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Power engineers and power systems operators

Other titles : air compressor operator, air conditioning system operator, area load centre dispatcher, auxiliary equipment or plant operator, boiler or boilerhouse operator, building systems operator or technician, heating and ventilation equipment tender, heating stationary engineer, heavy water steam plant operator, humidifying systems operator, power dispatcher, power engineer, stationary engineer, steam plant operator, turbine operator - stationary engines


Description :

Power engineers operate and maintain reactors, turbines, boilers, generators, stationary engines and auxiliary equipment to generate electrical power and to provide heat, light, refrigeration and other utility services for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings and other work sites. Power systems operators monitor and operate switchboards and related equipment in electrical control centres to control the distribution of electrical power in transmission networks. They are employed by power generation plants, electrical power utilities, manufacturing plants, hospitals, universities and government and commercial establishments.

Main duties :

Power engineers 

  • Operate automated or computerized control systems, stationary engines and auxiliary equipment such as reactors, boilers, turbines, generators, pumps, compressors, pollution control devices and other equipment to generate electrical power and to provide light, heat, ventilation and refrigeration for buildings, industrial plants and other work sites
  • Start up and shut down power plant equipment, control switching operations, regulate water levels and communicate with systems operators to regulate and co-ordinate transmission loads, frequency and line voltages
  • Monitor and inspect plant equipment, computer terminals, switches, valves, gauges, alarms, meters and other instruments to measure temperature, pressure and fuel flow, to detect leaks or other equipment malfunctions and to ensure plant equipment is operating at maximum efficiency
  • Analyze and record instrument readings and equipment malfunctions
  • Troubleshoot and perform corrective action and minor repairs to prevent equipment or system failure
  • Clean and lubricate generators, turbines, pumps and compressors and perform other routine equipment maintenance duties using appropriate lubricants and hand, power and precision tools
  • Maintain a daily log of operation, maintenance and safety activities, and write reports on plant operation
  • May assist in the development of operation, maintenance and safety procedures.

Power systems operators 

  • Operate and monitor computerized switchboards and auxiliary equipment in electrical control centres to control the distribution and to regulate the flow of electrical power in the transmission network
  • Co-ordinate, schedule and direct generating station and substation power loads and line voltages to meet distribution demands during daily operations, system outages, repairs and importing or exporting of power
  • Monitor and visually inspect station instruments, meters and alarms to ensure transmission voltages and line loadings are within prescribed limits and to detect equipment failure, line disturbances and outages
  • Issue work and test permits to electrical and mechanical maintenance personnel, assist maintenance and technical personnel to locate and isolate system problems, and assist during routine system testing
  • Complete and maintain station records, logs and reports.


Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS)


Mécanique de machines fixes

(Training program available in French only)

Program length:  2 years

Program Objectives

Le programme d'études professionnelles Mécanique de machines fixes prépare à l'exercice du métier de mécanicienne ou mécanicien de machines fixes.

Les mécaniciennes et les mécaniciens de machines fixes travaillent dans des entreprises de produits finis ou de transformation de matières premières, des complexes immobiliers, des immeubles gouvernementaux ou municipaux, des établissements hospitaliers ou scolaires, des entreprises de service (surveillance, entretien et réparation de systèmes) ou des centrales thermiques qui alimentent différents clients en chauffage et en climatisation ou qui servent à la production d'électricité. Ils assurent le bon fonctionnement des installations de chauffage, de réfrigération, de ventilation et de climatisation d'un bâtiment et sont responsables de machines fixes, telles que les chaudières, les générateurs de vapeur, les moteurs ou les turbines à vapeur, les appareils frigorifiques et les moteurs à combustion interne, etc., ainsi que de leurs accessoires et de la tuyauterie. Ils contrôlent le fonctionnement des machines fixes dans le but d'assurer le confort des personnes qui travaillent ou qui vivent dans des immeubles ou d'assurer le déroulement des opérations de différents procédés de production. Ils exécutent aussi des travaux relatifs à l'entretien des installations qui sont sous leur responsabilité.

Parce qu'ils opèrent et entretiennent des appareils sous pression et manipulent des matières dangereuses, comme des gaz, les mécaniciennes et les mécaniciens de machines fixes doivent être titulaires d'un certificat de qualification professionnelle.

Educational organizations offering the program

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