A man in safety gear working on large pipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take Power Engineering at VIU?

  • small class sizes
  • opportunities for three months' paid work experience
  • 30+ potential employers on Vancouver Island
  • low cost of living compared to other cities that offer this training

What can I expect for a salary as a Power Engineer?

  • Fourth Class Power Engineers wages start at about $30/hour and can go as high as $50/hour; that works out to between $60,000 and $100,000 per year.
  • Third Class Power Engineers wages start at about $35/hour and can go as high as $60/hour; that’s $70,000-$100,000/year; and with Overtime can be as high as $150,000/year.
  • Second Class Power Engineers wages start at about $40/hour and can go as high as $80/hour, and
  • First Class starts at about $50/hour and can be over $100/hour. With OT and bonus, annual salary can be well over $200,000/year.

Who employs Power Engineers on Vancouver Island?

  • There are many hospitals, an LNG plant, canneries, pulp mills, several breweries, a combined cycle power plant, a number of large laundries and other employers.
  • There’s also plastics and food processors; and the Air Force base has a large heating plant that employs a number of Power Engineers.

What kind of work can I expect as a Fourth Class Power Engineer?

  • As the videos at the following links show, Power Engineers do many different types of work, from making steam for heating hospitals and large high rise buildings to operating power generating stations, solar power plants, refineries, nuclear power stations, food processing plants and water treatment plants.
  • Power Engineers also operate Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in universities and large city centers.
  • The daily duties of Power Engineers range from field operator work checking the condition of operating machinery, to mechanical repair and maintenance of equipment to monitoring power generating equipment to preparing and providing training material to managing power plants.
  • What does a power engineer do?
  • Institute of Power Engineers - mini doc

What is the future of Power Engineering?

  • Solar power holds great potential and Power Engineers will be involved in many areas of solar power generation.
  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) stores the heat of the sun and uses it to generate electricity even when the sun is not shining.
  • Since the transition from coal, oil and natural gas to solar and other more renewable forms of energy will take many years, the current employers of power engineers will be around for a long time.

How is Canadian Power Engineering training regarded in other areas of the world?

  • Power Engineers trained in Canada are well-recognized and work around the world.
  • PanGlobal, based in Calgary, is the world leader providing Power Engineering training material to employers and students around the world.

Who can I talk with to get more information?

Feel free to contact David Babich, Chair of the Power Engineering program at VIU. Email David.Babich@viu.ca.

What other expenses will I incur while I am taking this program?

Additional expenses include living and transportation costs. Pay parking is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parking is limited and on a first-come, first-parked basis; alternative forms of transportation are encouraged. Visit VIU Parking for current fees.

Are there scholarships and bursaries available?

Yes, see VIU Financial Aid and Awards for more information.