The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Program issues licenses to Firemen and Engineers to operate boilers and steam plants. There are five categories: First, Second and Third Class Engineer, and First and Second Class Fireman; the Second Class Firemen being the entry level license in this field. Applicants must document required experience, and pass both written and oral exams in order to obtain any of these licenses. After the initial term of 1-2 years, these are five-year licenses, with a 30-hour continuing education requirement at the time of each renewal.

Requirements for all firemen/engineers:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • 18 years of age, minimum
  • Pass written and oral exams

To Apply:


First Class Engineer

Anyone who is in actual authority as the "Engineer-in-charge", who is held responsible by the owners as well as the proper authorities for the daily operation and maintenance of the steam boiler, engines, and/or turbines must hold a First Class Engineer license. This person is also the person responsible for everyone operating these boilers, engines, and/or turbines.

Required Professional Experience:

  • 3 years as engineer in charge of a steam plant or plants having at least one engine or turbine of over 150 horsepower; or
  • Held and used a Second Class Engineer's License for at least 1 and ½ years; or
  • Held and used an equivalent license in the United States Merchant Marine for 3 years; or
  • Held and used an equivalent license from another state for 3 years.

Second Class Engineer

Anyone who is in actual authority as the ‘Engineer-in-charge’, of any boiler, engines or turbines not exceeding 150 horsepower each, who is held responsible by the owners as well as the proper authorities for the daily operation and maintenance of the steam boiler, engines, and/or turbines must hold a Second Class Engineer license. This person is also the person responsible for everyone operating these boilers, engines, and/or turbines.

Required Professional Experience:

  • 2 years experience operating a steam plant or plants having at least one engine or turbine of not less than 50 horsepower; or
  • Held and used a Third Class Engineer's License as an engineer, assistant engineer, control room operator or a fireman for at least 1 year; or
  • Held and used an equivalent license in the United States Merchant Marine for 2 years; or
  • Held and used an equivalent license from another state for 2 years.
  • Held and used a special license to operate a first class plant for not less than 2 years;  or
  • U.S. citizen who has served 3 years as an apprentice to the machinist or boiler making trade in stationary, marine, or locomotive engine or boiler works and has been employed one year in connection with the operation of a steam plan; or
  • Has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from any duly recognized school of engineering, who has been employed for 1 year in connection with the operation of a steam plant.

Third Class Engineer

Anyone who is in actual authority as the ‘Engineer-in-Charge’, of any boiler or boilers not exceeding, in the aggregate, 150 horsepower when solid fuel is burned, or not exceeding, in the aggregate, 500 horsepower based upon the relieving capacity of the safety valves when steam is generated by the use of liquid, or gaseous fuel, electric or atomic energy or any other source of heat, or engines and turbines not exceeding 50 horsepower each, who is held responsible by the owners as well as the proper authorities for the daily operation and maintenance of the steam boiler, engines, and/or turbines must hold a Third Class Engineer license. This person is also the person responsible for all persons operating these boilers, engines, and/or turbines.

Required Professional Experience:

  • 1-1/2 years experience in a boiler or steam power plant as a steam engineer, fireman, control room operator, water tender, auxiliary operator or engineer's assistant; or
  • 2 years experience operating a steam plant or plants having at least one engine or turbine of not less than 50 horsepower; or
  • Held and used a First Class Engineer's License as an engineer, assistant engineer, control room operator or a fireman for at least 1 year; or
  • Held and used an equivalent license in the United States Merchant Marine for 1 year; or
  • Held and used an equivalent license from another state for 1 year.

First Class Fireman

Anyone who is in actual authority as the ‘Fireman-in-charge’ of any boiler where the safety valve or valves are set to blow at a pressure not exceeding 25 PSI, who is held responsible by the owners as well as the proper authorities for the daily operation and maintenance of the steam boiler(s). This person is also the person responsible for all persons operating these boilers, engines, and/or turbines. A person holding a first class fireman's license may operate a third class plant under the engineer in direct charge.

Required Professional Experience:

  • 1 year experience in a boiler or steam power plant as a steam engineer, fireman, control room operator, water tender, auxiliary operator or engineer's assistant; or
  • Held and used a Second Class Engineer's License for at least 6 months.

Second Class Fireman

Anyone who is operating any boiler that is not used exclusively for heating purposes and does not hold a higher grade license must hold a Second Class Fireman license.

Required Professional Experience:

  • *There is no citizenship requirement for the Second Class Fireman license.