Refinery Stationary Engineers
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators are responsible for the overall maintenance of the stationary engines and boilers used to provide utilities-such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning-for industrial buildings. Typically, these buildings also have facilities to provide electrical power and steam, which Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators are also responsible to maintain.
The core tasks of stationary engineers and boiler operators include interpreting readings on gauges, meters and charts to ensure that boilers are operating properly. They must activate valves to ensure proper maintenance of water levels in boilers and adjust supplies of combustion air to control the rate which fuel enters the burners, thus properly heating or cooling the desired building or section. The engineers and operators must also maintain logs of operation, maintenance and safety, which include recording test results, instrument readings, and providing detailed reports of equipment malfunctions or leaks. This also includes ensuring that the necessary equipment is operating properly. Supplemental responsibilities for the position include supervising assistant stationary engineers, turbine operators and boiler tenders as well as igniting fuel within the burners and investigating and reporting accidents.
The job typically involves working in engine rooms, power plants, boiler rooms, mechanical rooms and electrical rooms. While these places are usually well maintained and have plenty of light, the stationary engineer and boiler operator are commonly subjected to high temperatures, dust, dirt and loud noises. The position also gets dirty as maintenance involves contacting machine liquids such as oil and grease. This is a "hands-on" position where workers will spend lots of time on their feet or crawling into boilers to inspect, clean or repair the equipment.
For this position, vocational training, on-the-job experience and an associate's degree combine to make the ideal candidate. A bachelor's degree is not necessarily required but a candidate chances of getting the position will not be compromised with one.
The median salary for Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators is approximately $22.50 per hour, which translates to an annual wage of about $46,040. There are more than 40,000 employees with this position and between now and 2016, reports say that an additional several thousand employees will be needed.