14-week certificate

Where: Campbell River
Starts: TBA
  • Be prepared to enter Level 2, 3 and 4 Aquaculture Technician training at NIC. New offerings are currently under development to expand learning opportunities, including an Aquaculture Technician diploma by 2019. Learn more.
  • Cutting edge training qualifies you to support aquatic food production for marine, freshwater and land-based systems.
  • Be in demand. Aquaculture already accounts for approximately 50 per cent of the global seafood supply and is forecast to increase and diversify locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Earn industry certifications such as First Aid, WHMIS, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training, Small Non-Pleasure Craft Marine Emergency Duties (A3) and Restricted Operator’s Certificate - Maritime.

Career Opportunities: As a graduate, you will be prepared to work as a farm or hatchery technician at aquaculture operations in coastal BC, nationally and internationally. Gain skills to work toward maintenance, harvest and net cleaning crew positions, or as a deckhand on harvest vessels, wellboats, feeding and site maintenance vessels.



Student Services

In the News

Island aquaculture training gets provincial funding boost

BC Kelp Farming is Untapped Resource



  • Industry-approved: NIC works with industry advisors to ensure Aquaculture Technician I curriculum stays aligned with existing and projected industry changes and certifications.
  • Comprehensive qualifications: Cutting-edge training encompasses all sectors of the aquaculture industry including marine, freshwater and land-based systems as well as practical skills to culture a variety of new and upcoming species.
  • Pristine work environment: BC aquaculture sites are located in the some of the most beautiful places in the world.


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


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, 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


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.


Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2017, Winter, Spring & Summer 2018

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1
Tuition $3,450
NISU Fees $60
Lab Fees $125
Books $70
Learner Resource $70
Total $3,775

For more information or to apply,
visit or call 1-800-715-0914
to speak with an educational advisor today!