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Power Engineering – Distance and Online Learning

Power Engineering Online Learning – Anytime, Anywhere

BCIT offers programs in all levels of Power Engineering Certification including: Refrigeration Plant Operator, Fifth, Fourth, Third, Second and First Class. In addition, we offer a Power Lab (4th Class candidates only) once a year for students that cannot obtain qualifying time in industry. There is a limited number of seats available for the Power Lab and entry is competitive. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

The programs are directed primarily at those currently employed in industrial power plants and building systems operation, including oil and gas processes, who are interested in obtaining Power Engineering certification. Courses provide the knowledge required to challenge the Interprovincial Power Engineering Certification examinations.

Instruction is provided primarily through online learning. Our programs offer a number of benefits:

  • Accredited by regulatory agencies such as Technical Safety BC
  • Assignments and tests are based on the syllabi of the Interprovincial Certificate Examinations
  • Personalized help from experienced instructors via e-mail, web-conferencing, telephone, or drop-in assistance
  • BCIT Power Engineering has the lowest tuition fees in Western Canada.

Method of Instruction

With online learning, complete your studies where you live anytime, anywhere. Flexible online tutorial hours allow you to communicate with your instructors. Communication between online students and the instructor is maintained by e-mail, fax, and/or telephone. Online discussion forums are integrated into our D2L Learning Management System for daily communication. In addition, face-to-face tutorial help is available at the Burnaby Campus.

Burnaby Campus Resource Area

Distance education students may drop in to the Power Engineering Resource Centre to access all of the resources available. These resources include assistance from the tutorial instructor, as well as an extensive library of books, videos and other instructional media.

Actively registered students who are sponsored by their employer to attend the Resource Centre may do so at no extra cost as part of their study program.


Those who wish to enroll in programs are required to have a good command of written English. It is advised that you have a minimum of Math 11 to complete this program. You must also satisfy all of the Technical Safety BC requirements for practical qualifying experience relative to the certificate for which you are a candidate, for example, First, Second, and Third Class applicants must possess the next lower Interprovincial Power Engineers’ Certificate.

Program Length

The allowable time period for completion of the course(s) in which you register is one year from the date of registration. To obtain the best value from a program, students studying on a part-time basis are advised to spend a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Class Duration
Fifth Class 4 months
Refrigeration Plant Operator 4 months
Fourth Class – Part A&B 8 months
Third Class – Part A 6 months
Third Class – Part B 6 months
Second Class – Part A 8 months
Second Class – Part B 8 months
First Class – Part A 10 months
First Class – Part B 10 months

Sponsored Students

Upon application to your local Human Resources and Development Canada office, you may be sponsored to attend a Certificate Program at BCIT using the Resource Centre on a full-time basis. Under these conditions, participants on average may progress through a program within the following time periods (please note these time periods are only guidelines).

Class Duration
Fifth Class 8 weeks
Refrigeration Plant Operator 8 weeks
Fourth Class 18 weeks
Third Class – Part A 8 weeks
Third Class – Part B 8 weeks
Second Class – Part A 16 weeks
Second Class – Part B 16 weeks
First Class – Part A 20 weeks
First Class – Part B 20 weeks


Program intake is continuous.

To ensure you are registered in the correct courses, it is important that you e-mail the Power Engineering Program Assistant. Once approved you will receive a registration form and information directly by e-mail from the Program Assistant. We are currently restricting registration for the 5th, RPO and 4th Class to students that either have or will have their work experience (firing time) while doing their courses. Please follow the instructions for registration and payment.

Fourth Class Part A and B must be registered together. Third Class is normally done as a “group” of two courses. Second and First Class courses are registered maximum two courses at once. Alternately, you may register for any course for which you possess the specified prerequisites. This may be desirable for those who have previously completed some papers of the Interprovincial examinations.

The allowable time period to complete your course(s) is one year from the date of registration. You may otherwise be required to pay additional fees to continue. To avoid this, please ensure you are prepared to commence your studies immediately upon registration.

Course Materials

Program tuition fees are paid independently of the course materials. Course textbooks and related study materials are purchased directly from the BCIT Bookstore. Materials lists and prices for each course are available online at BCIT Bookstore.

Interprovincial Examinations

To qualify to write the Interprovincial Power Engineering Certification examinations, a candidate must have a specified number of months of practical qualifying experience as outlined in the British Columbia “Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation.”

As stated in the Regulations, candidates may be entitled to a reduction in qualifying time as follows:

  • Third Class – 6 months
  • Second Class – 9 months
  • First Class – 12 months

To qualify for the reduction, you must complete every course of the appropriate study program and all of its requirements. Course exemption may not be awarded based upon your previous completion of the related Interprovincial examination(s). For further details, refer to Technical Safety BC.

Tuition Fee Schedule

Fees are subject to change without notice. Please click on the links below to get the course information and associated fees for each course.

POWR 1210 ONLINE 5th Class
POWR 1211 ONLINE Refrigeration Plant Operator
POWR 1213 ONLINE 4th Class – Part “A”
POWR 1214 ONLINE 4th Class – Part “B”
POWR 1215 ONLINE 3rd Class – Part “A” – Paper 1
POWR 1216 ONLINE 3rd Class – Part “A” – Paper 2
POWR 1217 ONLINE 3rd Class – Part “B” – Paper 1
POWR 1218 ONLINE 3rd Class – Part “B” – Paper 2
POWR 1219 CORR 2nd Class – Part “A” – Paper 1
POWR 1220 CORR 2nd Class – Part “A” – Paper 2
POWR 1221 CORR 2nd Class – Part “A” – Paper 3
POWR 1222 CORR 2nd Class – Part “B” – Paper 1
POWR 1223 CORR 2nd Class – Part “B” – Paper 2
POWR 1224 CORR 2nd Class – Part “B” – Paper 3
POWR 1225 CORR 1st Class – Part “A” – Paper 1
POWR 1226 CORR 1st Class – Part “A” – Paper 2
POWR 1227 CORR 1st Class – Part “A” – Paper 3
POWR 1228 CORR 1st Class – Part “A” – Paper 4
POWR 1229 CORR 1st Class – Part “B” – Paper 1
POWR 1230 CORR 1st Class – Part “B” – Paper 2
POWR 1231 CORR 1st Class – Part “B” – Paper 3
POWR 1232 CORR 1st Class – Part “B” – Paper 4


Power Engineering
T 604-432-8390 F 604-431-3856

Mailing Address:
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Power Engineering Department
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC  V5G 3H2