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How Do I Become a 5th Class Power Engineer?

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  • Written By: Bryce Clinton
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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To become a 5th class power engineer, you'll need to complete a course in boilers, pressure systems, and refrigeration, then pass an examination to receive your certificate. Passing the examination will help demonstrate that you're capable of safely and efficiently operating a thermally driven utility system. The exam usually takes several hours.

Courses of study that will prepare you to become a 5th class power engineer usually take anywhere from one to two semesters of intensive study. They can take anywhere from three months to a year. During that time, you'll study acts and codes, pressure systems, applied science, safety, welding, plumbing, and more. Each area is divided into sub categories.

You will also study pumps, pipes, valves, and general boiler details — fittings, controls, operations, and maintenance. Additionally, to pass your examination and become a 5th class power engineer, you'll need to know about fuels, combustion, water treatment, heating and refrigeration systems, air compression, and electricity. It's a lot of information, so such courses need to be taken seriously if you want to succeed.

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It is also usually expected that you have a certain amount of experience or "firing time." This is actual time spent operating equipment in the field and learning the hands-on details of specific systems and plants. Usually you can't become a 5th class power engineer without it. The amount of firing time required and the plant size in which you work will vary from location to location, but you'll have to meet the minimum requirements to obtain your certification.

Since power engineers work in dangerous conditions in power generation plants, commercial and residential buildings, and all types of industrial facilities, you can't become a 5th class power engineer without extensive safety expertise. You'll be dealing with sensitive and often explosive pipes and instruments, so safety is a major part of the core curriculum. This expertise goes hand in hand with knowing all the codes in your area.

Finally, it is worth noting that to become a 5th class power engineer, great attention to detail is required. The important equipment that you'll be responsible for provides needed light, heat, power, and climate control. This tremendous responsibility means that power engineering is not for everyone. For the right person, it's an excellent fit, and it's a job that is usually in great demand around the world. Once you complete your educational accreditation, firing time, and government examination, you'll receive your certification and be in line for further advancement.

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