What Does a Class 4 Power Engineer Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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A Class 4 power engineer is authorized to handle operations in industrial plants in Canada. This, along with Class 5, is an entry level position that allows people to work with boilers, refrigerators, and pressurized systems. It is possible to progress all the way to a Class 1 certification, which qualifies practitioners for the broadest scope of practice. Certification is used to ensure that operators receive sufficient safety training and experience to work in this field.

Several requirements must be met to become a Class 4 power engineer. One is successful satisfaction of educational standards, which include a set of courses people take to get familiar with industrial plants and their operation. Work experience is also required, and candidates for certification must sit for an examination to demonstrate competency. Most employers also want their staff to be high school graduates, although this is not required to earn the Class 4 power engineer certification.

Training provides important information on how to safely operate industrial plants. This includes coverage of operating environments and safe ranges of temperature, pressure, and other conditions. A Class 4 power engineer needs to be able to run systems independently and safely, as well as performing routine maintenance to keep equipment functioning properly. Repair and testing also fall under this job.


This can require working at odd hours to respond to emergencies, in addition to coordinating with other maintenance staff. A Class 4 power engineer may work with other personnel to manage a large physical plant and make sure that a building’s environmental controls remain operational. Equipment like boilers generates heat in the winter, while refrigeration units provide chilling for buildings or specific environments like walk-in coolers.

Routine inspections ensure that equipment is in good working order and provide an opportunity to address problems in the early stages. This can include using testing equipment and temporarily taking systems offline to perform work. If there will be an interruption in services, the Class 4 power engineer needs to communicate this information to people who might be affected.

Higher classifications are available to people who want to run larger and more complex systems. The stepped certification process is regulated to ensure consistency. Regulators can adjust the guidelines and standards as needed to respond to changing industry demands. A working Class 4 power engineer may choose to pursue continuing education in the field along with advanced training to apply for higher classifications.


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