June 5, 2019

4th Class Power Engineer

Tanner Sawrenko graduated in 2018 and in that same year was certified as a 4th Class Power Engineer after taking the DLC Power Engineering courses.

Tanner had heard about the DLC Power Engineering program from some of his friends who had signed up for the courses and was encouraged to consider a career in power engineering by his Sun West school. Tanner explained why power engineering interested him: “The course and career were appealing to me because I enjoy hands-on work and working at massive power generation stations seems like it would never get old. The pay a power engineer receives will certainly be a bonus to all of this as well.”

Tanner was successful in all elements of the DLC program including the four online courses and six hands-on labs, particularly enjoying the labs even though they were on weekends. He said, “I didn’t miss the weekends because I looked at it as an investment in myself.” He spoke highly of the lab instructor Jim Noseworthy, a third class Power Engineer with over 30 years of power engineering experience. “ Jim did an awesome job,” explained Tanner, “we learned a lot . . . he taught it all!”

Power engineers are certified professionals who are essential to keeping power plants running in hospitals, pulp mills, oil upgraders, refineries, manufacturing plants and countless other operations. There are approximately 30,000 power engineers employed in Canada but at current retirement rates, it is expected there will be as many as 11,000 vacancies in the next 5-10 years and only about 8,000 new power engineers to fill those positions.

To be certified, power engineer candidates must pass two tests administered by the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK). Tanner’s advice to students taking these tests is “make sure you know all of everything – don’t focus on what you think will be on the exams but get a good grasp of everything.”

The final part of the certification process is a three-week practical course held in July each year at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatoon known as steam time.Tanner indicated that Saskatchewan Polytechnic had a “pretty awesome facility” and that he was able to work on water tube and fire tube boilers, various kinds of pumps and steam turbines. "I enjoyed the hands on learning and taking the knowledge and information from the books and applying them to real life situations with boilers and other equipment in the lab," he said.

After successfully completing his steam time requirement, Tanner was certified as a 4th Class Power Engineer. Since then he has been working at a local lumber company in order to save money to help cover his tuition at Great Plains College in Kindersley where he will be taking courses towards 3rd Class Power Engineering certification starting in April 2019.

“[Taking my 4th class Power Engineering certification through the DLC] saved me a lot of money,” explained Tanner, “and I came out of high school with a certificate that put me way ahead.”

For more information, visit https://powerengineering.sunwestdlc.ca/