April 03, 2020


A boilermaker is a skilled craftsman who fabricates and assembles the structural elements that make up steam and hot water boilers. Their work involves constructing, installing, and maintaining boilers and other large vessels used to contain and transport liquids and gases under pressure.

This is a physical job, and, like shipbuilding, you will need to work in tight spaces and in noisy, hot, and damp environments at times. You will be working with a team and the earning potential is good especially once you become a qualified and experienced Boilermaker. To enjoy this job, you must have good manual dexterity and eye-hand co-ordination. You must be responsible, alert, and careful and be able to focus on your work under noisy working conditions.

Key tasks:

Develop drawings and make calculations before establishing a job procedure. 

Mark out plate and cut the metal plate to the correct dimensions with cutting torches. 

Use tools to bend, roll and heat metal, as well as assemble parts and weld them in place.

Maintenance and repair of boilers and pressure vessels.

Use rigging equipment to lift and position heavy components during the assembly and installation of boilers                  

Entry requirements/training:

To enter a Boilermaker apprenticeship, you must have a Grade 9 Certificate with a pass in Mathematics and Physical Science..

Career advancement:

The qualification also forms the basis for further learning in the field of engineering fabrication where you can specialise in one of the fabrication or welding skills areas at NQF Level 5. Boilermakers can find work in a variety of different sectors. You could start work in a shipyard, but you could also work in an engineering factory, a construction company, a railway, an iron or steel plant or a petroleum refinery.

Associated job opportunities:

Having a Boilermaker qualification allows you to progress to supervisory levels. It is suitable for application in various industries, such as the: 

Mining and Minerals Industry