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International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers

The following information is provided as a general overview/guideline and it subject to change. Information as to earnings and benefits should be verified with the trade office in your geographical area as it can vary from province to province.

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers
753 State Ave., Suite 570
Kansas City, KS 66101

Top Officer:
Newton B. Jones, International President

The Union Boilermaker craft is comprised of a multi-facetted, 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. 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 premiļæ½re trades which service the following industries:

Power Generation - Nuclear, Fossil, Hydro-electric, Waste to Energy, Tidal & Geo-Thermal

Shipbuilding - Military and Merchant

General Industry - 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

Pollution Control Systems - Related to every industrial process

What do Boilermakers Do?

We fabricate, install, erect, dismantle and maintain the components and structures from the Light Commercial through the Heavy Industrial sector. (Tanks, process towers, smokestacks, etc…)

The dangers of this career require a major emphasis on Safety Training which enables our members to 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 & Dismantling
  • Inspection & Testing
  • Scaffold Erection & Dismantling
  • Blueprint Interpretation
  • Bolting & Torquing of pressure vessels and structural components

What is a Boilermaker Apprenticeship Program?

This four year program provides an opportunity for hard working women and men to earn while you learn through a combination of self study, classroom and on the job training. Participants train at one of the 12 training centers across Canada. Once learned, these skills along with a safe work attitude, Union brotherhood and pride in craftsmanship will produce an effective and productive worker for the future of our industry.

How much will I earn?

You earn while you learn the trade. Union journeymen Boilermakers wages and fringe benefits are negotiated on their behalf by the union through collective bargaining with signatory contractors. Some apprenticeship programs partner with community colleges to offer college credit for apprenticeship classes.

Wages vary according to the geographic location of the local union. The average starting wage for 1st year apprentices is 40 - 50% of the Journeyman's wage rate plus fringe benefits. Your earnings are adjusted annually to reflect your advancing skills and increasing knowledge of the trade.

What type of work will I do?

Boilermakers and boilermaker mechanics 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.