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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Trades > Steam Plant Foreman Responsibilities

Steam Plant Foreman Duties

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This is highly skilled supervisory and technical work in the operation, repair, and maintenance of central steam plant and its operating machinery, and in the project supervision of machine shop personnel.

This individual is responsible for applying technical mechanical engineering skills and knowledge to a variety of central steam plant problems, with emphasis placed on supervising crews of skilled and semiskilled assistants in the operation and repair of the coal and gas/oil fired boilers. Work includes management of various difficult tasks such as diagnosing complex equipment malfunctions and the procurement or fabrication and assembly of complex precision parts. Work also involves limited design responsibilities, preparation of routine reports, maintenance of routine records, and giving guidance regarding work methods and techniques. Assignments are received in the form of oral and written instructions, penciled layouts, blue prints, sketches, and from work or broken parts. Technical judgement and discretion is used in making decisions. Work is performed with considerable independence under the general direction from the department head and is reviewed through efficient equipment operation, discussions, reports, and inspections.


Inspects and establishes annual plant operating, maintenance, and repair programs.

Plans, assigns, schedules, and supervises the shifts in the 24 hour operation and maintenance of a large high pressure steam generating plant, fired by gas/oil or coal.

Analyzes logs, and other records pertaining to the steam plant operations to determine efficiency, loading conditions, and general operating conditions of the plant; directs and supervises preventive maintenance and overhaul programs for the plant.

Administers boiler water treatment program used by the steam plant.

Supervises the work of a steam equipment mechanic with responsibilities for the fabrication of a wide variety of metal components, mechanical devices, and the repair of pumps and other machinery and equipment.

Prepares simple design of parts and devices to be fabricated.

Instructs and trains personnel in improved and safe techniques and methods.

Performs or participates "on call" in the more difficult and complex tasks or emergencies.

Establishes stockage level for critical plant components and orders supplies, materials, and equipment.

Collects/records data, used for maintaining and preparing environmental records and reports required by various state/federal agencies.

Conducts interviews and makes hiring decisions.

Performs related work as required.


Graduation from a 2 year technical college and/or 4 years equivalent training with 5 years of experience as a high pressure steam plant supervisor and some journeyman machinist capabilities, or any equivalent combination of training and experience.

Position requires a license or the ability to obtain a license to repair, install and service H.P. boilers within 6 months of employment. Position requires basic computer skills to include some experience with Windows.


Thorough knowledge of the theory, principles, methods, and techniques governing the operations, maintenance, and repair of a high pressure steam plant. Specifically, the employee must have an understanding and appreciation of the laws of thermodynamics, combustion efficiency, the characteristics of fuels, boiler performance, the evaluation of condensate collection and return systems, load balancing and scheduling, insulation and refractory, lubrication, control of steam turbines and power generation, and testing of fuels.

Thorough knowledge of the methods, techniques, tools, equipment, and material of the machinist and welding trades.

Considerable knowledge of ASME standards and codes and environmental regulations.

Considerable knowledge of energy management.

Considerable knowledge of the occupational hazards and necessary safety precautions related to steam plant operations.

Working knowledge of cogeneration.

Working knowledge of boiler water treatment.

Ability to understand instrumentation gauges and meters, application, calibration, and maintenance.

Ability to judge the reasonableness of field data based upon sound analytical techniques.

Ability to detect and locate malfunctions and defects in plant apparatus as well as interpreting impending failure from boiler logs.

Ability to supervise the work of boiler operators, steam equipment mechanics, machinists and assistant foreman and ensure proper operating regimen is followed.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with university personnel.

Ability to prepare routine reports and maintain routine records.

Ability to operate a computer.

Skill in the use and care of tools and shop equipment and testing devices.



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