Aquaculture Technician 1

Learn essential skills to support aquatic food production for marine, freshwater and land-based systems. This industry-informed training program prepares you to work as a farm or hatchery technician, maintenance, harvest and new cleaning crew positions, or as a deckhand on harvest vessels, wellboats, feeding and site maintenance vessels. New offerings are currently under development to expand learning opportunities, including an Aquaculture Technician diploma by 2019.

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Campbell River
Starts: TBD
Length: 4 months
Tuition: $3,519 approx

The knowledge and skills I received from NIC was second to none. It gave me instant employability, an insight in to the diverse aquaculture industry along with the skills I apply each and everyday.

Stephen Valen, Aquaculture Technician grad

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Program Requirements

AQT-100  Introduction to Aquaculture
AQT-105  Invertebrate & Seaweed Husbandry
AQT-110  Finfish Husbandry
AQT-115  Aquaculture Health and Safety
AQT-120  Strategies for Success
AQT-125  Field School Finfish I
AQT-130  Field School I - Practicum
*MED-003  Small Non-Pleasure Craft Marine Emergency Duties (MED A3)
*NAU-005  Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training
*NAU-016  Restricted Operator's Certificate – Maritime
*OFA-010  Occupational First Aid Level 1
*Note: Students not having current, valid First Aid, WHMIS, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training, Small Non-Pleasure Craft Marine Emergency Duties (MED A3) and Restricted Operator’s Certificate - Maritime are required to take these courses to meet program requirements. Separate fees will be charged for these courses.

Completion Requirements

You will be required to achieve 70% in each of AQT-100, AQT-105, AQT-110, AQT-115 and AQT-120 and a pass in AQT-125 and AQT-130 and a pass in all industry certificates to achieve program completion.

Admission Requirements

High School Graduation OR
19 years of age or older and:
  1. C in English 10, or NIC ENG-035, or equivalent; or C+ in ESL-051, ESL-054 and ESL-057, or certified CLB7; or successful NIC assessment testing in English; and
  2. C in one of Foundations of Math 11, Apprenticeship & Workplace Math 11, Principles of Math 10, Applications of Math 11, NIC MAT-033, NIC MAT-055, or successful NIC assessment testing in math.

Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC's supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more.

Jesse Ronquillo

Jesse Ronquillo


Trades & Apprenticeships

Ph.D. Fisheries/Aquaculture, Kagoshima University, Japan.

M.Sc. Fisheries/Aquaculture, Kagoshima University, Japan.

B.Sc. Fisheries (cum laude), University of the Philippines, Philippines.


Subjects: Aquaculture Technician
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9736 | Location CWG - 252

Program Highlights

The aquaculture industry provides over 50 percent of worldwide seafood production through an increasing number of food species. Within BC, the industry produced 90,600 tonnes of fish and shellfish (generating $533.8 million in farmgate value) in 2010, and the industry continues to expand within a climate of growth.

NIC's Aquaculture Technician I certificate provides you with in demand skills to support aquatic food production for marine, freshwater and land-based systems. This includes the production of fish, shellfish (bivalves and crustacea), aquatic plants (seaweeds, kelps), as well as upcoming species such as sea cucumbers, urchins and crayfish. You will learn production techniques to produce a broad range of aquaculture foods including fish, shellfish, seaweeds and more. Curriculum includes technical aspects of production, with a primary focus on juvenile rearing, transferring to on-growing systems, harvesting and processing.

In order to complete the program, you will need to hold or complete valid industry certifications in Occupational First Aid Level 1, WHMIS, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training, Small Non-Pleasure Craft Marine Emergency Duties and Restricted Operator's Certificate - Maritime. During your studies, you will apply these certificate skills to the aquaculture farm setting so you can gain hands-on knowledge of standard operating protocols, emergency response procedures and routine record-keeping.

The program provides you with 345 hours of instruction and hands on training, with an additional 53 hours of industry certifications delivered over four months.

Career Opportunities

As an Aquaculture Technician I graduate, your skills are applicable to aquaculture operations in coastal BC, nationally and internationally.

After completing the program you will qualify for many entry-level positions at aquaculture facilities. You can expect to be employed as a farm technician, hatchery technician, and with more hands on experience,  maintenance, harvest, and net cleaning crew positions, or a deck hand position on harvest vessels, wellboats, feeding and site maintenance vessels.

Supply List

You are required to obtain the following basic supplies:

  • 3" binder
  • note paper
  • flash drive
  • pens, pencils, highlighters and eraser
  • hard hat
  • high-visibility vest
  • eye protection
  • ear protection
  • rain jacket
  • rain pants
  • reflective coveralls
  • steel-toed rubber boots