From maintenance to district heating engineering — summer jobs at Oulun Energia heating services
Jasmin Rahkonen, who studies energy and environmental engineering at Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk), is already on her third summer working for Oulun Energia. For the first two years, Rahkonen worked in maintenance at Oulun Energia heating services. This year, her career development took a big leap and Rahkonen was able to start working as a heating services engineer.
As a maintenance summer intern, Rahkonen’s job description included, among other things, district heating well maintenance. “Two summers in maintenance provided me an important basis for my current work. Understanding the operation and maintenance of district heating lines is helpful when planning new district heating lines. It was, of course, amazing to be able to advance to engineering work this summer. Now my job description corresponds to what my education is training me for,” says Rahkonen, who is starting her last year at Oamk.
Rahkonen became interested in the engineering summer job during the previous summer and brought it up to her manager before her summer job ended. The manager encouraged Rahkonen to apply for the job. “I submitted the application and fortunately got the job. The tasks of a heating services engineer are more diverse and there is more responsibility.”
The workdays include both designing district heating service lines and monitoring project completion. Some of the work is done in the office and some on-site. Work out of office includes, among other things, visiting planned district heating sites and inspections.
The summer job as a district heating engineer granted more responsibility
Rahkonen’s work includes, among other things, taking care of a few of the smaller construction sites in Oulun Energia’s district heating network, such as its turnkey sites. These are mainly old detached houses and housing companies that are undergoing renovations to their heating systems. “Turnkey services also include an on-site inspection visit. During the inspection, we make preliminary designs of the heating solutions and blueprints of the pipeline routes,” Rahkonen states.
The design process starts with conducting an initial survey at the site and ends with finalizing the blueprint at the office. The path of the district heating pipes, their sizes, and other construction instructions can also be seen in the blueprint. According to Rahkonen, a significant number of the turnkey packages are sites that are making the switch from oil heating to district heating. “At the moment, people are making the switch from oil heating to environmentally friendly forms of heating at a fast pace, of which district heating is one of the best alternatives in the Oulu region.”
Rahkonen considers the diversity of the work and the opportunity to influence the course of her workdays to be the best parts of the work. “I get to design and draw sites, but I can also follow their construction. It’s also very nice to work directly with customers and to get to go to the sites to consider the best solutions. There is a balance between work that requires concentration and work with customers," Rahkonen states.
The training lasts all summer and is supported by an excellent team
Rahkonen praises Oulun Energian Lämpöpalvelut heating services as an employer. “The heating services have an excellent team and friendly colleagues. I have always been very well received. Everyone is encouraging and it’s easy to get along with everyone.”
According to Rahkonen, the company has invested in training in both heating services and in her earlier work in maintenance, and the training lasts all summer. “There was no stereotypical training that only lasted for a certain period of time and then you were expected to be ready for work. I continually learn new things and the training I have received here is better than I could even imagine.”
Jasmin Rahkonen sends greetings to those applying for Oulun Energia summer jobs: “Courage and an open mind, for both while filling out the application and for the work itself! You get to develop here and progress to more difficult tasks as long as you possess ambition and willingness to learn."