Boiler Plant Operator

Hampton, Virginia
Dec 04, 2021
Dec 11, 2021
Full Time

The Boiler Plant houses three power boilers, each capable of generating 30,000 pounds of steam per hour. The boilers supply steam for heating buildings, sterilization equipment, hot water generators, and cooking facilities. The boilers are fired by natural gas or number 2 fuel oil. The choice is dependent on the product that is least expensive to the government. Fuel is provided through on-site fuel oil tanks which hold an approximate 30-day supply of fuel oil, and natural gas supply is provided to the facility by Virginia Natural Gas. There is no alternate means of comfort heating in the event of a major break in the steam distribution system until repairs are made.

The Boiler Plant operates on a 24-hour basis year around. Each shift is staffed by one operator who has total responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the boilers and auxiliary equipment.

The boiler plant operator works on a one-person, rotating shift and operates power boilers at steam pressures not to exceed 150 psi as well as related machinery. The operator on duty will light off, put online, parallel, and secure boilers when required to maintain steam pressure at the prescribed limits. The operator must check the controls and make adjustments to maintain proper combustion and fuel/air ratio to satisfy Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The operator on duty is responsible for making hourly, daily, weekly and monthly log and record entries. Each operator is required to collect and analyze boiler water samples, chemically treat the boiler water based on test results, and administer proper blow-down procedures to control solids. The operator tests various safety devices, makes hourly inspections of the entire plant, corrects or attempts to correct any deficiencies observed, and notifies the boiler plant foreman of any problems encountered and action taken through entries in the pass-down log. The operator on duty is responsible for the overhaul and repair of all plant machinery. Each operator is assigned a section of the boiler plant as a cleaning station and is responsible for the cleanliness and preventative maintenance of machinery and equipment in that area. Duties performed on each cleaning station include general cleanup of floor area and equipment, painting, and repairing or replacing defective parts. The boiler plant operator is responsible for preparing the boilers, desecrating feed tank, condensate return tank and boiler blow down tank for annual internal and external inspections. Operators are also responsible for cleaning firesides and watersides. The operator assigned to the shift performs alt duties as necessary to operate the plant in accordance with the VA Manuals, particularly VHA Directive 97-025 "Boiler Plant Operations", boiler codes and manufacturers' instructions.

Work Schedule: 8am-4pm, 4pm -Midnight, Midnight-8am. With two days off. Must have the flexibility to work outside the normal tour of duty which may include weekends and holidays.
Position Description Title/PD: Boiler Plant Operator
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Pre-employment physical required
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel
  • Must possess and maintain a valid state driver's license.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

EXPERIENCE: A specific length of training and experience is not required, but you must show evidence of training or experience of sufficient scope and quality of your ability to do the work of this position. Evidence which demonstrates you possess the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the duties of this position must be supported by detailed descriptions of such on your resume. Applicants will be rated in accordance with the OPM Federal Wage System Qualification Standards .

SCREEN-OUT ELEMENT: Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element, which usually appears as question 1 in the on-line questionnaire. Those applicants who appear to possess at least the minimal acceptable qualification requirement are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated. The potential eligibles are then rated against the remainder of the questions. The screen-out element(s) for this position is:

Ability to do the work of a journeyman level Boiler Plant Operator without more than normal supervision.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements. Performs most duties in a standing position; however, some boiler work is carried out in a stooped, cramped, or bent position. Must be able to lift objects weighing at least 50 pounds, to climb stairs, and to work from ladders and platforms. Must have full use of limbs and good vision and hearing.

Working Environment. The majority of duties are carried out inside the boiler plant. On occasion the employee will be outside, such as checking fuel oil trucks in and out to see that the correct amount of oil is delivered, sounding fuel oil tanks, and removing trash from the boiler plant. Required to work around hot pipes and electrical systems, noisy machinery, extreme temperatures, fumes, stack gases, and smoke. When circumstances warrant, the incumbent will be required to wear the following safety equipment: hard hat, safety glasses, safety shoes, shop apron, appropriate gloves, respirator, and hearing protection.

Must possess and maintain a valid state driver's license.


This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

Financial disclosure not required.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

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