A Career in Power Engineering
For every large group of buildings, factories or industrial sites Power is critical to not only keeping lights on but is the heart beat of all mechanical, electrical and electronic operations. Power Engineers or Stationary Engineers are the professionals that keep power plants running in hospitals, pulp mills, oil upgraders, refineries, manufacturing plants and countless other operations. Canada relies on Power Engineers as much as we do on Doctors, Nurses, Police or School teachers, just most people do not know it.
Power Engineers get their start one of two ways. Many start as entry level labourers or employees before getting their first Power Engineering job where they work under certified power engineers in a power house, while doing distance education. The second route is to attend a college which hopefully has a power boiler on site that will allow one to get their firing or hands on time. Both routes are very cost effective ways to an excellent profession, with two years of full time study giving students a leg up into the job market where they can reasonably expect to make $25-35 right away.
Power Engineers have 5 levels in Canada. With a first class power engineer being considered a Chief Engineer in charge of very large power plants and looking after the safety and efficient operation, while supervising dozens of Power Engineers. 1st Class Engineers have considerable knowledge of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering principles but Power Engineers are not to be confused with Professional Engineers. In some jurisdictions, those holding a Mechanical Engineering Bachelors degree can challenge their 4th Class Certificate without going through a course.
Entry level Power Engineers are often 4th Class Power Engineers, who perform a lot of field and monitoring work. 3rd class Power Engineers often perform a lot of maintenance and monitor the efficient operation of Coal, Natural Gas and Bio-energy boilers. 2nd class both relieve for the 1st class engineer and provide supervision for both engineers and contractors on site. 5th class power engineers are often in charge of refrigeration plants such as ice rinks.
Top first class engineers take years or even decades to get to their top positions and often make 150,000- 200,000 per year. The career path means that there is both room to grow and vacancies occurring at every level. With close to 30, 000 Power Engineers employed in Canada with the median age being over 45 years old, we expect to see over 11,000 job vacancies with only 8,000 expected new power engineers graduating from colleges such as BCIT, NAIT and Parkland College. Power Engineering or Stationary Engineering is a great field to get into.
To see a list of our current vacancies for Power Engineers, check out our job board.
For more information on Power Engineering click here.