How Long Did It Take You To Complete Your Power Engineering Certifications?

How Long Did It Take You To Complete Your Power Engineering Certifications?

Lately throughout the Power Engineering Facebook communities Power Engineers Anonymous & Brotherhood Of Power Engineers, I’ve noticed one question has been asked numerous times.

“How long did it take you guys to complete your (4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st Class) Power Engineering Certifications.”

Looking through the comments, it is interesting to see how greatly the length of time to complete each certification varies. From Power Engineers powering through their exams in an impressively short period of time, to the Power Engineers who were/will be affected with the recently introduced regulation in Alberta. This regulation being that after seven years your steam time and exams begin to expire, if you don’t complete your certification within the new seven year window.

Let me know in the comments below if your jurisdiction has a similar seven year window for exams and steam time?

Below I’ve provided a summary of how long it took me to complete my Power Engineering certifications, along with numerous polls for each class of Power Engineering for you to fill out how long it took you.

It’ll be interesting to see what the average length of time to complete each certification ends up being.

How Long It Took Me To Complete My Power Engineering Certifications

How Long Did It Take You To Complete Your Power Engineering Certifications Diagram

4th Class Power Engineering

While working on my 4th Class Power Engineering I completed an online approved distance learning course offered by NAIT, reducing the required firing time to obtain my certification from 12 months to 6 months. Due to previously accumulating the required steam time for my 4th Class, I actually completed it in 4 months and 4 days. Starting September 6, 2010 and completing it January 10, 2011. For simplicity in the polls below I stated the the total elapsed time to complete my 4th Class Power Engineering was 6 months to a year as without previously accumulating the steam time it is not possible to complete it quicker than 6 months.

3rd Class Power Engineering

For my 3rd Class Power Engineering I completed another approved online distance learning course offered by NAIT to reduce my required firing time from 12 months to 6 months. I completed my 4th Class Power Engineering on January 10, 2011 and my 3rd Class Power Engineering August 2nd, 2011. Taking a total of 6 months and 23 days to complete my 3rd Class Power Engineering. 6 months to a year.

2nd Class Power Engineering

2nd Class Power Engineering was no different than 4th and 3rd Class Power Engineering. I again completed online approved distance learning courses offered at NAIT  for Part A and SAIT for Part B. The only reason I went to SAIT for Part B was because at the time NAIT did not offer an approved online course for Part B. Completing these courses reduced my required firing time by 9 months and therefore reducing the total time from 24 months to 15 months. I completed my 3rd Class Power Engineering on August 2nd, 2011 and my 2nd Class Power Engineering on February 5, 2013. Making the total time to complete my 2nd Class Power Engineering 1 year, 6 months, and 3 days. 1 – 2 years.

1st Class Power Engineering

The online distance learning course I completed through SAIT for my 1st Class Power Engineering was by far the most difficult program to complete out of them all. To obtain the 12 month firing time reduction I had to complete twelve 30-45 page essays along with eight final exams. Completing the course reduced my required firing time from 30 months to 18 months.

Due to the regulations changing on December 1, 2013 for the first time I was able to write my Part A & Part B exams before obtaining the required steam time. Making the total time to complete my 1st class 1 year, 11 months, and 24 days. 1 – 2 years.

Before December 1, 2013 you had to complete your steam time and have it approved before you were able to write your Part B examinations.

After December 1, 2013 you can now write Part A or Part B examinations regardless of whether your steam time has been completed and approved.

4th To 1st Class Power Engineering

The total time to complete my 4th to 1st Class Power Engineering was 4 years, 4 months, and 23 days. 0 – 5 years

To find out more information about approved online distance learning courses to reduce your required firing time check out: Power Engineering Distance Learning Courses

How Long Did It Take You To Complete Your Power Engineering Certifications?

Here’s an easier way than counting on your fingers to calculate the time it took to complete your certifications: Elapsed Time & Date Website  

How long did it take you to complete your 4th Class Power Engineering certification?

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How long did it take you to complete your 3rd Class Power Engineering certification?

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How long did it take you to complete your 2nd Class Power Engineering certification?

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How long did it take you to complete your 1st Class Power Engineering certification?

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How long did it take you to complete your 4th to 1st Class Power Engineering certifications?

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11 thoughts on “How Long Did It Take You To Complete Your Power Engineering Certifications?”

  1. First thing id like to say, is that this site is pretty awesome and its been helpful with my studying 2a1. Great info. Now in saying that, First class in 3 years and 9 months is ridiculous. Congratulations but id be damned to ever meet someone that has completed it that fast until now. Way to shame every other guy out there that comes on the site. You were obviously dealt some good cards in terms of work/ firing time/ study time. Out in BC we don’t have the massive plants like Alberta does and finding 1st class firing time can be a daunting task especially in this market. A lot of the firing time out here is positional related as well. Wouldnt mind a little background story how you managed to climb the ladder that fast.

    1. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the site while studying for 2A1. You’ll have to let me know how your exam turns out. My timing was definitely lucky to be pursuing higher levels of Power Engineering certifications during a period of $100 oil rather then the current operating environment we find ourselves in. Other then that I relocated once to get a job at a larger facility and put in a tremendous amount of work to finish it all.

      1. Thats awesome dude! Id say im pretty lucky myself being able to finish my 2nd at the current plant i work at. I just squeezed in at the right time. I feel for the new guys out there though. Rough hiring market. Im hoping to be done 2nd class by september (3 papers done) which will make it a year total. And total 4 years to get there.

        1. It’s definitely a tough time to be entering into Power Engineering. That’ll be a quick pace to complete your 2nd Class by this September. Congrats on the progress so far and good luck the rest of the way. You’ll have to stop in and leave another comment when you get your 2nd Class completed this fall.

  2. Can anybody shed light to this question? Do you need to have a 4th Class firing time in order for you to take a 3rd Class certification?

    1. Yes, you’ll need to have completed your 4th Class firing time, exams, and received your certification from your provincial boiler branch before you’re able to work on your 3rd Class certification.

  3. I did a 3 year chemical process engineering course in college and was in the second class to go through as it was a new course offered and with that i was able to directly write for my 3rd class ticket and essentially was able to skip 4th class entirely. I did so and am now challenging 2nd class but the the students that did the chemical course the next year were not able to do so and not even able to do their 4ths so it was pretty much abolished from the course. This was done because there were too many 3rd class engineers graduating with zero experience and frustrating companies. Im lucky to have done it when i did as theres no jobs in chemical

  4. Very impressive how fast these people were able to achieve there 1st class(smart people). For the rest of the people getting discouraged from these stories I will tell you my story. Went to a college and wrote my 4th, both A and B papers in Jan 1999. Wrote 3A1 and 3A2 in June 1999. Took a bit of a break(haha). Wrote 3B1 in Sept 2018 and 3B2 in Oct 2018. Thank god I have my ticket in BC cause those first two exams that I wrote back in 1999 wouldn’t still be good in alberta I now have a 3rd class ticket. And I am done. Haha. Do things at your pace. Everybody is different.

  5. how is the power engineering market and field to enter right now in canada?How is the course offered by the colleges in there?is it way too challenging to get a power engineering certification?i am a fresher with zero experience.power engineering kind of interests me but i am not ready to take the risk without knowing the market for power engineers in canada.it would be much appreciated if someone can shed some light on this.

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