Stationary Engineers


Overview

Stationary Engineers

Introduction

Stationary engineers operate and maintain boilers, engines, air compressors, generators, and other equipment used in providing utilities such as heat, ventilation, light, and power for large buildings, industrial plants, and other facilities. They are called stationary engineers because the equipment they work with is similar to equipment on ships or locomotives, except that it is stationary rather than located on a moving vehicle. There are approximately 32,520 stationary engineers employed in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$62,150

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

Apprenticeship


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Experience

Apprenticeship or experience as a boiler tender or helper require


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Skills

Building/Trades


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Personality Traits

Hands On

Earnings

Earnings of stationary engineers vary widely, but ranged from less than $39,050 to $100,080 or more annually in May 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The median annual salary was $62,150. In metropolitan areas, where most jobs are located, earnings tend to be higher than other areas.

New apprentices earn 45 to 60 percent of the journey-level rate. As their training progres...

Work Environment

Stationary engineers usually work eight-hour shifts, five days a week. The plants where they work may operate 24 hours a day, so some stationary engineers regularly work afternoon or night shifts, weekends, or holidays. Some work rotating shifts. Occasionally overtime hours are necessary, such as when equipment breaks down or new equipment is being installed.

Most boiler rooms, power pla...

Outlook

Employment for stationary engineers is expected to grow by 3 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Slow employment growth is due to declining job demand in manufacturing. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic affected many industries, with business operations either shut down or resumed with fewer workers. Stationary engineers are considered "essential workers," how...

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