Stationary engineers and boiler operators held about 39,100 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most stationary engineers and boiler operators were as follows:
State and local government, excluding education and hospitals
Junior colleges, colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private
General medical and surgical hospitals; private
They were employed in a variety of industries. Because most stationary engineers and boiler operators work in large commercial or industrial buildings, the majority of jobs were in manufacturing, government, educational services, and hospitals.
In a large building or industrial plant, a senior stationary engineer or boiler operator may be in charge of all mechanical systems in the building and may supervise a team of assistant stationary engineers, assistant boiler tenders, and other operators or mechanics.
In small buildings, there may be only one stationary engineer or boiler operator who operates and maintains all of the systems.
Some stationary engineers and boiler operators are exposed to high temperatures, dust, dirt, and loud noise from the equipment. Maintenance duties may require contact with oil, grease, and smoke.
Workers spend much of their time on their feet. They also may have to crawl inside boilers and work while crouched, or kneel to inspect, clean, or repair equipment.
Injuries and Illnesses
Stationary engineers and boiler operators work around hazardous machinery. They must follow procedures to guard against burns, electric shock, noise, dangerous moving parts, and exposure to hazardous materials.
Most stationary engineers and boiler operators work full time during regular business hours. In facilities that operate around the clock, engineers and operators usually work one of three 8-hour shifts on a rotating basis. Because buildings such as hospitals are open 365 days a year and depend on the steam generated by boilers and other machines, many of these workers must work weekends and holidays.