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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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92100 – Power engineers and power systems operators

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, institutional and industrial 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. Apprentices are also included in this unit group.


Example titles

  • Apprentice power dispatcher
  • Auxiliary plant operator
  • Building systems technician
  • Control room operator - electrical power systems
  • Distribution control operator - electrical power systems
  • Electrical power systems operator
  • Energy from waste plant operator
  • Nuclear generating station field operator
  • Nuclear reactor operator
  • Power dispatcher - generating station
  • Power engineer
  • Power plant operator
  • Power plant stationary engineer
  • Stationary engineer
  • System controller - electrical power systems

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following 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 coordinate 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
    • Respond to emergency situations if required
    • 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 and non-compliance
    • 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
    • Coordinate, 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.

Employment requirements

  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary for power engineers in Nova Scotia.
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Control room operators at nuclear power plants require licensing from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
  • Power systems operators require completion of a three- to five-year power system operator apprenticeship program or over three years of work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses in electrical and electronic technology.
  • Power engineers require a provincial or territorial power engineering certificate according to class. There are five classes in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia while there are four classes in Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut territories.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary for power systems operators in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Power engineers require a college training program in power engineering and several years of work experience. An exam is mandatory to move from one class to the other.

Additional information

  • Progression from lower to higher classes for power or stationary engineers is dependent on further training and experience.
  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
  • There is little mobility between nuclear power generation station operators and other classic or alternative power generation station operators.


Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
9 – Occupations in manufacturing and utilities
2 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of two or more years; or supervisory occupations
Major group
92 – Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and utilities operators and controllers
Sub-major group
921 – Utilities equipment operators and controllers
Minor group
9210 – Utilities equipment operators and controllers
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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