Powerline Technician

The Powerline Technician program at Algonquin College will prepare you to become a Powerline Technician in Ontario.  This program is delivered in conjunction with Hyrdo Ottawa.

Hydro Ottawa is proud to partner with Algonquin College in the delivery of a two-year Powerline Technician Diploma Program. At a time when the electricity sector is struggling with the prospect of significant retirements across Canada, this award-winning initiative has not only put a spotlight on the importance of apprenticeship and trades training within our province, it has also become a shining example of how effectively colleges and private sector employers can work together in shaping the next generation of skilled workers within Ontario.”

Bryce Conrad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro Ottawa

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at http://algonquincollege.com/byod

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Another Mobile Device ImageeTextbooks: As a student in a program that has adopted etextbooks, your required texts and digital resources will be provided to you at the beginning of each term (with the exception of general education electives). For more information and associated fees, go to http://www.algonquincollege.com/etextbooks/

Ontario College Diploma
2 Year(s)

Program Code: 1511X01FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program is delivered in collaboration with Hydro Ottawa and prepares students for entry into the electrical power transmission and distribution industry. Students have the opportunity to develop essential skills and knowledge, beginning with electrical fundamentals and leading to the design, planning, construction and maintenance of distribution lines.

Students develop the essential safety skills and knowledge, practice rigging, learn to design and plan overhead and underground power installations, apply engineering standards and practice installation and maintenance on poles and towers. Students are also exposed to AutoCAD, electrical machinery, metering, and the technologies used to protect and control the electrical grid.

This program offers one cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term(s) option. Qualified students with a minimum GPA of 2.7, have the opportunity to apply for paid co-op employment to gain valuable work experience and networks within industry. *See Additional Information for more details.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD):
Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at http://algonquincollege.com/byod. Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Prefer a hands-on, physical approach to learning.
  • Enjoy analyzing and solving problems.
  • Work well in a team environment.
  • Enjoy the challenge of working outdoors and in all weather conditions.
  • Are at ease climbing to and working at heights for power distribution.
  • Can work in confined spaces.


Your Career

Graduates may find employment as powerline technicians with electric power generation, transmission and distribution companies, electrical contractors and public utility commissions. A strong foundation in technological principles helps graduates to remain current with the changes in technology and grow into supervisory positions.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Communicate information effectively and accurately by analyzing, translating, and producing electrical drawings and other related documents and graphics.
  2. Analyze and solve routine technical problems related to electrical
    technology and power distribution by applying the principles of mathematics and science.
  3. Calibrate, use and maintain instrumentation and test equipment.
  4. Identify problems with overhead and underground powerline equipment and systems by following established procedures and using a variety of troubleshooting techniques.
  5. Design and draw powerlines and underground distribution systems by
    following established procedures.
  6. Practice appropriate safety procedures for self and others and utilize personal protection equipment, including rigging and construction practices.
  7. Prepare and maintain records and documentation systems and participate in the planning of work and projects.
  8. Perform tasks related to powerline applications in accordance with relevant law, policies, procedures, standards, regulations, and ethical principles.
  9. Select and apply electrical cabling requirements and verify system grounding for a variety of powerline applications.
  10. Install, maintain and remove power poles, transformers, structures and other utility equipment.
  11. Install and troubleshoot static and rotating electrical machines and associated control systems under the supervision of a qualified person.
  12. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
DAT8942 Computer Applications - Electrical Students are introduced to the College computer network, spreadsheet applications, word processing software and electrical design software, including Multisim electronic workbench and AutoCAD. Focus is on Autocad, in particular electrical applications. 45.0
ELE8909 Electrical Principles I Students are introduced to the fundamentals of direct current circuit analysis. The standards for electrical measurement are studied and practiced. Electrical circuit design, construction and documentation are also practiced. The first module is a compulsory orientation to safe electrical work practices. 90.0
ELE8913 Codes and Regulations Students locate and interpret the Canadian Electrical Code rules that ensure that electrical systems and equipment do not create hazardous conditions to person or property. In addition, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are examined. 45.0
ELE8919 Achieving Success in the 21st Century Rapid changes in technology have created new employment and business opportunities that challenge each of us to find our place as citizens in the emerging society. Life in the 21st century presents significant opportunities, creates potential hazards, and demands that we face new responsibilities in ethical ways. Students explore the possibilities ahead, assess their own aptitudes and strengths, and apply critical thinking and decision making tools to help resolve some of the important issues present in our complex society with its competing interests. 45.0
ENL1813T Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
MAT8001 Math Fundamentals Students learn foundational mathematics required in many College technical programs. Students solve measurement problems involving a variety of units and ratio and proportion problems. They manipulate algebraic expressions and solve equations. Students also evaluate exponential and logarithmic expressions, study the trigonometry of right triangles and graph a variety of functions. 45.0
Level: 02 Hours
ELE8023 Alternating Current Circuits The behaviour of alternating current (AC) circuits and the operation of capacitors, inductors and resistors in AC circuits are studied. Students apply this theory to transmission lines and reactors used by power utilities. The principles of induction, bonding and grounding are applied to jobsite problems and procedures.

Prerequisites: ELE8909
ELE8024 Rigging Theory and Practice The application of pulleys, levers, gears and hydraulics is examined with applications to hoisting, rigging and guying. The relationship between angles, distances and forces is studied with applications to guying and cable installation. Students experiment in the lab to develop their ability to apply physical principles to work related situations. 45.0
ELE8026 Line Work 1 Students demonstrate safe practices by identifying, controlling and eliminating all potential health and safety hazards; selecting, wearing, adjusting, using and maintaining personal protective devices; performing evacuation and rescue procedures; practising good housekeeping; working within safe physical limits and applying correct body mechanics and applying the principles of induction, grounding and bonding. Using field experiences under the supervision of a qualified person, students select, operate and maintain tools and equipment by inspecting, maintaining and using hand, power tools and explosive actuated tools; inspecting, operating and maintaining vehicles and auxiliary equipment and ensuring setup of mobile equipment. These skills are applied to install, maintain and remove power pole systems by identifying the type, size and location of a pole; framing and erecting a pole; straightening a pole and testing a pole for integrity. In addition, students conduct visual inspections and perform maintenance on transmission towers and structures.

Prerequisites: ELE8909 and ELE8913
ELE8923 Electrical Machinery Students study transformer characteristics, sizing and installations in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code. They analyze three-phase circuits and learn about the construction, selection, and operational characteristics of motors and generators. The behaviour of variable frequency drives and the operational characteristics and sizing of overcurrent protection are introduced.

Prerequisites: ELE8909 or ELE8613
PHY8201 Environmental Impact of Technology Every day newspaper headlines, movies, and television have warnings of the dire consequences of some environmental issues, such as global warming, acid rain, climate change and a host of other problems. Students are provided some of the science behind the headlines so they can make informed decisions as citizens, consumers and professionals. 45.0
Co-op: 01 Hours
ELE8025 Co-op Work Term I Students complete a cooperative work term, and submit a written report which documents the location of employment and the duties performed. 0.0
Level: 03 Hours
ELE8031 Powerline Design Part III of the Canadian Electrical Code, utility standards and other resources are applied to solve design problems associated with transmission lines including sizing of conductors, insulators, control devices and sag and tension calculating. Students prepare a job plan by identifying the worksite; determining job methods, assignments and process; determining material and equipment and establishing lockout, tagging and hold-off procedures as per the Utility Work Protection Code.

Prerequisites: ELE8913
ELE8032 Line Work 2 Using field experiences under the supervision of a qualified person, students install and maintain overhead power systems by installing and removing conductors; splicing or repairing conductors; installing spacers, conductor measurement equipment and markers. Installing and removing switches; installing or removing service/secondary conductors; inspecting overhead power systems; upgrading overhead structures; installing anchoring and guying systems are also practiced.

Prerequisites: ELE8026
ELE8033 Metering The installation, testing and maintenance of single and three phase revenue metering is studied and practiced in a lab environment. The emphasis is on smart metering and associated systems. Students study and practice the installation of current transformers (CT's) and potential transformers (PT's). Metering issues related to protection and control are also examined.

Prerequisites: ELE8023
ELE8034 Underground Systems Students acquire the skills required to install and maintain underground distribution systems by inspecting, trenching and installing ducts, cement and fibreglass foundations. In the lab, terminating and splicing primary/secondary underground cables is practiced. 45.0
ELE8945 Distributed Electrical Systems Students examine the basis for power generation, transmission and distribution with particular emphasis on the province of Ontario. This includes an understanding of standard voltage levels, energy sources, major system components, function and selection of power reactors, operation of the grid, effects of weather on the delivery of electricity and organizational structures that control electricity in Ontario. 45.0
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED1511 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED1896 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1701 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or GED5009 or GED5003
Level: 04 Hours
ELE8042 Introduction to Protection and Control Students examine the types of relays, faults and fault protection used in power distribution and transmission. Students study single line representations of power systems, time-current curves (TCC curves) of fuses and circuit breakers, selective coordination, typical IEC / ANSI drawing symbols and terminology. Protection and control relays for lines, and transformers, programmed, tested and used in lab simulation.

Prerequisites: ELE8945
ELE8043 Line Work 3 Under the supervision of a qualified person, students handle energized lines using rubber protective equipment and live line tool methods. Students gain experience in selecting, testing, inspecting, and maintaining rubber protective equipment, live line tools and barriers; tying, clamping and relocating energized conductors; installing and removing openers, insulators and switches on live conductors.

Prerequisites: ELE8032
ELE8044 Street Lighting and Communications Systems Connecting, testing and troubleshooting street lighting systems and controls is studied and practiced in the lab. Students examine telecommunication systems associated with smart metering and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Prerequisites: ELE8033
ELE8944L Utility Electrical Systems with AutoCAD Students expand their AutoCAD skills to include layers, blocks, PaperSpace, ModelSpace, block attributes, templates (DWT), drawing standards and Drawing Web Format (DWF). Standards, particularly the Canadian Electrical Code, specifications, and manufacturers' data are used to the design overhead and underground electrical distributions and transmission systems.

Prerequisites: DAT8942
ELE8949 Project Management for Electrical Engineering Technicians Students develop the planning, scheduling, budgeting and organizing skills required to manage projects. Relevant industrial examples are used.

Prerequisites: ENL1813T

Co-requisites: ENL2019T and ENL8720
ENL8720 Technical Communication for Technicians Clear, concise and detailed communication is essential for technical workplaces. Students plan and execute a variety of formal and informal visual, oral and written communication tasks. Exercises and activities foster confidence and competence in workplace communication.

Prerequisites: ENL1813T

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $7,685.30. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $17,211.34. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/ro/pay/tuition-and-expenses

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/etexts

Expenses total approximately $1200 in the first year and $650 in the second year. Most supplies can be purchased at the campus store. See www3.algonquincollege.com/etextbooks for more information about books. All students are required to have CSA-approved safety footwear and protective eyewear.

Students are responsible for parking and locker fees, if applicable.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the
    subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each
      component: Reading: 20; Listening: 20; Speaking: 20; Writing: 20.

    Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:

60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at www.ontariocolleges.ca
Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://algonquincollege.force.com/myACint/ or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632
Email: AskUs@algonquincollege.com

Additional Information

Students in Level 01 are required to pay for and attend an extracurricular eight-hour session which enables them to meet the Ontario regulation 297/13 Working at Heights Training Standard. This certification is valid for a three- year period and must be successfully obtained prior to beginning courses at the Hydro Ottawa partner site as part of this program.

As per College Directive AA39 Policy 7 students whose academic achievement at Level 01 does not meet the criteria to progress to full-time studies at Level 02 are required to reapply through ontariocolleges.ca for a future academic year.

Beginning in Level 02 of the program students are required to attend training classes one day per week at the Hydro Ottawa partner site. Students are responsible for their own transportation to the site. Students who do not successfully complete the courses delivered at the Hydro Ottawa partner site are unable to progress further in the program.

Participation in a fitness program is highly encouraged for all program students. The Algonquin Fitness Zone has a regimen developed in collaboration with Hydro Ottawa which may be followed at their location or elsewhere. The physical demands of the Line Work training are fairly high but may be readily attained and maintained through this practice.

Co-op is a real-world job search process requiring students to apply, interview, and earn jobs rather than being placed by the College. In the term prior to the co-operative education (Co-op) Work Term, students are required to independently complete online modules that assist with resume and cover letter writing, and interview technique preparation. Students must actively conduct a self-directed job search and are responsible to secure approved program related paid co-op employment. Students compete for co-op positions alongside students from Algonquin and other Canadian and international colleges and universities. Algonquin College`s Co-op Office provides assistance in developing co-op opportunities and facilitates the overall process but does not guarantee that a student will obtain employment in a cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term. Co-op employment opportunities requiring relocation may be considered, and are subject to departmental approval with the understanding that all associated expenses are incurred by students e.g., travel, work permits/visa applications, accommodation, etc.

Cooperative education (Co-op) Work Terms are typically four months in duration and are completed during a term when students are currently not studying on campus. For details on study-work progressions for specific programs, please visit www.algonquincollege.com/coop.

Students are trained on a Windows-based platform which is the industry standard in the field of engineering. Mac platforms are not acceptable because they are not compatible with the hardware and software used in this program. Students considering a career in the utilities industries should be aware that a security clearance is required by many organizations as a condition of employment.

For more information, contact Ken Jessome, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 3422 orjessomk@algonquincollege.com.

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time