IUOE Stationary Engineers acquire their skills through a formal apprenticeship program and through on-the-job training, which is supplemented by courses offered by IUOE and its local unions, or at trade or technical schools. Due to the increasing complexity of the equipment with which they work, many stationary engineers take related college courses. Still, it takes many years of formal training and work experience to become a skilled stationary engineer.
Apprenticeship is an excellent way to learn the craft and to earn income while learning. The system is designed to give someone who knows little or nothing about the trade the knowledge to become a journey-level Stationary Engineer.
The average length of a Stationary Engineer apprenticeship is four years. During this period, apprentices learn their craft by working with skilled stationary engineers at an actual job site, and attending related classroom instruction in such technical subjects as boiler operation and maintenance, air conditioning and refrigeration, HVAC instrumentation and controls, HVAC advanced testing and balancing, safety, electricity, energy conservation, and indoor air quality. This training is critical to preparing apprentices to qualify for stationary engineer licenses, which are required by most states.
Starting pay for an apprentice is about 40% to 60% of the journey-level stationary engineer rate. Pay increases are scheduled at designated times during the progression from apprentice to journey level.
Journey-level Stationary Engineers are encouraged to continue their education in order to broaden their skills, keep abreast of changes in the industry and increase their chances of employment.
Many IUOE stationary local unions have apprentice and journey-level training available through IUOE local union/employer training trust funds, commonly referred to as Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) training funds.
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