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
- Anyone who works in the boiler construction or repair trade
- A member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers
- A Purdue University student or alumni
- A shot and a beer
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.
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.