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The majority of large national and multinational companies as well as some small companies have educational programs for their employees. Some poor, some very good. Sometimes it is just a matter of asking for it and filling out the appropriate forms for the educational benefits you are seeking. Some educational paths are well defined, readily accessible and well utilized by many in the company. Other times it may take some research on the part of the employee or the employee's supervisor to track down the right material and employ the right policies and paper work to keep the bean counters happy so the approval process will be as quick and as painless as possible.

Often a email to your superior justifying the educational expense is required. The key points to emphasized in the email are the professional manor you wish to "progress" with your "career", how your new knowledge or certification will "enhance" your "skill level", providing "added value" to their operation, or how it may allow you to improve production and how you could pass on valuable skills and information to other employees. Point out, the greater the education of an employee, the less supervision they require and how much more efficient they can be. Tell them you will be more capable of having greater insight into their problems, allowing you to more effectively solve and trouble shoot problems faster and more accurately. Basically let them know they can "SAVE" money and "MAKE MORE" money by spending a "LITTLE" on you. It will be a small expense that will pay dividends over and over again and again. Tell them employees are happier when their needs are met. And happy employees are productive employees. At the same time you have to let them know what sacrifices you are willing to make, such as utilizing a year's vacation allotment in order to attend an educational institution as I did [Not always necessary]. Here you may want to dramatize to some degree, just don't have it in your mind that you can walk them down the garden path. Inevitably that will back fire on you. Even though the greatest effort will be on your part and the pay out from this will inevitably be in their favour, do let them know that it is a great undertaking on your part. This is easily demonstrated by the fact that there are few 2nd class P.E.T.s around, particularly first class P.E.T.'s. if that's what you are going for.

At the end of your course of study and when you have achieved your diploma and/or certificate you may see a pay increase or a promotion with the pay increase, depending on what level of achievement you have acquired. This will depend on the structure of the company you work for and the need and appreciation for greater technical expertise. If they are smart, they will reward you for your efforts because they will want to keep their investment and reap the dividends rather than lose you to a competitor. If they don't give you what you want, move on. There is always another company out there that requires your talents and is willing to pay you well for them. One way or the other it will pay off for you if you are persistent and continually make efforts in that direction.

Most often employers will pay for work related training and sometime pay for time spent at the courses if it is an in class or seminar type of situation. This is the easiest form of investment a person can make for themselves. Its like taking someone else's money, putting it in the bank for them while you get to keep the interest generated from it. Its a freebie and a win, win situation, so go for it!! There ainít no shame in this. This is the way the business works so make it work for YOU!

Unemployment Insurance had training programs for Power Engineering 4th class and 3rd class.  They hooked me up with the program while I was on Unemployment Insurance.  I was entitled to  full benefits so I could have money for an apartment, food and transportation as well as tuition and all my books.  But...,I maintained a part time job at a grocery store and managed a small apartment building so they deducted a sizable portion of the financial benefits.  I kept the two small jobs as backup because they were  more likely to last than the Unemployment benefits.  Other than that I could have had it all for free.  That was one free education that I had.  Any body who didn't have any job was entitled to get it all.  So that was a real bonus deal for me or any one else who saw fit to jump on board.

I got my second class Power Engineer certification while I was employed.  I took most of it through correspondence but it was lots more difficult than writing off my fourth and my third class exams.  So I did take day classes at the Nova Scotia Community College to speed things up.  They paid for my course materials from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (or S.A.I.T. for short) and paid double time for the time it took for me to write each of the six exams separately.  A real sweet deal man.

These government programs pop up depending on the economy so keep an eye open for them.  Your circumstance dictate your qualifying factors so look into it.


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  • Brothers in the business:
      1. Al. The executive.  Photo!
      2. Brian. Working the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday routine.
      3. Chad. A newbe in 2001.  Photos!
      4. Chris. He used P.E.T. as a spring board to another career.  Photos!
      5. Don. Work in at the brewery.  Photos!
      6. Dwayne. An old hand.  Photos!
      7. Earl. Retired but still working full time???  Photos!
      8. Gord. Management.  Photo!
      9. James. Soon to be wealthy. Lots of great photos!
      10. John. Chief Engineer at the brewery.  Photos!
      11. Matt. A newbe in 2000.  Photo!
      12. Mike. Heís formerly from Scotland.  Photos!
      13. Max. A Control Room Operator and Shift Engineer who had his employer pay for his continuing education in his favorite hobby, computers.  Photos!
      14. Steve. The "Bad Boy of P.E.T." who has hit the six figure income bracket. Photos!
      15. Ted. Has hit the six figure income bracket.
      16. Warren. A newbe in 2001.  Photos!
      17. Older Warren. Lots of experience. Photos!
  • Sister in the business:
      1. Brenda. A newbe in 2001.  Photos!
      2. Elaine. Management.  Very short Bio.  No pics.
      3. Hanna. Works in the electrical power generating industry.  Very short Bio. No pics.
      4. Lana. A newbe and Control Room Operator.  Photos!
      5. Mandy. A newbe in 2002.  Photos!
  • Brothers and Sisters of Aboriginal decent in the business:
  1. Liz.  She's happy to be a granny!  Photo!
  2. Alita. A student in 2002.  Photo!
  3. Jay. A newbe in 2000.  Formerly a research scientist.  Photos!
  4. Justin. A newbe in 1999 who is a Control Room Operator and who got $9000 in scholarshipsPhotos!
  5. Randy.  Under development.
  • Scope of P.E.T. Technology.
  • DARK SECRETS. Things people do and shouldnít do, while on shift.
  • Internet links to:
  1. US job opportunities
  2. Canadian job opportunities
  3. US apprenticeship, training and licensing
  4. Canadian apprenticeship and training
  5. Other countries and their job opportunities
  6. US Labor agencies.

THE Power Engineer's E-Handbook
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