International Brotherhood of
Boilermakers ◊ Iron Ship Workers ◊ Blacksmiths 
◊ Forgers & Helpers



This question comes up often, and elicits numerous different answers. The fact is that the word has more than one definition. For example, a "boilermaker" might be

The first two are the ones we will discuss here.

Members of Our Union
Any member of The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers may call himself or herself a Boilermaker, and many do even though they do not actually work in boiler construction and repair. Many also refer to themselves by some other trade our union represents through its many divisions. So you may hear our members refer to themselves as blacksmiths, forgers, ship builders, cement workers, stove workers, metal polishers, or numerous other job descriptions.

Who We Represent
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is a diverse union representing workers throughout the United States and Canada in industrial construction, repair, and maintenance; manufacturing; shipbuilding and marine repair; railroads; mining and quarrying; cement kilns; and related industries. With its headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers unites over 250 local lodges throughout North America, providing numerous services for local lodges and individual members and uniting all our members in our common endeavor to improve the lives and lifestyles of our members.

More Information
This section of our web site offers a great deal of information regarding the structure of our union, our International officers, and the many divisions, conferences, and departments into which the union is divided, along with some history. Take a look around and you'll quickly discover that this is a diverse union with members from a wide variety of backgrounds performing all different kinds of work. But we're all Boilermakers.



Boilermakers and boilermaker mechanics make, install, and repair boilers, vats, and other large vessels that hold liquids and gases.  Boilers supply steam to drive huge turbines in electric power plants and to provide heat and power inbuildings, factories, and ships.  Tanks and vats are used to process and store chemicals, oil, beer, and hundreds of other products. Boilermaker mechanics maintain and repair boilers and similar vessels.  They inspect tubes, fittings, valves, controls, and auxiliary machinery and clean or supervise the cleaning of boilers using scrapers, wire brushes, and cleaning solvents.  They repair or replace defective parts, using hand and power tools, gas torches, and welding equipment, and may operate metalworking machinery to repair or make parts.  They also dismantle leaky boilers, patch weak spots with metal stock, replace defective sections, and strengthen joints.  Boilermakers regularly maintain and update components, such as burners and boiler tubes, to increase efficiency.



Boilermakers often use potentially dangerous equipment, such as acetylenetorches and power grinders, handle heavy parts, and work on ladders or on top of large vessels. The work is physically demanding and may be done in cramped quarters inside boilers, vats, or tanks that are often damp and poorly ventilated.  In some instances, work may be done at high elevations for an extended period.  To reduce the chance of injuries, boilermakers may wear hardhats, harnesses, protective clothing, safety glasses, shoes, and respirators.  Boilermakers may experience extended periods of overtime when equipment is shut down for maintenance.  Overtime work may also be necessary to meet construction or production deadlines.  At other times there may be periods of unemployment between jobs.



Apprenticeship programs usually consist of 4 years of on-the-job-training, supplemented by a minimum of 144 hours of classroom instruction each year in subjects such as set-up and assembly rigging, welding of all types, blueprint reading, and layout.  Those with welding training or a welding certification will have priority in applying for apprenticeship programs.  Experienced boilermakers often attend apprenticeship classes or seminars to learn about new equipment, procedures, and technology.  When an apprenticeship becomes available, the local union publicizes the opportunity by notifying local vocational schools andhigh school vocational programs.



Boilermakers Local #11 is a local lodge of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, which is commonly referred to as the Boilermakers Union. We're a construction lodge that was established on January 1st, 1982 and we are located in East Helena, Montana.  Our lodge represents over 200 workers throughout Montana and the United States.



Jason Small, President

Dave Valentine, Vice President

Clint Penny, Business Manager & Secretary Treasurer

Wes Green, Trustee Chairman

Toby Violett, Trustee

Allan Violett, Trustee


Dave Englund, Recording Secretary


Jerry Jeffries , Inspector


"If the workers take a notion, they can stop all speeding trains, every ship upon the ocean they can tie with mighty chains. Every wheel in the creation, every mine and every mill, fleets and armies of the nation, will at their command stand still."
-Joe Hill-