May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

Power and Process Operations

Location(s): In Person (Main Campus)

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Power and Process Operations is a comprehensive eight-month program designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel as an operator in various power generation and processing industries.

It is the equivalent of a Fourth-Class Power Engineering program. It combines theoretical learning with hands-on laboratory experience utilizing the same type of equipment found in industry, ensuring that you are well-prepared to manage the day-to-day operations of complex power and processing systems safely and efficiently.

In this program, you will:

  • learn the fundamentals of boilers, including design, operation and maintenance
  • learn about heat and energy transfer and how it’s used and managed in power systems
  • learn the basics of electricity, electrical circuits, power generation and electrical safety, including how to safely operate electrical equipment in industrial settings
  • learn about design, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of different types of pumps and compressors
  • get instruction on workplace safety, including fire safety, hazardous material handling and emergency procedures
  • train in the instrumentation used to monitor and control engineering systems, including sensors, transmitters, controllers and actuators
  • learn the basics of plant operations and troubleshooting
  • learn the fundamentals of internal combustion engines, steam turbines and gas turbines, including design and operation typical to those found in facilities, industry and power plants
  • establish the knowledge and skills to operate a refrigeration system used in process industries and facility cooling
  • learn the fundamentals of facility environmental conditioning and control, including design and operation of air handling units, chillers and building automation systems
  • gain an understanding of the water treatment, testing and analysis that promotes equipment and system longevity, including cooling, heating, steam, condensate and feedwater systems.

Graduates of this program find job opportunities in power generation, petrochemical, fertilizer, pulp and paper, natural gas processing, metallurgical, petroleum refining, food and beverage production industries, and facility operations. Most roles involve shift work and can often be located at remote sites.

This program will prepare you to challenge the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) Fourth Class Power Engineer certification exams to earn your certification, setting the stage for a challenging and rewarding career in power and process operations.

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Those in power engineering tend to be objective, innovative and methodical. 

You need:

  • mechanical and some electrical aptitude
  • to be physically agile and capable of lifting heavy objects
  • good vision, hearing and eye-hand co-ordination
  • manual dexterity
  • communication skills
  • organizational and decision-making skills
  • the ability to work with others in a team environment.

Those with serious colour vision defects or who suffer from claustrophobia or fear of heights may have trouble with certain aspects of instruction and may experience problems securing employment.

You should enjoy analyzing problems and coming up with solutions, working as efficiently as possible, and have respect for safety standards and codes.

Academic path

Graduates can transfer course credits and enter the SAIT Power Engineering Technology program to earn their diploma with one additional year of study.  

Accreditations, designations or certifications

This program is integrated with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) certification system.

Graduates are eligible for membership in the following professional associations:

  • Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA)
  • Institute of Power Engineers (IPE)
  • International Pressure Equipment Integrity Association (IPEIA)
  • National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)


After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Power and Process Operations certificate.

Program length

1 year

Accepts international applicants - PGWP-eligible

This program accepts international applicants and meets the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program, as long as the student is registered in on-campus classes or completes more than 50% of the courses on campus (for blended options). 

International students attending all classes online will NOT be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. International students are responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies. 


This program is eligible for the Canada Alberta Job Grant

Related careers

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Potential careers (NOC):

  • Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (22301)
  • Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians (22302)
  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (22312)
  • Facility operation and maintenance managers (70012)
  • Power engineers and power systems operators (92100)
  • Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities (92011)

Admission requirements - Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and completion of the following courses or equivalents:

  • at least 60% in Math 30-1 or 75% in Math 30-2 or Math 30-3, and
  • at least 60% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 75% in English Language Arts 30-2.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

Admission requirements - Applicants educated outside of Canada

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find accepted educational documents and assessment options

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

Program outline

The Power and Process Operations certificate requires 30 credits (12 courses) to complete.

The program spans one year, with two semesters.

Suggested schedule of study


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure > 

Books and supplies

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore’s website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn’t receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you’re in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you’ll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. You’ll require:

  • Standard coveralls
  • CSA-approved (green triangle) protective footwear

A hard hat and safety glasses will be provided to you.

Energy program advising

For any questions or to set up an advising appointment, please contact our MacPhail School of Energy.

Phone: 403.284.8451

Program outcomes

  1. Prepare equipment for maintenance and inspections following recognized standards in a variety of operating environments.
  2. Monitor and troubleshoot equipment during normal and abnormal situations in a variety of operating environments.
  3. Operate equipment in compliance with safety, technical, environmental and regulatory requirements within a variety of operating environments.
  4. Utilize appropriate computer hardware and software necessary to perform tasks within a variety of operating environments.
  5. Apply specific skills related to the safe operation of equipment while maintaining environmental responsibilities in a variety of operating environments.
  6. Adhere to personal, environmental and workplace safety regulations and practices within a variety of operating environments.
  7. Act as a trainer and trainee within the work environment.
  8. Apply verbal and written communication skills in a variety of operating environments to clearly transfer information and follow directions.
  9. Demonstrate reading competence for technical and professional documents and materials in an operating environment.
  10. Exhibit ethical and professional behaviours within a variety of operating environments.
  11. Interact effectively and ethically with diverse groups using oral, written and interpersonal skills within the operating team environment.
  12. Assess further learning opportunities that will maximize opportunities for employment, increased responsibility and career success, within a variety of operating environments.

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