Boilermakers assemble, install, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other vessels or large vessels that hold liquids and gases. They perform physically demanding and sometimes dangerous jobs.
Most learn their trade through a formal apprenticeship program. Candidates are more likely to enter training programs if they already have welding experience and certification.
What does a Boilermaker do?
Boilers, tanks and vats are used in many buildings, factories and ships. Boilers heat water or other fluids under extreme pressure to generate electrical power and provide heat. Large tanks and vats are used to store and process chemicals, oil, beer, and hundreds of other products.
A coppersmith will typically do the following:
- Use blueprints to determine part locations, positions, or dimensions
- Install small prefabricated boilers in buildings and manufacturing facilities.
- Arrange prefabricated parts of larger boilers before assembling
- Assemble boiler tanks, often using robotic or automatic welders
- Test and inspect boiler systems for leaks or defects.
- Clean tanks with scrapers, wire brushes and cleaning solvents.
- Replace or repair broken valves, pipes or joints
- Use hand and power tools, gas torches and welding equipment. The boilers are made of steel, iron, copper or stainless steel. Manufacturers are increasingly automating boiler production to improve the quality of these vessels. However, boilermakers still use many tools to make or repair boilers. For example, they use hand and power tools or cutting torches to cut parts for a boiler. To bend parts into shape and align them accurately, boilermakers use plumb bobs, levels, wedges, and turnbuckles. If the sections of the plate are very large, the large cranes put the pieces in place. Once they have the parts lined up, they use metalworking machinery and other tools to remove the ragged edges so the parts fit together properly. They join the pieces by screwing, welding or riveting them. In addition to installing and maintaining boilers and other vessels, boilermakers help build and repair air pollution equipment, blast furnaces, water treatment plants, storage and processing tanks, and chimneys. Boilermakers also install firebricks and other heat-resistant materials in combustion chambers or pressure vessels. Some install and maintain the huge pipes that are used in dams to send water to and from hydroelectric power generation turbines. Because boilers last for a long time, sometimes 50 years or more, boiler manufacturers must regularly maintain them and update parts. They frequently inspect accessories, feed pumps, safety and check valves, water pressure gauges and gauges, and boiler controls. What is the workplace of a Boilermaker like?
A boilermaker performs physically demanding and dangerous work and must be strong enough to move heavy components from the tub into place. They must have great strength because they spend many hours on their feet while lifting heavy components from the boiler. They often work outdoors in all types of weather, including extreme heat and cold. Dams, boilers, storage tanks, and pressure vessels are usually large. Therefore, boilermakers often work at great heights. When working on a dam, for example, they can be hundreds of feet above the ground. A boilermaker can also work in tight spaces inside boilers, vats, or tanks that are often dark, damp, and poorly ventilated.