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Oswego Career Ladders - Hospital Maintenance Engineer

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Hospital Maintenance Engineer

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Engineering

Heating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and ventilation systems keep large facilities comfortable all year long. Industrial plants often have facilities to provide electrical power, steam, or other services. Stationary engineers and boiler operators operate and maintain these systems, which include boilers, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, diesel engines, turbines, generators, pumps, condensers, and compressors. Stationary engineers and boiler operators start up, regulate, repair, and shut down equipment. They ensure that the equipment operates safely, economically, and within established limits by monitoring meters, gauges, and computerized controls. Stationary engineers typically use computers to operate the mechanical, electrical, and fire safety systems of new buildings and plants. Engineers monitor, adjust, and diagnose these systems from a central location, using a computer linked into the buildings communications network.

Routine maintenance, such as lubricating moving parts, replacing filters, is a regular part of the work of stationary engineers and boiler operators. Stationary engineers are responsible for the maintenance and balancing of air systems, as well as hydronic systems that heat or cool buildings. They also may check the air quality of the ventilation system and make adjustments to keep the operation of the boiler within mandated guidelines.

A stationary engineer may be in charge of all mechanical systems in a large building. Engineers may supervise the work of assistant stationary engineers, turbine operators, boiler tenders, and air-conditioning and refrigeration operators and mechanics.

Work Settings

Engine rooms, power plants, boiler rooms, mechanical rooms, and electrical rooms usually are clean and well lighted. Even under the most favorable conditions, however, some stationary engineers and boiler operators are exposed to high temperatures, dust, dirt, and high noise levels from the equipment.


Stationary engineers and boiler operators usually acquire their skills through a formal apprenticeship program, or on-the-job training supplemented by courses at a trade or technical school. Most States and cities have licensing requirements for Stationary engineers and boiler operators.

Job Outlook

Stationary engineers and boiler operators held about 55,000 jobs in 2002. Employment of stationary engineers and boiler operators is expected to show little or no growth through the year 2012.


Median annual earnings of Stationary engineers and boiler operators were $43,240 in 2002.

Work Schedule

Regular 40 hour week.

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