow for safe inspection and repair work.
  • Test boiler water quality or arrange for testing and take necessary corrective action, such as adding chemicals to prevent corrosion and harmful deposits.
  • Test electrical systems to determine voltages, using voltage meters.
  • Weigh, measure, and record fuel used.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow.
  • Adjust flow of electricity to tools or production equipment.
  • Assemble electromechanical or hydraulic systems.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Confer with others to resolve production problems or equipment malfunctions.
  • Direct operational or production activities.
  • Exchange information with colleagues.
  • Ignite fuel to activate heating equipment.
  • Inspect production equipment.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
  • Monitor equipment fluid levels.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Operate energy distribution equipment.
  • Operate energy production equipment.
  • Operate pumping systems or equipment.
  • Plan production or operational procedures or sequences.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Test chemical or physical characteristics of materials or products.
  • Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • ARS-50 Class Propulsion Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Automatic Combustion Control Console Operator (General Regulator) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Auxiliary Systems Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Fuels (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Launching and Recovery Equipment (Navy - Enlisted)
  • CG 47 Gas Turbine Electrical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • CG 47 Gas Turbine Mechanical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Construction Engineering Technician (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Cryogenics Equipment Operator (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • DDG 51 Gas Turbine Electrical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • DDG-51 Gas Turbine Mechanical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • DDG-M Gas Turbine Mechanical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Electrical Power Production Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Electrical Power Production Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Electrical Power Production Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Electrical Power Production Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Electronic Automatic Boiler Controls Console Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Engineer Equipment Electrical Systems Technician (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Engineman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • FFG-7 Class Auxiliaries Mechanical System Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • FFG-7 Gas Turbine Electrical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • FFG-7 Gas Turbine Mechanical Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Fireman (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Fireman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Fireman Apprentice (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Fireman Recruit (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Fuels (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • LCAC Craft Engineer/Assistant Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Machinist's Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Machinist's Mate (Nuclear) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Prime Power Production Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Quartermaster and Chemical Equipment Repairer (Army - Enlisted)
  • SSN/SSBN Auxiliary Equipment Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Steam Plant Auxiliary Systems Maintainer (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Utilities Chief (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Utilitiesman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Water Support Technician (Marine Corps - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Boiler Operator
  • Firer, Marine
  • Stationary Engineer
  • Stationary Engineer - Power House

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Air-Compressor Operator
  • Boiler Operator
  • Boiler-Operator Helper
  • Boiler-Room Helper
  • Firer, Low Pressure
  • Firer, Marine
  • Firer, Retort
  • Gas-Engine Operator
  • Humidifier Attendant
  • Refrigerating Engineer
  • Stationary Engineer
  • Stationary-Engineer Apprentice