Skilled Trades Careers

How to Become a Boilermaker (Apprenticeship and Certification)

DateOctober 24, 2023
how to become a boilermaker

Are you looking to enter a hands-on trade that offers job growth and lucrative opportunities? Becoming a boilermaker may be the perfect career path for you. With an apprenticeship program and the right certifications, you can build a secure future in this dynamic field.

Many people overlook skilled trades when planning their career, but these society-sustaining industries are ideal for anyone who's comfortable working with their hands.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account to explore potential apprenticeship programs and connect with industry professionals. Then, come back and read the rest of this article to kickstart your journey!

What is a boilermaker and what do they do?

Boilermakers work on heavy metal equipment with a focus on boilers, furnaces, and other machines that generate and contain heat and gasses. They work in power plants, factories, refineries, or shipyards and are responsible for the construction, maintenance, and repair of powerful systems.

How much is the average boilermaker salary?

The average boilermaker salary can vary based on a number of factors, including experience, location, industry, and certifications. Entry-level and apprenticeship positions earn approximately $46,560 per year.

boilermaker average salary

With more experience, the average journeyman salary can increase to around $66,920 per year. Masters who have acquired specialized certifications or have extensive experience in complex welding techniques can earn $95,700 annually, or even more.

How difficult is working as a boilermaker?

This job is challenging and physically demanding. Boilermakers often work in small and cramped spaces and are sometimes exposed to extreme temperatures. These conditions can be strenuous and uncomfortable, requiring most workers to have above average endurance and physical fitness.

Experienced boilermakers also need to possess problem-solving skills as they are responsible for installing and maintaining complex steel structures. Attention to detail is crucial in ensuring that the installation and welding techniques are executed accurately and effectively.

That said, this is a lucrative career for the right type of person. Apprenticeship programs and trade school are much less expensive than college, and provide better educational options for many students.

SkillHero connects students and skilled trade workers with opportunities, training, and resources. Claim your free account to access a wide range of educational materials and job listings in the field.

How to become a boilermaker in the United States

The process typically starts with completing an apprenticeship program. These programs provide a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction, allowing workers to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for the trade.

Obtaining certifications from recognized organizations like the American Welding Society can further enhance a boilermaker's career prospects. These certifications demonstrate competency in complex welding techniques, which are important in the assembly and maintenance of steel structures.

After completing the apprenticeship and obtaining certifications, boilermakers may need to obtain relevant licenses required by their state or local jurisdiction. This may include a welder's license or other trade-specific licenses.

With the right training, certifications, and licenses, becoming a boilermaker in the United States opens up opportunities for a rewarding career.

Aspiring boilermakers can sign up for a free SkillHero account, where they can find apprenticeship programs, job opportunities, and resources to help them succeed in their trade.

Get your high school diploma or equivalent credential

It's important to obtain a high school diploma or an equivalent credential such as a GED. This educational foundation provides the necessary skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in this trade.

In addition to a high school diploma, taking relevant classes can greatly enhance your prospects as a boilermaker. Courses such as welding and woodworking can help develop important skills that are directly applicable to the work of a boilermaker.

These classes provide hands-on experience and teach you essential techniques in metalworking and construction.

Create a skilled trade resume

Creating a skilled trade resume is essential when applying for jobs in trades. A well-crafted resume can help you stand out and attract the attention of potential employers.

Include your education, such as any degrees, diplomas, or certifications you have obtained. Specifically mention any training or coursework related to welding or boilermaking.

Detail your employment history, including any relevant work experience in the field. Highlight projects and responsibilities that demonstrate your ability to work with heavy objects, steel structures, and construction techniques.

Be sure to showcase your relevant skills. Include specific details about your expertise in installation techniques, safety procedures, and routine maintenance. Mention any certifications you have earned, such as those from the American Welding Society or welding school.

You can use SkillHero's resume builder to create an effective and easy-to-update resume, and even apply for job opportunities with a couple of clicks. Claim your free account here.

Find an apprenticeship

Finding an apprenticeship as a boilermaker is an excellent way to kick-start your career in this skilled trade. To begin, start by researching and identifying reputable apprenticeship programs that offer hands-on instructions and classroom training.

When applying for an apprenticeship program, showcase your relevant education and certifications, such as a degree or certification in welding technology. Highlight any previous work experience or projects that demonstrate your expertise in working with heavy objects, steel structures, and construction techniques.

During the apprenticeship you'll receive on-the-job training under the guidance of experienced boilermakers. This invaluable experience will allow you to develop your problem-solving skills and gain a deeper understanding of installation techniques, safety procedures, and routine maintenance.

SkillHero offers a free platform for aspiring boilermakers to connect with apprenticeship opportunities and gain access to resources and training materials. Sign up for a free SkillHero account today to take the first step towards a successful career as a boilermaker apprentice.

Continue gaining skills and certifications

Obtaining additional certifications demonstrates your commitment to your trade and showcases your expertise in specialized areas of boilermaking. One valuable certification to consider is becoming a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).

This certification, offered by the American Welding Society (AWS), signifies your ability to inspect and ensure the quality of welds in various welding applications. A CWI credential can open doors to higher-level positions and supervisory roles.

By continuously gaining new skills and certifications, you position yourself as an exceptional boilermaker, attracting better job opportunities and potentially earning a higher salary.

Who is best suited for a boilermaker career?

A boilermaker career is best suited for individuals who thrive in physically demanding environments and possess strong technical skills. As a boilermaker, you will work with heavy objects and steel structures, requiring physical strength and endurance.

Attention to detail is crucial in a boilermaker's day-to-day work, as they must follow precise installation techniques and safety procedures. Problem-solving skills are also essential, as boilermakers may encounter challenges during routine maintenance or when working on complex construction projects.

If you enjoy hands-on work, excel at solving problems, and pay close attention to detail, a career as a boilermaker may be a perfect fit for you. Sign up for a free SkillHero account today to access training, resources, and job opportunities in the boilermaking industry.