Jobs Outlook: Boilermakers
Little or no growth in employment of boilermakers is expected through the year 2012, but many openings will be created by the need to replace experienced workers who leave this occupation; boilermakers tend to retire early, partly due to the physically demanding nature of the work. Because the number of persons seeking entry to the occupation is relatively low, some areas currently are experiencing a shortage of applicants for apprenticeship programs.
Growth may be limited by the trend toward repairing and retrofitting, rather than replacing, existing boilers; the use of small boilers, which require less onsite assembly; and automation of production technologies. However, demand for more boilermakers may stem from environmental upgrades required by Federal regulations such as the Clean Air Act.
Most industries that purchase boilers are sensitive to economic conditions. Therefore, during economic downturns, boilermakers in the construction industry may be laid off. However, because maintenance and repairs of boilers must continue even during economic downturns, boilermaker mechanics in manufacturing and other industries generally have stable employment.