Stationary Engineer License

A City of Chicago stationary engineer license is required for an individual to use, manage, or operate most steam and hot water boilers or to take charge of, manage, or operate a steam plant within the City of Chicago. Licensed stationary engineers must follow the ordinances, laws, and industry standards which provide for the safe operation of the equipment they are licensed to operate.

Stationary engineer licenses are issued by the Department of Buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a stationary engineer license required?

A stationary engineer license is required before any individual uses, manages, or operates:

  • A steam engine or steam boiler with an output capacity in excess of 50 boiler horsepower or intended for operation at a pressure in excess of 10 psig.
  • A hot water boiler intended for operation at a pressure in excess of 160 psi or temperature in excess of 250°F (121°C).

This does not apply to locomotive engines or boilers.

A stationary engineer license is also required before any individual takes charge of, manages, or operates a steam plant within the City of Chicago. A steam plant is a system that is connected to a regulated engine or boiler and used to generate or distribute steam or hot water for space heating or industrial processes.

If you own or control regulated equipment or a steam plant, it is illegal to authorize or allow anyone other than a licensed stationary engineer to use, manage, or operate it.

Are there different types of stationary engineer licenses?

No, there is only one type of stationary engineer license.

Who may obtain a stationary engineer license?

Stationary engineer licenses are issued to individuals who have experience with the management, construction, or operation of steam engines and boilers and have passed a written examination.

What is required to obtain an elevator mechanic contractor license?

To obtain a stationary engineer license, individuals must pass a written examination demonstrating their knowledge of the construction, management, and operation of steam engines and steam and hot water boilers.

A study guide for the stationary engineer examination is available on the Continental Testing Services web site

To be eligible to take the written examination, an individual must:

  • Be of good character
  • Be at least 20 years old
  • Have at least 2 years’ practical experience in the management, operation, or construction of steam engines and boilers

An applicant’s work experience must be verified by a letter from their supervisor. If an applicant’s experience is in the City of Chicago or another jurisdiction that licenses stationary engineers, the letter must include a copy of the supervisor’s current stationary engineer license certificate.

How do I apply for a new stationary engineer license?

Starting in late May 2022, stationary engineer license applications are submitted through the City of Chicago Inspections and Permits web portal.

Continental Testing Services processes stationary engineer license applications and administers written examinations on behalf of the Department of Buildings and can provide assistance after you begin an application on the web portal.

How do I renew an existing stationary engineer license?

Starting in late May 2022, renewals are processed through the City of Chicago Inspections and Permits web portal.

A stationary engineer license cannot be renewed if it has been expired for 3 or more years. Individuals who were previously licensed as stationary engineers and are ineligible to renew may apply for a new license if they meet the qualifications.

How much does a stationary engineer license cost?

These fees apply to stationary engineer licenses:

Fee Type Amount
Examination Fee (per exam) $70.00
Initial License Fee (2-year license) $30.00
Renewal Fee (2-year license) $30.00
Reinstatement Fee (per year or fraction of a year past expiration date) $5.00

How long is a stationary engineer license valid?

A stationary engineer license is valid for two years from issuance or renewal.

Ordinances and Rules 

Municipal Code of Chicago, Chapter 4-344: Stationary Engineers

This information is provided to help you better understand licensing requirements in the City of Chicago. It may not reflect all conditions, limitations, or exceptions that may apply to a particular situation and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. To the extent the information on this page differs from the Municipal Code of Chicago or applicable rules, the ordinance or rule controls. 

Supporting Information Facts