FAQs

1What is a Boilermaker?
The Union Boilermaker craft is comprised of a multifaceted, highly skilled workforce that helps to sustain every form of American industry.

At one time, anything that operated by steam fell under the Boilermaker work jurisdiction. Nowadays, the power generation industry is vastly dependent on the skills that Boilermakers provide.

Since we organized in 1881 – through the present time – the scope of work has grown to be one of the premier trades which service the following industries: Nuclear, Fossil, Hydro-electric, Waste to Energy, Tidal & Geo-Thermal, Steel, Petroleum, Chemical, Paper Mills, Breweries, Wineries, Mines, Recycling Plants, Sewage Treatment Plants, Bio-Diesel, Flex-Fuels, Ethanol Plants, Canneries, Schools – plus numerous other facilities.
2What do Boilermakers do?
Boilermakers fabricate, install, erect, dismantle and maintain the components and structures from the Light Commercial through the Heavy Industrial sector (tanks, process towers, smokestacks, etc.).

Boilermakers make, install, and repair boilers, vats, and other large vessels that hold liquids and gases. Boilers supply steam to drive huge turbines in electric power plants and to provide heat and power in buildings, factories, and ships. Chemicals, oil, beer, and hundreds of other products are processed and stored in tanks and vats. Boilers and other high-pressure vessels are usually made in sections, by casting each piece out of molten iron or steel. Small boilers may be assembled in the manufacturing plant; larger boilers are usually assembled on site.

Following blueprints for installing boilers and other vessels, boilermakers locate and mark reference points on the boiler foundation, using straightedges, squares, transits, and tape measures.

Boilermakers attach rigging and signal crane operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections and other parts into place. They align sections, using plumb bobs, levels, wedges, and turnbuckles. Boilermakers use hammers, files, grinders, and cutting torches to remove irregular edges so edges fit properly. Then they bolt or weld edges together.

Boilermakers align and attach water tubes, stacks, valves, gauges, and other parts and test complete vessels for leaks or other defects. Usually they assemble large vessels temporarily in a fabrication shop to insure a proper fit before final assembly on the permanent site.

Please CLICK HERE to visit our Video page to learn more about the Boilermakers trade.
3What skills do Boilermakers perform?
Boilermakers perform the following skills:

  • Major concentration on High Pressure and Structural Welding, along with various cutting procedures is used. Our welders must qualify with many processes, procedures and metallurgy. We employ the latest technologies to meet the ever changing worksites.
  • Rigging, signaling, and hoisting materials and equipment from small winches through the largest cranes in the world
  • Steel fabrication, erection and dismantling
  • Inspection and testing
  • Scaffold erection and dismantling
  • Blueprint interpretation
  • Bolting and torquing of pressure vessels and structural components
4Where will I be working? What is the NE Area's jurisdiction?
One of four individual areas, we are the Boilermakers Northeast Area Apprenticeship Program. Geographically, we represent apprentices from nine individual Field Construction Local Lodges and Zones located solely in the Northeast region of the United States.

Specifically, our apprentices work in the jurisdictional areas of:

*Individuals interested in a Boilermakers Apprenticeship outside of the Northeast Area are encouraged to visit the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program’s website for more information.
5Is the Boilermaker trade for you?
Important items to consider:

  • Work performed by boilermakers requires high technical skill and dedication to top performance.
  • Field construction work is by nature an outside job which means exposure to all types of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.
  • Boilers, dams, power generation plants, storage tanks, and pressure vessels are usually of mammoth size; therefore, a major portion of boilermaker work is performed at great heights, often from 200 to 1000 feet above the ground.
  • Field construction and repair work is contract work; so, when the contract is completed, the job is ended. You may have to travel the territory of the local lodge and live away from home for long periods of time.
  • The size of the materials, tools, and equipment handled by boilermakers requires excellent physical strength and stamina.
  • To become a journeyman Boilermaker you must complete a minimum 6,000 working hours, forty-eight (48) online self-study lessons, on-the-job training booklets and classroom instruction (minimum of 144 hours a year). The average Boilermaker Apprenticeship typically takes four years to complete.
6How do I apply for an Apprenticeship?
To be considered for our Program, applicants MUST pickup applications in person and return the application and required documentation to the NE Area office via certified mail/return receipt requested within ten (10) business days.

It is our policy NOT to mail or email applications.

For complete details on our application process, please CLICK HERE to visit our Applicants page.
7What are the program's minimum requirements?
Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be 18 years of age
  2. Must have graduated from high school, or be able to provide an equivalency certificate
  3. Be willing to participate in alcohol and drug testing within 48 hours after signing the apprenticeship agreements
  4. Have reliable transportation to the related instructions and to travel long distances to job sites
  5. Be physically able to perform the usual tasks required in the Boilermaker Trade as determined by a verbal declaration
8Is welding experience required?
Applicants possessing written proof of welding qualifications or training will be given priority selection over those with no welding qualifications or training.

Applicants are divided into four Pools of Eligible Applicants:

  1. Pool I Applicants posses Certified Tube (Pipe/TIG/SMAW 1G-6G) Welding Certificates
  2. Pool II Applicants posses Certified Plate (MIG Plate/SMAW Plate) Welding Certificates
  3. Pool III Applicants posses Vo-Tech or Welding School Certificates (regardless of welding process studied)
  4. Pool IV Applicants posses no certifiable welding skills
9Do the Boilermakers have a nondiscrimination policy?
Yes:

The Boilermakers Northeast Area Apprenticeship Program will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older.

The Boilermakers Northeast Area Apprenticeship Program will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.