Aquaculture Technician Certificate

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.  

Apply and register before February and receive $1,000 tuition credit 

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Campbell River
Starts: February 2019
Length: 4 months
Tuition: $3,450 approx
 Apply Now

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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.

Stephan Valen, Aquaculture Technician grad

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Program Requirements

AQT-100  Introduction to Aquaculture
AQT-105  Shellfish and Algal Production
AQT-110  Finfish Husbandry
AQT-115  Aquaculture Health and Safety
AQT-120  Strategies for Success
AQT-125  Aquaculture Field School
AQT-130  Aquaculture Practicum
*MED-003  Small Non-Pleasure Domestic Vessel Basic Safety (SDV-BS)
*NAU-005  Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training
*NAU-016  Restricted Operator's Certificate – Maritime
*OFA-010  Occupational First Aid Level 1
*FLO-010 Forklift Operator
*FAC-082 Marine Basic First Aid
*MVO-070 Transportation of Dangerous Goods
*WSF-016 Confined Space Pre-entry
*Note: Students not having current, valid Occupational First Aid, WHMIS, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training, Small Non-Pleasure Domestic Vessel Basic Safety (SDV-BS), Restricted Operator’s Certificate - Maritime, Forklift Operator, Marine Basic First Aid, Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Confined Space Pre-entry 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
  1. C in one of English 10, Composition 10, Creative Writing 10, Literary Studies 10, New Media 10, Spoken Language 10, English First Peoples Writing 10, English First Peoples Literary Studies 10, English First Peoples New Media 10, English First Peoples Spoken Language 10, NIC ENG-035, or equivalent; or C+ in ESL-051, ESL-054 and ESL-057, or certified CLB7; or successful NIC English assessment; and
  2. C in one of Principles of Math 10, Applications of Math 11, Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11, Workplace Math 11, Foundations of Math 11, NIC MAT-033, or equivalent; or successful NIC math assessment.

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 per cent of worldwide seafood production through an increasing number of food species. Within BC, the industry produced 103,600 tonnes of fish and shellfish (generating $881.2 million in farmgate value) in 2016. Out of the total aquaculture production in 2016, 90 percent, or about 92,800 tonnes, was farm-raised salmon. Currently, farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest valued seafood product, the province’s top agricultural export, and generates over $1.56-billion towards the B.C. economy, resulting in over 6,610 jobs. The aquaculture industry in BC and the rest of Canada continues to expand within a climate of growth.

NIC's Aquaculture Technician 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, microalgae), 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. The 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, Restricted Operator's Certificate – Maritime, Forklift Operator, Marine Basic First Aid, Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Confined Space Pre-entry. 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 370 hours of instruction and hands-on training, with an additional 85 hours of industry certifications delivered over four months.

Career Opportunities

As an Aquaculture Technician certificate 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:

  • 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

Tuition & Costs Estimate

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 our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

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