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Thread: Power Engineering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    8,985

    Default Power Engineering

    Due to the amount of interest on this topic and the amount of PM's I get I decided to put this together. Maybe one of the mods could sticky this.

    People keep PM’ing me regarding Power Engineering with questions. I will answer all of the questions here that people might have.

    Education- The amount of education that is needed changes. For people coming out of high school I recommend getting the highest marks possible in all of your subjects. Math, Physics, Calculus and English. There is quite a bit of math involved in this course.

    People that have been out of school for a while will find it tougher to get in and succeed. I’m not saying its impossible but be prepared.

    Also to get accepted into the 2 year program, you will have to do a paper/interview on a person currently in the field. You will be graded on this and your acceptance is also based on this result.

    Courses- Power Engineering consists of 5th Class, 4th Class, 3rd Class, 2nd Class and 1st Class.

    5th Class- This is your standard building operator. Prior to this designation there was a Class B operator, Class A Operator and a Fireman ticket. Those have since disappeared and they came out with the one class and its now called 5Th Class. Having this designation allows you to work as in most buildings as a handyman/operator. You will not have any major responsibilities due to not having enough heating surface operating qualifications. It gets you in the door but that’s about it. Most companies will require you to work on your 4th class and complete it with a year or two to continue your employment.

    4th Class- The most common class out there. This ticket allows you to be Chief Engineer at 95% of Commercial buildings in Edmonton. You can then expand into property management and the skys the limit. Usually this is only a Mon-Fri gig. This also gets you in the door in the industial plants like Suncor, Syncrude, Albian etc. Most of the time once you get to these Industrial plants you will want to work on your 3rd Class. Unfortunately there is usually limited plants that allow you to get enough steam time to allow this. At Suncor there were only 2 plants; Sulfer Recovery. One in Base Plant and one in Millenium. By the time you actually got your 3rd class you would be close to retirement. All of the positions will be shift work. So be prepared.

    3rd Class- The preferred class in industial settings. Why I say that is because they have the easiest time due to not having to worry about getting their steam time like a 4th class and they really don’t have any extra responsabilites over a 4th. They will make the same money as a 4th but will have an easier time advancing in non-union sites. Union sites it doesn’t matter. All of the positions will be shift work. So be prepared.

    2nd Class- This is now a management position. You start heading into a very limited and highly sought after portion of people. You will most likely be Chief or Shift Engineer of a huge power plant or Industrial Site. Suncor ran under a 2nd Class ticket. Usually shift work but can be Mon-Fr (very unlikely).

    1st Class- Purely management and design position. Right below God. There are only a handful of 1st Class ticketed people. Same as 2nd Class but higher pay. Mon-Fri gig.

    Courses

    5TH Class- Its usually just a night course held at Nait and its Affiliaties. 1 exam at Nait and 1 at ABSA (not sure about the ABSA Part). Time to achieve ticket: 6 months

    4th Class- There are many ways to get this. There is the night course, CML and obviously part of the 2 year tech program. The night course is nice because it allows you to work during the day and take this at night. I also recommend taking the Lab Course after because very few companies will hire you on with just the first half of your 4th (Nait Part A). That allows you to get your steam time allowing you to have a complete 4th class coming out of Nait. CML is computer module learning. Basically you learn at home and then go to Nait and write quizzes and exams on the computer. You will still need to take your Lab Course to get your steam time. There are 2 exams for Nait in both Part A and Part B for a total of 4 exams plus 2 exams at ABSA, Part A and Part B. After passing the ABSA you will have your 4th Class Ticket. Time to achieve ticket: 1 year

    3rd Class- You can only get your 3rd a couple of ways. After getting your full 4th Class you can challenge the Part A of your 3rd at ABSA (2 exams now). To get the second half of your 3rd you will need to get Steam time and learn from home. After doing so you go write your Part B ABSA (2 exams again). You can also get this designation taking your 2 year course at Nait. Time to achieve ticket: 2 years after achieving your 4th Class

    **Disclaimer: Most companies will not hire you if you quit the 2 year course after getting your 4th or 3rd class due to having deals made with Nait. Be very careful.

    2nd Class- Strictly home study. If you complete your full 2 year diploma in Power Engineering you will come out with your first half of your 2nd. Make sure you check you ego at the door when applying for jobs because in reality you know fuck all. Real life will teach you everything else about your career path. There are 3 exams for Part A and 3 exams for Part B. Time to achieve ticket: Usually 3+ years after achieving your 3rd Class

    1st Class- Strictly Home Study. 4 exams for Part A and 4 Exams for part B. Time to achieve ticket: Usually 5+ years after achieving your 2nd Class

    Just a side note: you can get your 1st class faster but you will have to be very dedicated and lucky at your positions. Usually it takes around the 10+ year mark once you start to get there. 99% of people stop at their 3rd Class.

    Pay

    5th Class- $16-22/hr for smaller companies and $22-30/hr for a junior building operator in a commercial setting. A mid to senior building operator will get around the $60-75K/year with no bonus.
    4th Class- $24-55/hr for a industrial plant operator. A mid to senior building operator will get around the $60-75K/year with no bonus. A chief engineer in a commercial tower will get around the $75k-85k plus bonus per year.
    3rd Class- $24-55/hr for a industrial plant operator. A mid to senior building operator will get around the $60-75K/year with no bonus. A chief engineer in a commercial tower will get around the $75k-85k plus bonus per year. 3rds are very rarely required in commercial settings unless you are operating an ice rink like WEM and Rexall Place.

    An operations supervisor/manager for commerical/industrial/retail buildings salary ranges from $70k-110k plus bonus per year. It doesn't matter what steam ticket you have. Its all about the experience.

    2nd Class- Salary- Around the $150000+ range a year. This is more for industrial oil and gas plants.
    1st Class- Salary- Around the $200000+ range a year. This is more for industrial oil and gas plants.

    If anyone thinks that they will get a job in the city at one of the plants after graduating, think again. 95% of the time you will have to go out of town to get experience that allows you to get back in the city. There are good plants and shitty plants. I will let you look into that. I know which are good and which are bad but I won’t mention that here.

    Here's some more info:

    4th class
    Course and 6 months steam time

    3rd class
    Must have 4th class
    12 months steam time or 6 months steam time with approved course

    2nd class
    Must have 3rd class
    24months steam time or 15months steam time with approved course

    1st class
    Must have 2nd class
    18-45 months of steam time depending on scenario

    Number of valid power engineers in Alberta as Of Dec 31 2012
    5th class 1611
    4th class 7184
    3rd class 5505
    2nd class 2202
    1st class 678




    If anyone has anything constructive to add please do. I don’t want to see shit posted in here.

    R.K.
    Last edited by RADRIDE; May 6th, 2013 at 08:54 PM.
    My answer/post, always overrides noobs and members here less time than me.

  2. #2

    Default

    Awesome post Rad.
    I found your Info helpful, even with where I'm at.
    Past: 85 Ford Ranger
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    Past: First Evo X in Canada to break 300awhp - Sold
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    Past: 2013 Ram 1500 Sport C/C: HemiFever Tuned, Stainless Works Longtube Headers, Crossflow Exhaust.
    Current: 2015 SRT8 Grand Cherokee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    2,448

    Default

    Just a couple points to add.

    From what I have been seeing a 3rd class is fast becoming the minimum that alot of plants are looking for now. Especially the plants close to large centers.

    Also from the plants I have worked at a 3rd class with make more then a 4th class. The first plant I worked at even gave a bonus when you finished your 3rd class exams, plus a 3rd class pay premium. (its was like 2.50 and hour I think.)
    I support same sex marriages...........as long as both girls are hot!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Good post Rad.
    Quote Originally Posted by tibbymat View Post
    mathematically..... (-) + (-) = +
    2 wrongs make a right.
    Thank you for proving my point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Default

    Good post Rad, I might even buy you lunch next time.
    751HP HKS V-Pro, Tuned by: Justin Nenni (Tuning Concepts)

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SUPRAMAN View Post
    Good post Rad, I might even buy you lunch next time.
    You better. You make Oil money.

    R.K.
    My answer/post, always overrides noobs and members here less time than me.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RADRIDE View Post
    You better. You make Oil money.

    R.K.
    I'll trade you jobs any day.
    751HP HKS V-Pro, Tuned by: Justin Nenni (Tuning Concepts)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    18,130

    Default

    Great post Rad, Rep given!

    Jamie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,847

    Default

    Thanks Rad,

    I appreciate all your help prior to this email as well. Sorry to be a pain in your ass about it.

    Photo taken by The_Fuzz

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