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Cathodic Protection Technician - Level Two


Cathodic protection is a technique used to control corrosion of metal surfaces in structures that are in contact with conductive eletrolyte, including buildings, pipelines and bridges. Cathodic protection technicians work on a variety of projects, installing, commissioning, monitoring, evaluating, maintaining, repairing and decommissioning cathodic protection systems. In 2013 Alberta was the first jurisdiction in Canada to designate Cathodic Protection Technician as a designated occupation.

There are two types of cathodic protection systems - galvanic and impressed current. Structures protected by cathodic protection systems include steel water lines, oil and gas pipelines, well casings, storage tanks and metal reinforcement bars in concrete buildings and bridges.

There are two levels of industry-defined competency for cathodic protection technicians.  Industry training for Cathodic Protection Technicians is available through NACE International and Energy Safety Canada Completion of the necessary industry-approved training will enhance the quality and safety of work performed on cathodic protection systems.

To work in the occupation of Cathodic Protection Technician, certification is voluntary.  To perform certain electrical tasks relative to the installed rectifier component of an impressed current cathodic protection system, technicians must be certified as a cathodic protection technician at either level one or level two. Refer to both the Cathodic Protection Technician Occupation Regulation (AR 17/2013) and the Cathodic Protection Technician Exception Regulation (AR 16/2013) for details regarding when certification is required. A certified electrician can perform all of the tasks of a certified cathodic protection technician. 



Working Conditions

Cathodic protection technicians work year-round in all weather conditions. Working with electrical components can be dangerous and requires mandatory safe work practices and the use of personal protective equipment to protect workers from potential work-related hazards. Workers should have manual dexterity and the ability to lift 25 kilograms. A Class 5 driver’s license is required as many cathodic protection systems are located in remote rural locations. Other industry requirements, such as operating an all-terrain vehicle, may be necessary. Technicians normally work a 40-hour week with overtime required to meet project deadlines.


Skills and Abilities

A cathodic protection technician - level two must:

  • perform duties as per cathodic protection technician - level one,
  • maintain overall responsibility for planning and completing cathodic protection projects,
  • operate, use and install test equipment,
  • perform advanced field tests,
  • conduct, verify and evaluate accuracy of test results,
  • prepare assignments and supervise crew,
  • prepare and submit project estimates and bids,
  • provide assistance in the design and installation of cathodic protection systems, and
  • perform commissioning and decommissioning checks.

The cathodic protection technician’s responsive and positive working relationship with the asset owner is an important role in assuring customer satisfaction.


Employment and Advancement

Cathodic protection technicians are employed in various industry sectors, including utilities, oil and gas, municipalities, construction and service providers. Individuals can also pursue further training into other corrosion control technology areas through NACE International.

There are career paths from the occupation into system design, senior project management, self-employment and executive management, all within the corrosion control/asset protection field.

Cathodic protection technicians who hold an occupational certification from Alberta and require further supervisory and management competencies may apply for the Alberta Blue Seal business credential after completing all requirements.

There are approximately 350 cathodic protection technicians working full time in Alberta. With growth for new infrastructure, buildings and oil and gas facilities predicted, it is anticipated that the demand for certified Cathodic Protection Technicians will increase.

Although salaries vary, cathodic protection technicians - level one earn an average of $25 - $40 per hour, plus benefits and $35 - $55 per hour for level two, plus benefits.


Working in Alberta

Employers generally prefer applicants who have achieved the cathodic protection technician occupational certificate or are willing to obtain the industry skill competencies through training. 

Occupation skills, competencies and industry standards have been defined and approved under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act.


Occupational Certification Based on Recognized Credential

To qualify for an Alberta Occupational Certificate based on a recognized credential as a cathodic protection technician – level two a person must:

Training for each level of competency in the occupation includes industry-approved formal training combined with 1,000 hours of hands-on work experience over a period of not less than 12 months.

Recognized formal training for cathodic protection technician is available from NACE International and Energy Safety Canada.

Additional information on training locations, scheduling and courses can be found at the following websites: NACE International and Energy Safety Canada

Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.