The median annual wage of boilermakers was $54,640 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,410, and the top 10 percent earned more than $80,830.
Apprentices usually start between 30 percent and 50 percent of the rate paid to fully trained boilermakers. They receive pay increases as they become more skilled.
Nearly all boilermakers work full time and may experience extended periods of overtime when equipment is shut down for maintenance. Overtime work also may be necessary to meet construction or production deadlines.
In contrast, because most field construction and repair work is contract work, there may be periods of unemployment when a contract is complete. Many boilermakers must travel to worksites and live away from home for long stretches of time.
Boilermakers have a higher rate of union membership than many other construction occupations. Although there is no single union that covers all boilermakers, the largest organizer of these workers is the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition