Boilermakers

(NOC 7234)

in All Trades and Transportation

Boilermakers build, test and repair air-tight and liquid-tight containers like boilers and storage tanks. The name originated from workers who would make boilers, but they may work on projects as diverse as bridges to blast furnaces to the construction of mining equipment. Boilermakers may specialize in rigging and hoisting, preparation and layout, or welding aspects of the trade. Boilermakers work for boiler manufacturing, metal fabricating, shipbuilding, construction, electric power generation, rail transport, petrochemical and coal products, and similar industrial companies. Apprentices are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook for Boilermakers: undetermined - an outlook was not determined for this occupation due to too few workers in Nova Scotia. The need to replace retiring workers in the coming years will be partially offset by a slow down in employment growth.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: small, with infrequent job opportunities.

Job openings: some in the coming years due to retirements.

Work hours: full-time, normally. Both permanent and temporary jobs are common.

Hourly Pay

$34.59

Minimum

$41.92

Median

$49.69

Maximum

Annual Pay

$38,429

Minimum

$62,218

Median

$100,885

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Boilermakers build, test and repair air-tight and liquid-tight containers like boilers and storage tanks. The name originated from workers who would make boilers, but they may work on projects as diverse as bridges to blast furnaces to the construction of mining equipment.

Boilermakers may specialize in rigging and hoisting, preparation and layout, or welding aspects of the trade.

Boilermakers work for boiler manufacturing, metal fabricating, shipbuilding, construction, electric power generation, rail transport, petrochemical and coal products, and similar industrial companies. Apprentices are included in this group.

Job duties

Boilermakers:

  • Read blueprints or specifications to plan the sequence of work to be done.
  • Lay out, shape, and cut metal and other materials using hot and cold methods.
  • Set up and operate heavy metal working machines like brakes, rolls, shears, flame cutters and drill presses to cut, shape and form metal into parts or sections.
  • Fit and weld metal parts or sections together to build boilers, vessels, tanks, heat exchangers, piping, and other heavy-metal products.
  • Build and install boilers and other heavy-metal products according to specifications using hand and power tools.
  • Inspect, test, and complete repairs on pressure and non-pressure systems.
  • Assemble and use cranes and other hoisting equipment to move and place materials.
  • Test finished structures using a variety of methods.

Sample job titles

  • boiler fitter
  • boiler installer
  • boiler repairer
  • boiler shop mechanic
  • boilermaker
  • construction boilermaker
  • industrial boilermaker
  • industrial construction boilermaker
  • maintenance boilermaker

Skills

  • Strength, stamina, and use of proper lifting techniques to work with heavy parts and equipment.
  • Coordination and manual dexterity.
  • Mechanical aptitude.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • The ability to tolerate chemical odours.
  • The ability to work as a team.
  • Flexibility to work shifts and to travel.
  • The ability to work with tools, equipment and machinery at tasks that require precision and variety.
  • Comfortable working in confined spaces and at heights.
  • The ability to make decisions.

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent.
  • Training through a 5,400-hour apprenticeship program with three apprenticeship levels: enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 8,100 hours and other criteria.
  • Certification for boilermakers is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for boilermakers.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Setting: both indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions, at heights, confined spaces, and harmful atmospheres.
  • Risks: physically demanding, controlled hazardous environments.
  • The normal work week is 40 to 70 hours, with paid overtime.
  • Boilermakers travel to where there is work and may be away from home for extended periods of time.
  • Experienced boilermakers may advance to supervisory positions like foreperson or superintendent. Experience can also give them opportunities in quality control and quality assurance, inspections, and training.
  • New technologies, new materials, higher-quality welds and welding material, and larger lifts and lifting capacity have created many changes in this group.
  • The contractor environment is increasingly competitive and the trade very mobile because of the size and complexity of construction projects, often in remote areas.
  • Jobs in the construction industry are affected by seasonal changes and economic conditions. Work may be on a project basis. Workers should be prepared for periods of unemployment.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

175

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

0.0%
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100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.2

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

50.0%

North Shore

$70,883 median annual income
26.5%

Cape Breton

$58,166 median annual income
8.8%

Southern

N/A
8.8%

Halifax

N/A
5.9%

Annapolis Valley

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

64.0%

Manufacturing

20.0%

Other services (except public administration)

16.0%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

31.0%

35-44

20.0%

45-54

20.0%

55-64

17.0%

25-34

6.0%

65+

6.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

45.7%

Trade Certification

$76,586 median annual income
45.7%

College Diploma

$58,965 median annual income
8.6%

High school

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Direct Entry Apprenticeship - Boilermaker

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 5,400 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system. A boilermaker apprenticeship prepares apprentices to fabricate and repair steam boiler components. This may include courses in principles of steam power, material selection, welding, riveting, sealing materials, pressure testing, pipefitting, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Metal Fabrication - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to construct industrial, storage, and commercial metal structures using prefabricated framing and siding components. They include courses in sheet metal working, ironworking, assembly and fastening techniques, blueprint reading, site preparation, structural design principles, safety, and applicable codes and regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Welding Technology/Welder - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to join or cut metal surfaces. They include courses in arc welding, resistance welding, brazing and soldering, cutting, high-energy beam welding and cutting, solid state welding, ferrous and non-ferrous materials, oxidation-reduction reactions, welding metallurgy, welding processes and heat treating, structural design, safety, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Boilermaker

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Canadian Boilermakers
Various, Canada
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades
Lakeside, NS
Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration - Boilers and Pressure Equipment (BPE)
Dartmouth, NS