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Apprenticeship

Boilermaker

Boilermakers build, erect, repair, test and maintain all types of boilers, tanks and pressure vessels, and perform all types of structural and plate work on dust, air, gas, steam, oil, water and other liquid-tight pressure containers.

  • Avg. Salary $84,387.00
  • Avg. Wage $40.33
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Pressure Vessel Fabricator, Construction Tradesperson

NOC & Interest Codes
The Boilermaker is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Boilermakers
NOC code: 7262
OBJECTIVE

Interest in setting up and operating heavy-duty metalworking machines such as brakes, rolls, shears, flame cutters and drill presses to cut, shape and form metal into parts and sections

METHODICAL

Interest in speaking - signalling to direct the activities of hoist operators, crane operators and other workers during fabrication, assembly, installation and repair of structures

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to repair and perform maintenance work on boilers and other heavy metal products; and in testing finished structures using a variety of methods

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 08, 2016

To fabricate, assemble, install, erect, alter, maintain, repair, disassemble and demolish boilers, tanks, heat exchangers, fired heaters, reactors and other pressure vessels, boilermakers:

  • develop a layout and plan the sequence of work to be done
  • lay out plate, sheet steel or other heavy metal, and locate and mark bending and cutting lines
  • shape the metal using metal working machines such as shears and drill presses
  • cut metal plate and brackets using an oxy-fuel torch
  • chip and grind parts to shape for fitting together
  • fit and tack weld parts together using electric arc welding equipment.

Boilermakers also erect and install boilers, and repair and maintain existing boilers and related metal products.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Boilermakers work on construction sites, heavy industrial plants and fabrication shops. Working conditions often are cramped, dirty and involve exposure to chemical vapours, wetness or high noise levels. Installing boilers sometimes involves working on scaffolds. Boilermakers who work in confined spaces and high heights require the use of personal protective equipment and safety systems. The normal work week is 40 hours but some overtime may be required. Travel and staying in camps also may be required for boilermakers working in industrial plants.

Boilermakers may have to lift and move items that weigh over 25 kilograms. There always is some risk of injury when working with heavy equipment, especially when working at considerable heights. 

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Boilermakers need the following characteristics:

  • reliable and willing to learn
  • physical strength and stamina
  • good co-ordination and manual dexterity
  • mechanical aptitude 
  • the ability to tolerate chemical odours 
  • the ability to work in close quarters and at heights.

They should enjoy working with tools, equipment and machinery at tasks that require precision and involve a degree of excitement and variety.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

To work in Alberta, a boilermaker must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3 and Science 10, or equivalent, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Good marks in math, physics, drafting and industrial arts are particularly important. 

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Boilermaker apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Boilermaker

Boilermakers build, erect, repair, test and maintain all types of boilers, tanks and pressure vessels, and perform all types of structural and plate work on dust, air, gas, steam, oil, water and other liquid-tight pressure containers. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Boilermaker Trade Regulation, you must have a certificate that is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training or be a registered apprentice to work on boilers, tanks or pressure vessels, or perform structural and plate work on dust, air, gas, steam, oil, water or other liquid-tight pressure containers in Alberta.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for apprentice boilermakers in Alberta is three years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training each year and three eight week blocks of technical training. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Boilermakers from other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).

Pressure Welder

Pressure welders weld parts together to construct pressure vessels, boilers, pressure piping systems and associated fittings.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Safety Codes Act and Pressure Welder Regulation, you must hold an appropriate certificate from the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) and a performance qualification card to weld on pressure vessels, boilers, pressure piping systems or fittings. There are three types of certificates: (1) Grade B Pressure Welder, (2) Grade C Pressure Welder, and (3) Machine Welding Operator. The performance qualification card must specify the welding process, base material group, filler metal group, thickness of deposited weld metal, positions, backing and minimum pipe diameter.

What You Need

Each type of certificate has different qualification requirements. Performance qualification cards may be issued by authorized safety codes officers or authorized testing organizations. For official, detailed information about certification requirements, visit the ABSA website.

Working in Alberta

Pressure welders who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified pressure welders in the two jurisdictions have similar competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Boilers Safety Association
9410 20th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6N 0A4
Phone number: 780-437-9100
Website: www.absa.ca

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Boilermakers are employed in the following industries:

  • metal fabricating
  • construction
  • shipbuilding 
  • rail transport
  • petrochemical and coal products
  • electric power
  • iron and steel
  • oil and gas.

Experienced boilermakers may advance to supervisory positions such as foreman or superintendent. Alberta certified journeyperson boilermakers who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

In Alberta, 83% of people employed as boilermakers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $30 to $46 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice boilermakers earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 75% in the second and 90% in the third.

Boilermakers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7234: Boilermakers.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Boilermakers occupational group earned on average from $39.70 to $41.61 an hour. The overall average wage was $40.33 an hour. For more information, see the Boilermakers wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Fabrication
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers website: www.boilermakers.ca

 

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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