School of Applied Sciences and Technology

Power Engineering Technology

Sep 01, 2022
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The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

Please note due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these delivery options may shift from term to term. Please consult your program for details on delivery options.

  • On-Campus Day - Your course activity is done in-person Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • On-Campus Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done in-person on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Day - Your course activity is done online Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Online Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done online on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.
  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.


The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 7 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C in the course(s) or program

Any POWT related courses that are to be looked at for advance/transfer credit can be considered but not necessarily granted due to the need to have the student be successful in learning the ABSA accredited standardized curriculum being used and the impact it has on being successful in passing the ABSA examinations. There can be a better possibility of granting advance/transfer credits for 'academic' courses such as physics and mathematics subject to the minimum requirements of the course(s) in question and equivalencies to the existing NAIT courses (e.g. PHYS 1146 or PHYS 2446 or MATH 1141).

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

If you do not qualify for transfer credit or credential recognition, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be an option.

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

Program delivery varies by program and may be subject to change.. We encourage you to review how your classes will be delivered for the upcoming terms. If you have questions about program delivery or class enrolment, please contact your program area.

Harness the power

Power engineers work to keep our lights on and motors running. They are responsible for all aspects of generating, transmitting and making use of electrical power, and since nearly all facets of modern society require electricity at some stage, these professionals play an essential role in our economy and everyday life.

In this comprehensive 2-year diploma program, you’ll study thermodynamics, electricity, electronics, refrigeration and air conditioning. You’ll also gain skills in mechanical drafting, blueprint reading, technical mathematics and physics. By the end of the program, you’ll have the foundational knowledge and skills to gain provincially-recognized certification and begin a rewarding career as a power engineering technologist.

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

The Power Engineering Technology 2-year diploma program will prepare you for progression through the 4th Class, 3rd Class and 2nd Class - Part A ABSA levels by providing both theoretical and practical training.

The intent of the program is to prepare you to make both safety and efficiency a priority on the job. In the classroom, we will discuss foundational concepts of boilers, electricity, instrumentation, safety, codes and legislation, thermodynamics and physics. 

By the time you graduate, you will have the knowledge, skills and confidence to:

  • operate boilers
  • operate turbines
  • control and operate refrigeration and air conditioning systems
  • maintain and repair boilers and auxiliaries, pumps, compressors, turbines, generators
  • commission equipment

You’ll need to pass all courses and attend a minimum of 80% of the theory classes, 100% of the labs and 100% of the plant practicum to successfully complete the program. 

Tools for success

To be successful in this program, you’ll need to demonstrate manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination and mechanical inclination for the operation of switches and control of monitoring instruments. Colour vision may also be required by some employers.

Practicum/co-op/work experience

The Plant Practicum (POWT2395) portion of the Power Engineering Technology program is designed to provide you with industrial experience. Only qualified students (who have completed and passed all Level 1 courses successfully AND have successfully completed the ABSA, 4th Class A & B papers) may be assigned to industrial plants where they will be exposed to the many phases of power engineering.

  • Length: 530 Hours/13.25 Weeks (nominal)
  • Salary: Paid and Unpaid Placements
  • Relocation: Possible

Please note: You will be charged the tuition fee for both the paid and unpaid plant practicums. This fee covers, staffing costs related to the plant practicum, room usage for interviews, industry information sessions, etc.

Enter the workforce with confidence

Power engineers generally have steady year-round employment, with no seasonal layoffs, in plants that operate around the clock. Because of this, shiftwork consisting of 12-hour day and night shifts on weekends and holidays is typically required.

As you gain experience and higher levels of certification, your work responsibilities as a power engineer will increase in complexity.

Typically, power engineers:

  • assist in the operation and maintenance of boilers, pumps, compressors, fans, turbines, refrigeration units, heating systems and other related equipment
  • work as a shift engineer who coordinates the operational and maintenance activities of assistant engineers engaged in the constant control and surveillance of power plant equipment

Graduate information & opportunities

Continuing your studies

  • 4th Class ABSA Provincial exam – you can apply to write the 4th Class ABSA Provincial Exam once you’ve successfully completed certificate Level 2 program courses
  • 3rd Class Part "A" ABSA Provincial exam - you can write the 3rd Class Part "A" ABSA Provincial Exam once you’ve successfully completed Plant Practicum Level 3 (POWT2395)
  • 3rd Class Part "B" ABSA Provincial exam -  you can write the 3rd Class Part "B" ABSA Provincial Exam once you’ve successfully completed Level 5
  • 2nd Class Part "A" ABSA Provincial exam - you can write the 2nd Class Part "A" ABSA Provincial Exam once you’ve successfully completed Levels 1 and 2

Become a trusted professional

Provincial legislation requires the certification of employees before they assume responsibilities in heating and power plants. There are five certificate levels; 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st class. Each involves qualifying time requirements and examinations administered by the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA).

NAIT's Power Engineering Technology Diploma (2 year) delivers a curriculum that will prepare you to write the 4th Class, 3rd Class and three of the six papers for 2nd Class ABSA Administered Provincial Examinations. ABSA Regulations dictate a 100% Attendance Policy that is in place for this program.

If you choose to write the ABSA exams, you will be charged the ABSA examination fees. These fees are set by ABSA and are subject to change. 

ABSA exam fees (prices include tax and are not eligible for student loans):

  • Term 1: $97.00 (4A)
  • Term 2: $97.00 (4B)
  • Term 3: $194.00 (3A1 and 3A2)
  • Term 4: $197.00 (3B1 and 3B2)
  • Term 5: $291.00 (2A1, 2A2 and 2A3)

Note:  ABSA examination fees are not eligible for student loans.

You must pass all of the NAIT curriculum before you will be eligible to write ABSA's examinations. 

Learn more about the ABSA

Power Station

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions.


Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
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Please note: Post-secondary articulation agreements within Alberta are approved by the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT). To view the details of specific agreements, please visit or contact

For questions regarding transfer agreements or to obtain a course description/outline that is no longer available on our website, please contact



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Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.

*Program availability is subject to change without notice.

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