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Essential Skills
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Analyzer Technicians make a great living and are in high demand.

Careers in Skilled Trades:
Boilermaker

Over the next few issues we will be looking at some skilled trades so you can get some idea of what's out there. This week we will look at the career of Boilermaker.

Boilermakers fabricate, assemble, install, test, maintain and repair boilers, vessels, tanks, towers, heat exchangers and other heavy-metal structures.They are employed in building manufacturing and power generation plants, in shipbuilding and on other industrial projects.

Duties

Boilermakers may specialize in rigging and hoisting, preparation and layout, or welding. Depending on your speciality, your duties may include the following:

  • Building and installing boilers
  • Laying out plate or sheet steel and marking cuts, bends and welds
  • Fitting and welding metal sections together
  • Maintaining and repairing boilers
  • Directing crane operators during installation or repair of boilers
  • Reading and interpreting blueprints

Work Conditions

As a Boilermaker, you may work indoors or outdoors, usually on a construction site and with a team of other construction professionals. The job is physically demanding and often involves working with heavy machinery or power tools at heights.

As with all careers in the construction industry, safety is the top priority. Boilermakers are trained to work safely and wear special equipment to protect against injury.

Training and Certification

Apprenticeship Program length

Boilermaker apprenticeship programs vary across Canada, but generally involve three 12-month periods, including at least 4,500 hours of on-the-job training, four six-week blocks of technical training and a final certificate exam.

Related work experience or completion of a boilermaker program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.

Certification
Certification is required in Alberta and Quebec, and is available but voluntary in all other provinces and territories. Even where certification is voluntary, it is still recommended. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.

To be certified as a Boilermaker, you usually need to complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a journeyperson certificate.

You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have more than four years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses in boilermaking.

As a certified Boilermaker, you may write the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work as a Boilermaker anywhere in Canada.

To keep your skills current, boilermakers must keep up with new technology developments by reading and talking with other boilermakers.

Read more on the Government of Canada website

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