Power Engineer Job Overview
Power engineers operate refrigeration systems, steam boilers, pressure valves, fired heaters and other equipment essential to the process of generating power. Power engineers can go by many other titles, including:
- Steam Engineer
- Operating Engineer
- Boiler Operator
- Building Operator
- Steam Plant Operator
- Stationary Engineer
Power engineers work in commercial and industrial buildings in many industries. They support the basic utilities that are central to many operations, from manufacturing plants to office buildings. Power engineers are employed at processing plants, sawmills, breweries, hospitals, hotels, schools and mines.
There are several classes of power engineers, each of which requires completion of requirements of the previous class in order to move on. For example, a candidate must complete the 4th class power engineer training to move on to 3rd class and then complete 3rd to move up to become a 2nd class power engineer. Lower class engineers can handle more complex equipment and machinery and are paid higher.
Power Engineer Job Education Requirements
Power engineers must complete secondary school. They are also required to finish an apprenticeship program or extensive on-the-job training in power engineering. Provincial or territorial certification for power engineers is separated by class. Most areas have fourth, third, second and first class engineering certifications. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories have an additional fifth class certification.
Power Engineer Job Market
The job market for power engineers is moderate in most parts of Canada. However, the outlook is fair in Ontario and weak in Saskatchewan. Job opportunities for power engineers are expected to decline in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and the Yukon.
Some areas offer particularly strong job growth for power engineers, including the Edmonton and Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake regions of Alberta, Thompson-Okanagan region of British Columbia and Interlake, North, Parklands and Winnipeg regions of Manitoba.
Power Engineer Job Salary Information
In Canada, the median hourly wage for power engineers is C$28.50, ranging from about C$19.62 to C$42 depending on experience, industry, and certification level. Power engineers enjoy a particularly high salary in Alberta where the median hourly wage is C$35 for this occupation. The median wage is lowest in Québec where power engineers earn on average C$25.76 an hour and only C$31 hourly on the high end of the scale.