The boilermaking industry is one of the hottest in the entire industrial sector. But if you want to do well for yourself in it, it can be crucial to dedicate some time to keeping up with the latest trends in the space.
Understanding the boilermaker industry
Before diving into the top boilermaker industry trends for 2021, let’s take a second to review exactly what this industry encompasses.
What boilermakers do
Boilermakers are industrial professionals who spend their time working on boilers, vats, and other large containers. A boilermaker will often assemble, install, maintain, and repair the boilers and containers that they work with.
The job tends to be physically demanding, and those who pursue it often need to travel from job site to job site to work on different projects. This can involve spending prolonged periods away from home.
What it takes to become a boilermaker (education and training)
The highest level of education that most boilermakers achieve is earning a high school diploma. However, although boilermakers don’t usually earn degrees, they do train for the job in other ways.
Most boilermakers develop the skills they need to make it in the profession by completing an apprenticeship. These take about 4 years to complete and involve learning by working alongside experienced boilermakers.
How much boilermakers make
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a boilermaker is $65,360. We also know that the top 10% of workers in this industry earned $99,920 per year while the bottom 10% earned $39,620.
But many different factors can impact a boilermaker’s earnings. For example, the BLS says that boilermakers working in plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning make $79,190 per year on average. But those working in fabricated metal product manufacturing make $57,290.
Forecasting the future of boilermaking
Oil-fired boilermakers are becoming more popular
Experts anticipate oil-fired boilermakers seeing a resurgence in popularity in the coming years. Demand has been flat for these for some time. But that’s likely to change soon, as alternatives like gas-fired systems have proved to simply not be as cost-effective or fuel-efficient as their oil-fired counterparts.
It’s the blend of low cost and operational efficiency that experts rely on when making their predictions about a spike in demand for oil-fired boilermakers.
Commercial boilermaker manufacturers will have more opportunities in the healthcare sector
Healthcare infrastructure is expanding across the globe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the realization that we may not have enough hospital beds to meet demand during black swan events like the coronavirus.
That should be a bullish catalyst for commercial boilermaker manufacturers. When countries and companies invest in building new healthcare facilities, they are also often investing in new boiler systems or upgrading old ones.
Condensing boilers are replacing existing technology
We also expect to see condensing boilers take up an increasingly large percentage of the total market for boilers in the years to come.
These typically offer high levels of efficiency, minimal pollution, and have a compact design that makes them quite easy to install in out-of-the-way locations.
The catalyst for this will likely be countries getting stricter about emission standards to combat global warming. We should see this trend accelerate considerably within the next decade.
Energy efficiency standards will impact boiler manufacturing
Newer boiler systems are often much more energy-efficient than older models. That means we should start to see more and more companies replacing their outdated boilers with new ones as emission standards become increasingly important.
This trend is already breaking out across Europe and it’s likely to become more pronounced in the United States in the coming years as well.
It will be harder to find new boilermaker employment opportunities in the future
According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for boilermakers are only expected to grow by about 1% over the next decade. That’s slower than the average rate, which is about 3-4%.
This data suggests that it will be tougher for new boilermakers to find solid positions with opportunities for long-term growth in the years to come. That means new entrants to this field will likely need to do more to stand out from the competition over the next decade.
Region-specific employment markets will see greater variability
According to the BLS, there are about 3,620 boilermakers employed in Texas — the most in the country. But the state with the 5th-highest employment numbers for boilermakers, New York, is home to just 610 employees.
This data shows that where you look for a boilermaker job can be nearly as important as your qualifications.
In the future, the disparity in job opportunities between states may grow even larger. We expect that to be true since job growth for boilermakers is going to be lower than average.
That means we’ll likely see region-specific employment markets for boilermakers vary significantly from one another. To ensure that you find a job in this field, you may need to open up your geographic flexibility so that you can look for opportunities in the states where they’re at.
How to navigate these trends to achieve your goals
The growth of the boilermaker industry may be slowing down, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still achieve your goals in it.
To do so, you may just need to be more proactive about expanding your skillset and making yourself a more valuable employee. Here are three strategies for doing just that:
Focus on upskilling
Upskilling is about taking charge of your professional development instead of waiting for an employer to do it for you. It’s a practice that, when implemented correctly, can help you achieve a lasting career in the boilermaker industry.
There are a few different ways to do this. For example, it might be as easy as asking for new responsibilities at work. Your employer may reward your initiative by assigning you to projects that help you build a new set of marketable skills.
You might also consider joining a local professional organization. This can be a great way to stay plugged in to the latest trends in the boilermaker industry and form new professional relationships. It could also lead to several rewarding opportunities to make a name for yourself in the area, which could help your employment prospects down the road.
Consider taking educational courses
It’s rarely a bad decision to go back to school. If there’s a specific aspect of the boilermaker trade that you struggle with, taking a course on that topic could be exactly what you need to grow.
You might want to explore the class offerings that are available to you at local community colleges, trade schools, and technical schools. You might find one that introduces you to a new area of the boilermaker industry that helps you unlock new opportunities in the job market.
Seek guidance from your peers
Your peers can also be an excellent resource for helping you unlock more of your potential. If you see someone using a technique that you aren’t familiar with, it never hurts to ask them what they’re doing and why.
Embracing this type of lifelong-learning approach can be key to navigating whatever trends emerge in the boilermaker industry in the future. You can’t know what those trends will be before they happen. But if you’re always learning, then you can almost guarantee that nothing important will pass you by.
Develop skills around energy-efficient boiler systems
If we could only include one emerging trend on our list above, it would be the impact that stricter emissions standards are going to have on the boilermaker industry.
More specifically, the push for more environmentally-friendly methods of production is likely going to have a significant impact on the type of boiler systems that companies across the globe utilize.
That means now is the perfect time to begin developing expertise in working with the most energy-efficient systems on the market. That could involve taking a class, pursuing a certification, or looking for job opportunities that give you the chance to work with this type of machinery.
Those who spend time learning about energy-efficient boiler systems now will almost definitely be rewarded for having done so in the future.
Rock the Trades makes it easier to get hired
We showed above that data from the BLS indicates that new job opportunities for boilermakers are growing at a lower-than-average rate. That means it’s never been more important to make sure that you’re optimizing how you hunt for employment opportunities in this industry.
It’s also why you have to check out our Rock the Trades app the next time you’re on the hunt for a boilermaker job. Our app connects you directly with industrial employers who are looking for industrial workers just like yourself. Get started by downloading the RTT app today. We look forward to having you.