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Stationary Engineer

Inspect permanently affixed machines like boilers and AC systems.

What does a Stationary Engineer do?

Stationary Engineers control and repair heavy machinery and equipment. Every building has air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems that require upkeep, and the Stationary Engineer is the maintenance expert charged with keeping those systems in tip-top condition. As a Stationary Engineer, you might work at any number of places, including office buildings, shopping malls, warehouses, hospitals, or factories.

While you fix machinery when necessary, your goal is to identify potential problems before a breakdown. So, you routinely check the building’s stationary equipment (that is, machinery that’s permanently in place). You look and listen for any changes, keeping a log of your findings. Then you troubleshoot and find solutions to any issues that you find.

Much of your job consists of general preservation. This includes replacing filters, testing the boiler system’s water, checking the air quality of the ventilation system, lubricating and oiling moving parts, and looking for any deterioration.

You’re also responsible for monitoring gauges and meters. Your employer expects you to keep costs in check by using just enough fuel, electricity, and water. Management may also look to you for cost-cutting ideas, so you stay up to date on new equipment and processes.

You might be hired to maintain all of the building’s mechanical systems, or you might be part of a team of Stationary Engineers. If you’re part of a team, you specialize in certain pieces of machinery.