Overview

Courses in power theory, thermodynamics and extensive lab training prepare you to take responsibility for complex power systems working as a plant operator or design, research or development assistant in industries like petroleum, petrochemical and refining.

In Canada, power engineering certification progresses from fifth to first class. Our Power Engineering Technology diploma arms you with the skills to become a third-class power engineer responsible for controlling large, complex power and process systems and performing production work in the operation and development of large-scale energy projects.

A minimum of 80% attendance is a requirement to complete the program successfully. 

You should possess manual dexterity and mechanical ability to be successful as a power engineer. You should also be able to gather technical information and use it to troubleshoot large electromechanical systems.

Colour-blind testing may be required by some employers.

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

SAIT offers flexible continuing education training for fifth to first-class to prepare you for your Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) exams, or you can pursue a bachelor’s degree with our transfer options. ABSA is Alberta's pressure equipment safety authority.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

This program is integrated with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) Certification System.

Graduates are eligible to write the Alberta Boilers Branch Fourth-Class certification exams and the Alberta Boilers Branch Third-Class exams. 

Following successful completion, graduates will have full 4th class certification through ABSA and will require additional experience in industry to receive their third class certification.

Graduates are also eligible for membership in the following professional associations:

  • Institute of Power Engineers (IPE)
  • International Pressure Equipment Integrity Association (IPEIA)
  • National Association Corrosion Engineers (NACE)

Graduates are eligible for registration in the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists. The program is currently under review by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC).  

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Power Engineering Technology.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 90% graduate employment rate

salary icon $80,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 72103, 92100, 92011.

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Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops

Courses

The Power Engineering Technology diploma requires 61.5 credits (24 courses) to complete.

The program spans two years, with two semesters each year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

In Applied Mechanics I, you will explore the practical application of mechanics in the power plant; their application to turbines, compressors, pumps and other machines. You will study statics and dynamics, centripetal and centrifugal force, friction, lifting machines, work, power and energy. You will also investigate the strength of pressure vessels, first moments, second moments, centroids, shearing and bending; torsion, mechanical efficiency; shaft couplings, modulus of elasticity; modulus of rigidity; and strength of materials.

Equivalents:
  • AMEC 310
3

AMEC 356 will introduce you to the practical application of fluid mechanics in the power plant, including turbines, compressors, pumps and other machines. Fluid properties, viscosity, pressure, forces in fluids and buoyant force will also be explored. In addition, you will learn Bernoulli’s equation in a fluid system; pipe and tubing; the continuity law; the general energy equation; pumps and fluid motors; Reynolds’ number for fluid flow; type of fluid flow (laminar and turbulent); various types of pumps (dynamic and positive displacement); net positive suction head (NPSH); pump affinity laws; energy losses in fluids due to friction; and Moody charts.

Pre-requisites:
  • AMEC 306
Equivalents:
  • AMEC 325
3

This course is designed to develop technical writing and presentation skills to ensure workplace readiness. Students will learn how to evaluate communication situations, analyze documents, assess research sources and develop organizational skills to apply in their work. They will learn about and practice designing, formatting and writing a range of professional documents. Students will also develop confidence (through practice) in the development and delivery of effective and engaging presentations.

3

This applied computer course provides students with critical electronic communications, data and file management skills, along with a strong focus on using common productivity applications to format, calculate, analyze, visualize, and present or report data and information.

Equivalents:
  • COMP 264
1.5

This introductory course is designed to present entry-level power engineering student the fundamental principles of electricity and electrical equipment. Predominately the material presented will reflect the operational requirements of electrical components and systems used in an industrial environment.

1.5

This is an introductory course that includes direct current theory and DC machines, alternating current theory, AC machines and AC systems. The course will also cover switchgears and safety, electrical calculations, industrial drawings, valves and actuators, control loops and strategies, instrument and control devices, distributed and logic control and boiler control systems. The labs supplement the theory by using electrical machines and control labs.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELCT 254
Equivalents:
  • CNTR 340
3

This is an intermediate course on alternating current theory; direct current machines; alternating current generators; alternating current motors; transformers; electrical system protection; measurement and control components; control instrumentation systems; combustion control and safeguards; environmental control methods; and air and gas compression.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELCT 304
Equivalents:
  • CNTR 345
1.5

This course enables the student to apply the basic knowledge of algebra and introductory calculus to resolve applied scientific and technological problems. Applications include linear motion, areas under curves, and volumes of revolution.

Equivalents:
  • MATH 235
  • MATH 1011
3

This course enables the student to apply advanced algebra, integral and differential calculus methodologies to scientific and technological applications. Topics include trigonometric and transcendental calculus, methods of integration, specifically integration by parts, by trigonometric substitution, and by use of tables. Applications include linear motion, areas under curves, volumes of revolution, centroids, moments of inertia, and program-relevant applications.

Pre-requisites:
  • MATH 238
Equivalents:
  • MATH 285
3

This course provides an introduction to the power engineering industry and background into the construction and development of boilers. A review of basic mathematics applications and an introduction to thermodynamic concepts are presented. Safety procedures for the workplace and environment are explored. The construction, components, operation and maintenance of steam boilers are also described. The course concludes with a discussion on boiler feedwater. The material in this course will help prepare you to write the ABSA 4th Class Part A exam.

3

The purpose of this course is to gain hands-on experience in the operation and/or maintenance of power plant equipment, contributing to the ABSA requirements for the Fourth Class Power Engineering Certificate. Following a safety orientation, instruction will be given concerning the identification, purpose, construction, pre-run checks, and start-up/shutdown procedure for various pieces of equipment. The students, under supervision, will operate a high pressure watertube boiler, various turbines, pumps and a low pressure firetube boiler. Boiler water sampling and treatment also will be demonstrated and then performed by students.

Corequsites:
  • PENG 201
3

This course is a continuation of Power Theory I. Auxiliary equipment necessary for the operation of a boiler are explored, and the power sources used in the power engineer industry are described. In addition, an introduction to boiler controls and instrumentation is presented, along with refrigeration and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). Boiler maintenance is discussed, and refers to various tools and procedures used to operate equipment safely. The power engineering industry includes a number of different types of plants; in this course, hot oil systems, gas plants, pulp mills, food processing and sawmill plants are explored. This course will help prepare a candidate to write the ABSA 4th Class Part B Exam.

Pre-requisites:
  • PENG 201
Equivalents:
  • PWEN 276
3

The hands-on experience in Power Lab II continues from Power Lab I. The students will operate a low pressure and a hot water boiler, ammonia refrigeration system, reciprocating compressor and an internal combustion engine combined with a generator. Several campus tours will also occur to examine the practical application of some of the lab equipment. This lab leads to the completion of the practical experience requirement of operating power plant equipment for ABSA’s Fourth Class Power Engineering Examination.

Pre-requisites:
  • PENG 203
3

ASME Code Sections I, II, IV, and VIII, calculations, Industrial Legislation and Codes, Metallurgy, Engineering Materials (welding and testing), Boiler classifications, design, control, circulation, details, construction and operation and maintenance. Fuels and combustion, fans and environment, ash handling systems; water treatment (analytical). Piping, support, expansion, codes, connections, and valves.

Pre-requisites:
  • PENG 251
Equivalents:
  • PWEN 326
3

This course examines the design, regulations, construction, performance and maintenance of various equipment found in industry, relating to power engineering.

Pre-requisites:
  • PENG 301
Equivalents:
  • PWEN 376
3

This course requires the preparation and presentation of an in-depth technical report. The student is expected to draw upon significant learning from various courses throughout the program.

Pre-requisites:
  • AMEC 306
  • COMM 238
  • COMP 261
  • ELCT 254
  • ELCT 304
  • MATH 238
  • MATH 288
  • PENG 201
  • PENG 203
  • PENG 251
  • PENG 253
  • PENG 301
  • PWEN 282
  • SFTY 215
  • THRM 208
  • THRM 258
  • THRM 317
  • THRM 319
Corequsites:
  • AMEC 356
  • ELCT 354
  • PENG 351
  • THRM 357
  • THRM 359
3

This course will familiarize the students with the types of plants that a Power Engineer could be employed; Specific topics covered include hot oil systems, steam related food processes, gas plants, sour gas plants, refinery and upgrading, enhanced oil recovery, pulp mills and sawmills, and alternate energy production.

Equivalents:
  • PROP 270
1.5

This course will provide you with an introduction to safety problems and safe practices in the power engineering workplace, and an appreciation of the potential environmental impact of air, water and noise. You will discuss the perception off risk, environmental responsibility and sustainable development, and relate safety to processes as it relates to pressures and temperatures in the lab.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 243
1.5

Density and pressure, temperature and heat, moments and forces, scalars and vectors, linear velocity and acceleration, force, work, pressure, power and energy, calorimetry, expansion and contraction, gas laws, laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamics of steam, and effects of throttling steam.

Equivalents:
  • THRM 203
3

Steam properties and processes. Carnot and Rankine cycles, refrigeration properties and processes, psychrometric properties and air conditioning processes.

Pre-requisites:
  • THRM 208
Equivalents:
  • THRM 253
3

You will study the basic theory and application of thermodynamic principles used in Power Engineering. As part of this course you will perform calculations on heat transfer and cycle performance, and investigate turbine operation in a basic steam power plant.

Pre-requisites:
  • THRM 258
3

In Thermodynamics Lab I, you will apply the theoretical knowledge you acquired in power and thermodynamics theory classes.

Pre-requisites:
  • PENG 253
  • THRM 258
1.5

In Thermodynamics IV Theory, you will learn how to perform calculations on plant equipment other than those in the Rankine cycle. This will include air compression systems, internal combustion engine cycles, and large as well as small gas turbines. These calculations will enable you to measure machine efficiency and performance.

Pre-requisites:
  • THRM 317
3

In Thermodynamics II Lab, you will apply theoretical knowledge you acquired in power and thermodynamics theory classes.

Pre-requisites:
  • THRM 317
  • THRM 319
1.5

Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

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Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Available Open Studies courses

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 60% in Math 30-1 or 75% in Math 30-2, AND,
  • at least 60% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 75% in English Language Arts 30-2, AND,
  • at least 60% in Physics 30.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

Upgrade
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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Waitlisted
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024

Costs

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $6,120 $1,570 $7,690
2 2 $6,426 $1,570 $7,996
Total cost:
$15,686

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $21,015.30 $1,570 $22,585.30
2 2 $22,066.07 $1,570 $23,636.07
Total cost:
$46,221.37

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

You'll require the following books and reading materials for the program, which can be purchased from PanGlobal:

  • Power Engineering Fourth Class Textbook Set - Part A, Part B and Academic Supplements (used in PENG 201, PENG 203, PENG 251, PENG 253, THRM 208, and THRM 258)
  • Power Engineering Third Class Textbook Set (used in ELCT 304, PENG 301, and PENG 351)
  • Power Engineering Second Class Textbook – Part B3 (used in ELCT 354)
  • Power Engineering Fourth Class Textbook Set - Part A (used in SFTY 215)

AMEC356 will require Mott, Robert L; Untener, J. A. (2015): Applied Fluid Mechanics (7th in SI Units ed.), Pearson, which can be purchased from the SAIT Bookstore.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

We recommend you wear CSA-approved (green triangle, above ankles) protective footwear in our labs. A hard hat and safety glasses will be provided to you.

Required equipment/tools

You'll require a scientific calculator capable of performing linear regression.

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Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the macphail.students@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

MacPhail School of Energy

Phone
403.284.8451
Email
macphail.students@sait.ca

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca