Power engineering careers, jobs and lifestyle interviews of men and women in industry

Power Engineer's interview with Al the high flying executive.

To see the
full photographic
version web site
with tons of great photos
CLICK HERE to go to

Al Short


This is Al: I had he good fortune of meeting him 1985. He is an unusually gifted person. By that I mean he has done what few have done with Power Engineering. He is a prime example of what a person can do when they put their mind to it. Al started out as a Power Engineer just like I did but took it the full length of the football field, all the way to the executive level.

Al's story starts out similar to many stories I've heard over the years I've been in this business. Many years ago Al had just gotten out of high school and had managed to land himself a job managing a gas station. Al had worked there previously during high school for summer work. Al thought he had the world by the tail as he put it. Then one day his brother who was a Power Engineer told him about the trade. Prior to that Al never knew what a Power Engineer was. The way Al's brother explained it to him, it sounded even more promising than the job he had at the gas station and was feeling very good about.

After some thought Al took it upon himself to embark on a three month Power Engineer course. There was with no promise of a job once he finished his course. He took the course on faith. What attracted Al to the concept of being a Power Engineer was there appeared to be greater opportunities for a better life, a stronger career, freedom to develop a career direction and the freedom to build his career through correspondence courses as he saw fit, at his own speed.

Al remembers reading a saying that sticks in his mind to this day. It goes something like this, "There is no such thing as luck. Success is the word and success is where preparation meets opportunity." So Al was preparing for the future with no promise of what was in store for him. And as success would have it, one day while working at the gas station Al had the pleasure of driving a customer home that worked for a very large Oil company. While Al drove this customer home Al mentioned to him that he was taking Pow. Eng. The customer said for him to be in touch when he finished the course and he would hire him. Al liked that idea, pursued it and got the job in 1974.

Al spent the first two weeks in below zero weather thawing out frozen pipes. Not the best way to start off with any job. After working at that Al got to thinking, "There's got to be something more stimulating than this." He looked outside the company for something better but, to no avail. He then look inside the oil company he was with and figured, "There's got to be something better I can do than this in a company of this size."

All it took was his willingness to ask. He soon worked himself up to being a control room operator. Things were pretty good as a control room operator. At that point he though he had it made too just as he once did as a gas station manager.

It was shortly after that that he had a turning point in his life. A single event changed his life in a significant way. His foreman said he had great potential to become a foreman. Al went for his First Class steam ticket and shortly after that was given a foremanship. Since then he hasn't looked back.

Al has been given project after project. Has become known for his ability to get the job done, so much so he has taken on jobs that he has absolutely no knowledge or back ground in and has managed to do a superb job.

Making a long story short, Al is now an executive with that same company and still sees no end in sight for his accomplishments and progress.

Although Al makes the big, big bucks he says the money is no longer the motivator for him. It's the thrill of the challenge, to be outside his comfort zone and to create accomplishment out of that. That's what is so intensely, energizing and exciting. It fuels him and generates infinite confidence for himself and for his future.

All of Al's education has been paid for by his employer (except for the three months he did on his own starting out). By the time this book is published he will have completed his degree in Petroleum Engineering at his employers expense too.

This business can do so much for a person that will make the effort to advance themselves. Al says to always have a vision of what you want, set goals and chase them. Project into the future about what your life can be. Always set yourself up for success and remember success is where preparation meets opportunity.

I wish him continuing accomplishment.

To see the
full photographic
version web site
with tons of great photos
CLICK HERE to go to

THE Power Engineer's E-Handbook
By David C. Perry Copyright 1990 to 2004 All rights reserved.  Updated April 2004.


Note: For most browsers just click on the blue links and they will take you to each section in this ebook/web site.  (With some Internet browsers the web addresses will have to be manually entered into your browser in order that you may connect to the web site page desired).

WWW http://www.stationaryengineers.com 
  • 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.

Copyright 2004 David C. Perry
All rights reserved