The state of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development regulates licensing for operating boilers. These are known as Black Seal licenses, and they are required to operate low-pressure and high-pressure boilers. Individuals must have experience as a helper, apprentice or assistant when applying. If their application is approved, they'll receive notification of when and where to take a multiple-choice exam.
What Is a Black Seal License?
New Jersey workers operating low- or high-pressure boilers must apply for a Black Seal license. High-pressure boilers operate at greater than 100 horsepower and 15 pounds per square inch of pressure, while the power and pressure of low-pressure boilers is lower.
Applicants must choose one or the other when applying for a license or get separate licenses for each. They must have at least 90 days' experience working with high-pressure boilers as an assistant, apprentice or helper. After applying, they'll need to take a multiple-choice test and get at least 66 percent of their answers correct to pass.
Eligibility for the Chief Engineer Program
In lieu of 90 days of experience, applicants for high-pressure boilers must have trained for six weeks in a chief engineer program approved by the Bureau of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Compliance within five days of the applicant starting the training period.
The licensed operating engineer who trains the applicant must establish a log book of the applicant's training, and the applicant for high pressure boiler operator's license must have written verification of training.
Any training starting before the Bureau's approval will not be credited toward the six-week program. Individuals can apply with just 30 days of experience on a high-pressure boiler if they have six months training on a low-pressure boiler. To get a license for a low-pressure boiler, the applicant will need 30 days' experience with that equipment.
Applying for a Black Seal Boiler Operator License
A person applying for their first Black Seal boiler license in the state of New Jersey will pay a non-refundable fee of $200 with their application. If they apply for an upgrade or additional classification, the fee is $160.
Payments can be made payable via check or money order sent to the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDLWD) Division of Public Safety and Occupational Safety and Health Mechanical Inspection Bureau of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Compliance P.O. Box 392 Trenton, NJ 08625-0392.
The processing time for an application is four to six weeks. To renew a license, individuals must fill out a renewal application and pay a fee of $80 for one year or $160 for three years. They can submit their application and fee online.
Taking the Black Seal Exam
If the license application is approved, the NJDLWD will notify the applicant when and where to go for the exam. They must complete forms prior to the exam, including an Applicant Endorsement Verification, Management Endorsement Verification, and Engineer's Endorsement Verification (if applicable), which they can do online.
Any incomplete documents will slow down the process, and if the applicant fails to provide the necessary supportive documents, their application may be rejected.
Failing to appear for an exam could result in the application's cancellation. There is no refund if the applicant is not approved to take the exam. A photo ID is required on exam day.
- Case Text: N.J. Admin. Code Section 12:90-8.4 Eligibility for Boiler Operator's License (black seal)
- New Jersey.gov: Stationary, Refrigeration, Power Engineer and/or Boiler Operator’s License RENEWAL APPLICATION
- NJDLWD: Welcome to the State of New Jersey Public Portal
- Case Text: N.J. Admin. Code Section 12:90-8.6 Eligibility for High Pressure Boiler Operator's License
- The Training Center: State Requirements for Low Pressure Black Seal
- NJDLWD: Regional and Upgrade Application Stationary/Power/Refrigeration Engineer Boiler and Special Operator License
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.