Sep 22, 2017

How to Become a Stationary Engineer

Most large buildings such as offices, warehouses, shopping centers, and other commercial facilities have extensive systems that provide ventilation, heat, and air-conditioning. Trained professionals are required to control and maintain these systems. This is the job of stationary engineers.

What does a stationary engineer do?

Stationary engineers operate and maintain a variety of systems such as boilers, generators, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, turbines, diesel engines, compressors, condensers, and pumps. They install, turn on, maintain, repair, and shut down equipment and make sure that it is functioning properly and safely. They monitor computerized controls, meters, and gauges and perform the necessary adjustments. They often use computers to operate and monitor systems from a central location. Stationary engineers also perform routine maintenance. They replace filters, clean and lubricate parts, test water, check air quality, and add chemicals to prevent corrosion and deposits. They also keep detailed records of the operation and maintenance of systems and equipment.


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What kind of training does a stationary engineer need?

Stationary engineers need at least a high school diploma. Many learn their skills through on the job training and other complete formal training or apprenticeship programs. The programs combine classroom instruction and practical experience. Students typically take courses in elementary physics, electricity, boiler design and operation, pneumatics, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and electronics. Many stationary engineers start their careers in entry-level positions such as helpers and move into engineer positions as they gain experience and skills. Many employers require stationary engineers to complete continuing education courses. Most states require stationary engineers to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary, but usually include minimum residency and experience requirements and passing an examination.

What are the prospects for a career as a stationary engineer?

Employment of stationary engineers is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 3% through 2016. The increase of automated systems will contribute to slow job growth.

Job prospects should be fair with strong competition. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace stationary engineers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons. Stationary engineers with advanced training and experience with computerized systems will have the best job opportunities.

How much do stationary engineers make?

As of this year, the middle 50% of stationary engineers earn annual salaries between $42,366 and $56,335. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $63,470.

A career as a stationary engineer is a great choice for individuals interested in operating and maintaining a variety of extensive commercial systems. Stationary engineers must be in good physical condition and have manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude. They must be able to handle hazardous equipment and follow all the safety precautions at all times. They must also be able to work in less desirable and sometimes uncomfortable conditions. Stationary engineers must have excellent communication skills and be able to work effectively independently as well as part of a team.

Becoming a Stationary Engineer Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Do you know what the top highest-paying engineering jobs are? Set yourself up for a good salary job with an engineering degree!

Are you serious about becoming a Stationary Engineer? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!


  1. Hello Mr. Walden,
    My name is Glenn Babicky and I’m interested in becoming a Stationary Engineer. Can I get some information or advice from you?
    Thanks In Advance, —glenn

  2. Hello Glenn,

    You can use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you – Start by broadly looking at all potential engineering options and then narrow down your selection from there. If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor.

    College Mouse Team

    • hello,
      I have experience as a merchant Marine Enginer.,over 30 years,With a USCG Engineer Licence. Can this be benefical to me becomming a Stationary Engineer,.
      Iam seeking to make transitation from sea to land.

      Mike Thibodeaux

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