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How to Train for a Boiler License

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Boilers, ladders and pipes at a power plant, image by Andrei Merkulov from

Boiler operators maintain and fix heating, ventilation and air conditioner systems for large commercial buildings like offices, malls and warehouses. Men and women seeking a career as a boiler operator receive training from on-the-job work experiences or by completing formal apprenticeship programs. After obtaining relevant work experience, aspiring boiler operators acquire a boiler operator's license. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, boiler operators who have apprenticeship training and a license have the best employment opportunities.

Meet minimum education requirement. Take high school courses in math, science, chemistry and computers. Obtain a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED).

Complete an apprenticeship program. The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) sponsors apprenticeship programs. Learn more about the apprenticeship by visiting the IUOE website. Contact the local chapter of the IUOE for enrollment information. Students in the apprenticeship program receive 6,000 hours of on-the-job training and 600 hours' classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs typically last for four years.

Apply for a boiler operator license. In every state boiler operators must be licensed. The requirements vary by each state. Contact the state agency that oversees the licensing process for boiler operators. Follow the licensing requirements. Successfully passing a written exam is required before you receive your license.


You must be at least 18 years od.

If you do not participate in an apprenticeship you can gain experience by working as helper for an experienced boiler operator. You may also complete a boiler operator program from a vocational training school before securing an entry-level position.