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California Stationary Engineer Test Information

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Stationary engineers – also known as boiler operators – operate, maintain and repair commercial building climate control equipment. Many stationary engineers enter the field as entry-level trades workers and receive training in operating and maintaining HVAC systems.

Minimum Qualifications

To be considered for employment, stationary engineers should have at least a high school education; some employers may prefer completion of an associate level degree or vocational training program. Due to the nature of the work, employers and government entities may require certification or licensure to perform full stationary engineer responsibilities.

California Requirements

To become a stationary engineer in California, a worker must be at least 18 years old, graduated from high school, received a GED or other educational equivalent, and test into and complete a four-year apprenticeship program. Local 39 of the International Union of Operating Engineers administers a stationary engineer apprenticeship program for California.

Apprenticeship Test

California individuals interested in the stationary engineer apprenticeship program must apply to an exam; those meeting the apprenticeship program requirements will receive notice of test date and location. The exam tests knowledge typically acquired through high school education.


Candice Bailey has been writing and researching since 2004. She has assisted nonprofit, public sector and private organizations with studies and policy development. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a Master of Public Administration, both from the University of Arizona.

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