Skip to main content

Power Engineering – Distance and Online Learning

Power Engineering Online Learning

BCIT offers programs in all levels of Power Engineering Certification including: Refrigeration Plant Operator, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Class. 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 or upgrading their current classification level. For those who can obtain qualifying time in industry, our courses provide the theoretical training required to challenge the Interprovincial Power Engineering Certification examinations.

In addition, we offer a Power Lab (4th Class only) once a year for candidates who 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.

Our programs offer a number of benefits:

  • Accepted by regulatory agencies such as  Technical Safety BC
  • Quizzes and assignments are based on the syllabi of the interprovincial certification examinations
  • Personalized help from experienced instructors via email, online conferencing, telephone, or in-person assistance (by appointment).
  • BCIT Power Engineering has the most affordable fees in Western Canada.
  • Successful completion of the program will grant students a certain number of months as qualifying time towards satisfying Technical Safety exam requirements.

Method of Instruction

Complete your studies where you live anytime, anywhere. These courses are self-guided, theoretical training only.  Students are expected to study a series of course material (purchased separately) on their own in order to complete online quizzes or assignments within a fixed completion deadline. There are no in-person or virtual classes.  Students work through their material independently. Power Engineering tutor assistance is available through email, phone, or online conferencing.  Final exam is completed either in-person at our office or with an approved proctoring service within Canada.

Burnaby Campus Resource Area

Distance education students may book appointments to the Power Engineering Resource Centre to access all of the resources available. These resources include assistance from the tutorial instructors, as well as an extensive library of books, videos and other instructional media.  Students are able to book an appointment to attend.


Those who wish to enroll in programs are required to have Grade 12 English and a minimum of Math 11 to complete these programs. For more information on upgrading courses: Entrance requirements/Upgrading

These programs and courses are available to international applicants. A valid study permit is required prior to enrolling.

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, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Class applicants must possess the next lower Interprovincial Power Engineers’ Certificate.

International Students

These POWR courses are available to international students who will complete the courses from outside Canada or who currently have a valid status in Canada other than a study permit. International students are not eligible for a study permit.

  • You may have to provide proof of minimum prerequisites in order to be approved to register.

Program Length

The allowable time period for completion of the program in which you register is 12 months from the date of registration. You may otherwise be required to pay additional fees to continue. To avoid this, please ensure that you are prepared to commence your studies immediately upon registration.

To obtain the best value from a program, students spending a minimum of 15 hours per week can expect to complete the requirements by the following:

Class Duration
5th Class 4 months
Refrigeration Plant Operator 4 months
4th Class – Part A&B 8 months
3rd Class – Part A 6 months
3rd Class – Part B 6 months
2nd Class – Part A 8 months
2nd Class – Part B 8 months
1st Class – Part A 10 months
1st Class – Part B 10 months


Program intake is continuous. Upon approval, student registrations are processed on a weekly basis.

Because these are specialized courses, students must e-mail the Power Engineering Program Assistant for further details and approval to ensure you are registering into the correct level or program. Once approved, you will receive a registration form and instructions to continue.

  • 4th Class Part A and B. Complete Part A prior to approval of Part B
  • 3rd Class is split into four courses. Part A1 and A2 must be registered together. Upon successful completion of 3rd Class Part A, students may be approved to continue with 3rd Class Part B.
  • 2nd and 1st Class courses are registered with a 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.

Sponsored Students

Sponsorship is when a company or agency has agreed to be invoiced for your tuition. Whether you’re studying part time or full time, sponsorship may be an option for you.

If you are a BCIT Flexible Learning (formerly Part-time Studies) student who is being sponsored by a company or agency, please email and request the “Sponsorship registration package” for approval to register.

Cost and Supplies

Program tuition fees are paid independently of the course materials. Tuition fees are approximately $200 – $700 per course (depending on the program level).

Course textbooks and related study materials are purchased directly from the BCIT Bookstore. Approximate costs for books range from $300 – $1,600 (depending on the program level).

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, if an applicant has successfully completed the correlating power engineering courses that have been approved by a provincial safety manager,  candidates may be entitled to a reduction in qualifying time as follows:

  • 3rd Class – 6 months
  • 2nd Class – 9 months
  • 1st Class – 12 months

To be eligible for the qualifying time reduction, you must successfully 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 0250 Power Lab
POWR 1210 ONLINE 5th Class
POWR 1211 ONLINE Refrigeration Plant Operator
POWR 1300 ONLINE 4th Class – Part “A”
POWR 1310 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