Becoming a Boilermaker

What does a Boilermaker do?

A Boilermaker is a highly skilled tradesman who erects and maintains various types of pressure vessels:

  • Small boilers
  • Coal fired boilers
  • Blast furnaces
  • Basic Oxygen Furnaces

A Boilermaker’s skills include:

  • Welding
  • Burning
  • Heavy and high rigging
  • Layout work

Where does a Boilermaker work?

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Power Generating Plants
  • Steel Mills
  • Chemical Plants
  • Refineries
  • Paper Mills

Am I Qualified?

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
  • Must be of good physical condition to perform the work required
  • Must not be afraid of heights
  • Must not be claustrophobic
  • Must be willing to work the night shift
  • Knowledge of general Math, Geometry, Mechanical Drawing, and Welding preferred

What can I expect while training?

  • Applications accepted yearly
  • Program is 4 years
  • Classroom work and home studies are required
  • On-the-job Training
  • Some travel may be required

The Story of Big Step, Inc.

The Big-Step outreach program was established to acquaint individuals with employment and career opportunities in the skilled trades. Big-Step is a major assistance program to help applicants upgrade their math, science, and other academic skills for a successful career in construction.

The overall goal of Big-Step is to provide greater skills to individuals striving for a career in the skilled trades. The majority of participants will be placed into higher skilled/higher paying jobs and apprenticeship occupations, once training and work experience has been achieved.


  • Recruit qualified individuals for apprenticeship training and careers.
  • Provide needs assessment and identify deficiencies clients may have; develop a corresponding action plan.
  • Provide apprenticeship test tutoring and other preparation services. Day and evening classes are available.
  • Place clients into on-the-job training with the intention of leading to construction related apprenticeships.
  • Place and assist clients into any classroom training necessary to prepare/place them into higher-paying employment opportunities.
  • Provide case management services to assist candidates to become indentured apprentices and/or retain construction-related employment.


Earl Buford, Executive Director
3841 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208
(414) 342-9787