What are the Different Stationary Engineer Jobs?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2018
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Stationary engineers are professionals who perform preventative maintenance and repair work on different types of heavy equipment and engines. Experts work on systems that provide heat, air conditioning, water, or electricity for a building. Many stationary engineers specialize by working with a certain type of system, such as a boiler or a large heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. Stationary engineer jobs can be found in office buildings, hospitals, schools, factories, malls, and power plants.

A professional who repairs power generators usually has a very detailed understanding of math, physics, and electricity. He or she must be able to quickly diagnose and fix problems with mechanical components to prevent power outages. An individual is often required to perform preventative maintenance on gasoline, steam, or electrical engines and turbines. Maintenance work may include lubricating moving parts and adjusting power and pressure settings as needed. Most engineers keep very detailed records of their work and create service schedules for future maintenance jobs.

Stationary engineer jobs in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and buildings include servicing large HVAC systems. An expert engineer fully understands the inner workings of such systems, and can make detailed repairs on electrical engines to keep units functioning correctly. He or she frequently cleans out vents and engine compartments to prevent dust from clogging parts and disrupting HVAC systems.


Many stationary engineers work as boiler operators in schools, hospitals, and large office buildings. Boiler operators run, monitor, and repair large vessels that pump steam through vents in order to heat buildings. A professional is usually responsible for starting up equipment, checking and adjusting pressure gauges, and keeping machines clean. When repairs are necessary, a boiler operator generally shuts down the entire machine to diagnose malfunctions or patch leaks.

Individuals must hold high school diplomas and complete specific licensing requirements to obtain most stationary engineer jobs. New workers typically learn the trade through informal, on-the-job training provided by experienced professionals. A training period may last anywhere from one to four years, and culminates in a licensing exam administered by an individual's city, state, or country. In addition, many new workers choose to attend training programs offered by vocational schools to master job skills and improve their chances of landing advanced stationary engineer jobs.

Technological advances in power generators and HVAC equipment are changing the daily duties involved in stationary engineer jobs. In addition manually inspecting systems, many stationary engineers can monitor diagnostic computer equipment to check for problems and troubleshoot units. As a result of computer technology, many modern engineers are able to spend most of their time in comfortable environments instead of hot, noisy boiler rooms and basements.



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