A future Power Engineering/Process Operator - 4th Class at work

Power Engineering/Process Operator - 4th Class

  • Program Length 
    32 Weeks
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 

Get your start in a career as a power engineer with hands-on training in the Fourth Class Power Engineering/Process Operator program. Electricity and heat energy management are essential to the way we live now – power engineers are the people who make sure the lights stay on. They operate equipment for our comfort and various applications in our daily lives.

VIU’s 32-week Red Seal power engineering certificate program prepares graduates for employment as power engineers able to operate, maintain and manage industrial power and processing plants. Industry demand for power engineering course graduates is high and a power plant operator can find work in many industries, including pulp and paper mills, sawmills, the oil and gas industry, refrigeration plants, food and processing plants, hospitals, universities and commercial buildings.

The Power Engineering/Process Operator - 4th Class Certificate Program

The Fourth Class Power Engineering/Process Operator Certificate Program prepares graduates for employment as power engineers, able to operate, maintain, and manage industrial power and processing plants. This full-time program includes theory and extensive training in an industry workplace practicum. Upon successful completions, graduates will have the knowledge and hands-on experience to challenge the Technical Safety BC standardized examinations for an Interprovincial Fourth Class Power Engineer's Certificate of Competency. The program also prepares graduates with technical knowledge required for a process operator.

Program Outline

Term 1


PENG 100T - (Boilers, Boiler Systems, Codes and Standards)


PENG 101T - (Elementary Mechanics and Dynamics)


PENG 102T - (Elementary Chemistry and Thermodynamics)


PENG 103T - (Power/Heating Plant Safety and Environment)


PENG 104T - (Material, Welding, Piping, Valves, Energy Plant Controls and Instrumentation)


PENG 105T - (Plant Communications


PENG 106T - (Electricity)


PENG 130T - (Power Engineering Review and Exams)


Total Term 1 Credits


Term 2


PENG 120T - (Work Practicum)


Total Term 2 Credits


Term 3


PENG 107T - (Prime Movers, Pumps and Compressors)


PENG 108T - (Power/Heating Plant Operation and Maintenance)


PENG 109T - (Water Treatment)


PENG 110T - (Refrigeration and Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)


PENG 111T - (Auxiliary Building Systems, Heating and Cooling Systems)


PENG 112T - (Types of Plants & Gas Process Operations)


PENG 131T - (Power Engineering Review and Exams)


Total Term 3 Credits


All program courses must be successfully completed before certificates will be issued.

Completion Requirements

To maintain progression in the program and to graduate with the Fourth Class Power Engineering/Process Operator Certificate from VIU, students must obtain a minimum of 50% per course and a minimum program average of 65%, and must meet attendance requirements (90% attendance for coursework; 100% attendance for 480 hours of Work Practicum).

Students must meet Technical Safety BC requirements for Examinations for Certification as a Fourth Class Power Engineer.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Admission Requirements

The program is designed for students with little or no previous experience in power engineering or process operation.

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for admission to the program:

Notes on Admission

  • A mechanical and electrical aptitude is desirable.
  • Communication skills, good vision, manual dexterity, and decision-making are an asset.
  • Those with good reading and comprehension skills, basic science, mathematics, and study skills have the most success in the program.
  • It is suggested that to achieve higher levels in the Power Engineering profession, students must have computer skills, chemistry, and Mathematics 12.
  • A medical certificate may be required prior to work practicum placement. Applicants should be in good physical health, have sufficient physical strength to meet work demands (capable of lifting 20 kg/44 lbs.), good hearing and eyesight, and normal colour vision. Employers may also require a driver's license and/or criminal record check.
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program. During the selection process, preference will be given to applicants with previous post-secondary experience, related commercial/industrial experience and superior achievement level on assessment testing.

Program Regulations

To maintain progression in the program, students must obtain a minimum grade of 50% per course and a program average of at least 65% to complete the program and receive a certificate as mandated by Technical Safety BC. Students must attend a minimum of 90% of all classes, and 100% in all lab activities, tours, and the Work Practicum.

If a student, for any reason, is unable to complete the work practicum placement provided, he/she will be required to obtain that training on their own, in a placement acceptable to the school and acceptable to BCSA, before writing Part 'B' of the Technical Safety BC 4th Class Power Engineering Standardized Examination.

Career Opportunities

Industry demand for qualified power engineers and process operators is high. Power engineers are required in many industries including: pulp and paper, sawmills, oil and gas, refrigeration plants, food processing, mines, utilities, hospitals, universities, public and commercial buildings, and other industrial and manufacturing plants. Canadian law requires Certification to work as a power engineer. The proposed program is driven by the needs of industry and meets the standards established for Interprovincial Certification.

Domestic Fees

Tuition Fee Schedule

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.





Lab fee


Student Activity fee (8 months x $27.12 per month)


Student Services fee (8 months x $19.98 per month)


VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $20.32 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)


Books and supplies (approximate costs)





The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full-time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.


Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Oct 15, 2019
Next Intake(s)
  • October 15, 2019
Accepting International Applications
Application Fee
Accepting Late Applications
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Alana Gaetz
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2071
Email: alana.gaetz@viu.ca

Chair Contact

Name: Paul Mottershead (Interim Dean)
Phone: 250-740-6123 ext. 6123
Email: paul.mottershead@viu.ca

Documentation Deadline

Info session: Dec. 3, 2019; 6:30-8pm; Nanaimo Campus B180 R134


Please note: The Standardization of Power Engineers Examination Committee (SOPEEC) and the Association of Chief Inspectors (ACI) have evaluated and updated the inter-provincial syllabus effective November 2017. To ensure student success in the program, the admission requirements have been changed.