Coastal Forest Worker Certificate

Gain hands-on skills for a range of entry-level careers in the forestry industry. You’ll learn silviculture, harvesting, occupational safety, surveying, timber cruising, grading and overall resource management. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to work safely and productively in a range of entry-level forestry and harvesting positions.


Watch a virtual program information session with instructor Coleen MacLean-Marlow and recruiter Renae Roles.

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Campbell River
Starts: February
Length: 4.5 months
Delivery: On-campus and Digital (Blended)

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There’s really nothing like working in the woods. This program lets students explore a wide range of forestry theory and resource management and apply their learning in the field with working professionals. Forestry is an ever evolving art and science. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Coleen MacLean-Marlow, registered professional forester

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Program Requirements

CFW-100 Introduction to Forestry
CFW-101 Indigenous Lands and Culture
CFW-102 Forest Health and Safety
CFW-103 Applied Technology & Data Management
CFW-104 Plant Identification and Classification
CFW-105 Coastal Harvesting Systems
CFW-106 Introduction to Timber Cruising
CFW-107 Workplace Readiness Skills
CFW-108 Principles of Forest Engineering
CFW-109 Applied Worksite Skills – Practicum
*OFA-010 Occupational First Aid Level 1
*OFA-015 Occupational First Aid Transportation Endorsement
*WSF-019 Orientation to WHMIS Online
*FOR-012 Basic S100 Fire Suppression & Safety
*WFO-015 Wildfire Entrapment Avoidance
*WSF-038 Fall Protection
*Note: If you do not have current, valid First Aid, Transportation Endorsement, WHMIS, Fire Suppression & Safety, Wildfire Entrapment Avoidance, and Fall Protection certification you are required to take these courses to meet program requirements. Separate fees will be charged.
*Note: In this program, students may participate in field trips to industry specific locations.

Completion Requirements

  1. You will be required to achieve minimum C for each course.  In addition, you must have successfully passed the practicum (CFW-109) and all industry certificate courses to achieve program completion requirements.
  2. The Coastal Forest Worker Certificate must be completed within 3 years of admission to the program.
  3. A minimum of 50% of the program must be completed at North Island College.

Admission Requirements

  1. C in English 10; or C in two of 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, and English First Peoples Spoken Language 10; or C in NIC ENG-035; or C+ in Communications 12; or C+ in ESL-062 and ESL-065; or successful NIC assessment testing in English; 
  2. C in one of Principles of Math 10, Apprenticeship & Workplace Math 10, Workplace Math 10, Foundations of Math & Pre-Calculus 10, Applications of Math 11, NIC MAT-029, or successful NIC assessment testing in math.
  3. High School graduation is preferred provided the applicant meets or exceeds the stated prerequisites.


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

Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Coleen MacLean

Coleen MacLean


Trades & Apprenticeships

Master's in Environment and Management (Royal Roads University, 2018)

Subjects: Coastal Forest Worker
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9723 | Location AWG - 224

Program Highlights

NIC's Coastal Forest Worker certificate encompasses a wide range of forestry theory and applied learning to prepare you for a career in the coastal forest sector and for further advanced education. 

This comprehensive program will provide you with a foundation in silviculture, harvesting, occupational safety, surveying, timber cruising, grading, scaling and overall resource management.

Through this certificate, you’ll gain a theoretical understanding and applied skills needed for entry-level employment in the forest sector, including:

  • forest resource management and forest sector roles and practices
  • health and safety
  • essential field skills
  • forest ecology and tree/wildlife identification
  • timber cruising
  • forest engineering
  • coastal harvesting systems, including safe work practices, log handling and sorting and business operations
  • worksite readiness skills, including conflict resolution, career development, communication, team work, and computer literacy
  • practical application of skills and knowledge in the work setting, including opportunity to work alongside forestry workers in the field

This certificate also includes industry certifications. You’ll be eligible for:

  • BCFSC Forest Foundations certification
  • industry certifications including:
    • Occupational First Aid Level 1
    • Basic S100 Fire Suppression & Safety
    • Wildfire Entrapment Avoidance
    • Fall Protection
    • WHMIS

Career Opportunities

As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to work safely and productively in a range of entry-level forestry and harvesting positions, including timber cruising compasser or cruiser-in-training.

You will also be able to:

  • perform field measurements to support resource surveys, stewardship, and development
  • carry out job-specific duties taking into consideration the related legislation and regulations
  • identify key environmental, cultural and socio-economic considerations that influence environmental stewardship, and apply that knowledge in decision-making
  • demonstrate a greater awareness of Indigenous cultures within the context of forest management and cultural use
  • recognize the value of relationships in building capacity for intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and success
  • describe ecosystem characteristics and explain how management practices affect their interactions and function
  • collect, manage and display data using a variety of current and emerging technology, mapping tools, and industry software
  • demonstrate effective radio communication in accordance with relevant road use, hazard, and emergency policy and procedures
  • effectively communicate technical information to supervisors, colleagues and stakeholders
  • work independently and collaboratively while applying effective teamwork, leadership and communication skills
  • develop strategies for conducting successful job search activities and ongoing professional development in the forestry sector

Supply list

You are responsible for obtaining the following supplies and field tools.

Field Equipment - if you do not already have this equipment, please wait until after orientation to purchase. Specific guidance will be given then.

  • caulk boots
  • Hiking boots
  • High vis rain gear
  • high visibility vest
  • hard hat with visor and ear protectors
  • safety glasses
  • Suunto clinometer
  • compass
  • pocket scale
  • field book (waterproof)
  • rite-in- rain note paper
  • 3" binder & note paper
  • flash drive
  • pens, pencils, highlighters and eraser

iPad & environmental case Tech Specs
iPad mini or iPad Air (mini is often preferred for field work)

  • 64 GB or higher
  • MUST be Wi-fi + Cellular enabled (You do not need a data plan)

Environmental Case: please ensure your case matches your model of iPad. Examples of cases can be found here.

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

Tuition $4,692
NISU Fees $65
Lab Fees $650
Learner Resource $75
Total $5,482

NOTE: Additional fees will be charged for the following courses unless students already have current and valid certificates: Occupational First Aid Level 1, Occupational First Aid Transportation Endorsement, WHMIS, Fire Suppression & Safety, Wildfire Entrapment Avoidance, Fall Protection.

Please note that there are additional supplies required for this program, which students will be responsible for purchasing.

Find out if this program is eligible for Student Aid BC funding.

This program is tuition refund Category 1