How To Become a Boilermaker Apprentice in 6 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Boiler making is a specific type of trade career that allows you to install and fix boilers that help heat people's homes. To become a boilermaker, you may need to complete an apprenticeship with a senior boilermaker. Understanding the qualifications and steps to apply for this type of apprenticeship may increase your chances of becoming a boilermaker. In this article, we explore what a boilermaker apprentice is, the steps you can take to get an apprenticeship, the general work environment for this position and some helpful tips.

What is a boilermaker apprentice?

A boilermaker apprentice is a paid position that involves assisting a full boilermaker in performing their duties. This allows the apprentice to learn about boilermaker techniques in a work environment. Some boilermaker apprentices work individually with a boilermaker, while others work in small groups.

Read more: How To Become a Boilermaker

What does a boilermaker do?

A boilermaker is a trade professional who installs and repairs boilers or heating tanks. Boilers are a type of home technology that heats a liquid to provide warmth for a house while tanks contain that liquid for storage. Here are some examples of duties that a boilermaker may perform:

  • Installing new boilers and storage tanks

  • Diagnosing potential challenges in a boiler that may require repairs

  • Conducting repairs on boilers or tanks

  • Replacing any broken parts, such as valves, gauges and pipes

  • Studying blueprints to determine the location of a boiler

  • Cleaning any debris that occurs during boiler installation

  • Refilling tanks

  • Using welding techniques to align or repair boiler parts

Related: Types of Trades Within the Construction Industry

How to become a boilermaker apprentice

These are some steps that may help you become a boilermaker apprentice:

1. Complete your high school education

To become a boilermaker apprentice, you must be at least 18 years old and have a completed high school education. You can either receive a high school diploma or get a GED for this role. When applying, you may need to show proof of your completed education.

2. Consider a welding certification

While the only official requirements for becoming an apprentice is your age and education status, some apprenticeships may ask you if you have any welding experience. Many apprenticeships separate applicants into different categories by whether they have a welding certification. Consider completing a welding certification course or taking some welding classes before applying to qualify for a higher category.

3. Research union lodges

A union lodge is a local headquarters for boilermaker unions. These lodges connect boilermakers together and regulate many apprenticeship programs. You can research any union lodges near your location to see what apprenticeships are available and if they have any unique additional requirements.

4. Enroll in a trade school

If there's no boilermaker union lodge near your location or you want to try an alternate route, you may join a program at your local trade school. Trade schools and community colleges often offer classes for specialized careers such as boiler making and may host their own apprenticeship programs. While most apprenticeships at a trade school include multiple apprentices working together, some programs can also include individual opportunities.

5. Apply for a boilermaker apprentice position

After you complete your education requirements and choose where you want to fulfill your apprenticeship, you can send in an application for the position. Most apprenticeship applications require a resume, personal statement and recommendations from professional contacts or people who know you well. They may also ask for official documentation related to your high school education or welding certifications.

Related: How To Write a Boilermaker Resume (With Example and Tips)

6. Attend an interview

Once you send in an application, your union lodge or trade school can try to find a professional that matches your qualifications, career goals or personality. You may then need to perform an in-person interview with that boilermaker to finalize your apprenticeship. During the interview, you can explain your qualifications and interest in becoming a boilermaker. Try to use the STAR method to help demonstrate your skills.

Related: How To Use the STAR Interview Response Technique

Boilermaker work environment

Boilermakers often work in boiler rooms, which are usually located in basements or small outdoor areas. These spaces may not have many windows or ventilation shafts and can become quite dark. When working outside, boilermakers may also experience extreme hot or cold environments.

Boilermaker apprentice salary

While Indeed has no exact data for a boilermaker apprentice, the national average salary for a full boilermaker is $72,934 per year. This salary may change depending on experience, location and your particular union. Boilermaker apprentices typically earn less than boilermakers, but they may get more money if their mentor has a higher salary.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.

Tips for becoming a boilermaker apprentice

These are some suggestions that may help you find an apprenticeship with a boilermaker:

Build a professional network

A professional network may give you advice about how you can improve your apprenticeship application. They may also introduce you to people they know, including professional boilermakers. Meeting a boilermaker and sharing a professional contact in common may improve your chances of getting accepted for an apprenticeship. You can build your network by attending networking events, talking to your friends or family and joining boilermaker online communities.

Exercise regularly

Becoming a boilermaker requires a large amount of physical strength and endurance. When applying for a position as a boilermaker apprentice, you may need to demonstrate that you can complete the physical tasks of this job. Exercising and eating healthy meals may improve your overall physical performance and may increase your chances of successfully finding an internship.

Research boiler making

Having a basic understanding of boilermaker techniques and concepts may make you a more competitive candidate, which can improve your ability to gain an apprenticeship. You can research information about boiler making by subscribing to trade magazines, taking trade courses or watching documentaries. If you know any boilermakers, you can also talk to them to learn more about their trade.

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