Aquaculture Technician Diploma Program

Aquaculture Technician-Diploma Program

Get the training you need to become an integral part of the growing aquaculture industry and work in Vancouver Island’s coastal wilderness!

Farmed salmon is BC’s largest agricultural export, with annual production volumes of 75,000 tonnes – valued at more than $300 million. The industry directly employs more than 2,800 people in BC’s coastal communities and is expected to expand significantly in the next ten years, to eventually support more than 12,000 full-time jobs directly and indirectly.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
• Demonstrate basic computer skills for communications and reporting purposes on the job
• Perform daily operations of hatchery work including farm work
• Identify and recognize safety protocol and standard operating procedures within the industry
• Operate equipment with industry certifications

  • Work in fish farms, fishing guiding operations, hatcheries, stream restoration, processing plants, fisheries observation, shellfish cultivating and harvesting
  • Feeding aquaculture stocks, vaccinating stocks, performing culling and marking or branding techniques and ensuring the healthy growth of stocks
  • Water sampling and testing
  • Record keeping on water flow and stock samples
  • Grading and weighing stocks
  • Preparing stocks for market
  • Operating boats in marine operations
  • Operation and maintenance of pumps, filters, tanks and other aquaculture equipment and enclosures

Employment in aquaculture operations often requires living in camp situations.

  • Excellent employment rate for graduates
  • Competitive salary & benefits within the industry
  • Extensive opportunities for outdoor work on Vancouver Island’s coastal wilderness
  • Farmed salmon is BC’s largest agricultural export crop
  • BC produces 75,000 metric tonnes annually, valued over $300 million
  • Shellfish operations product 9,000+ tonnes annually, valued at nearly $20 million
  • BC’s aquaculture industry is expected to expand significantly in the next ten years

View detailed labour market information here: Work BC

Some of our graduates’ employers include:

  • Grieg Seafood
  • AKVA Group North America
  • Cermaq Canada
  • Mowi Canada West
  • Fanny Bay Oysters
  • Mac’s Oysters
  • Creative Salmon
  • BC Ferries
  • Robertson Creek Hatchery
  • Department of Fisheries & Oceans

The Aquaculture Technician Program is 25 weeks (approximately 520 hours) total including:

  • 400 hours of classroom training
  • 80 hours of Industry Certifications
  • 40 hours of non-camp practicum placement or 80 hours of camp practicum placement.

Computer Modules

  • Introduction to Technology and Keyboarding
  • Microsoft Office Word Foundations & Intermediate
  • Microsoft Office Excel Foundations & Intermediate
  • Microsoft Office Outlook


Aquaculture Technician Skills

  • Introduction to Aquaculture
  • Shellfish Aquaculture
  • Biology of Salmonids
  • Health and Husbandry
  • Feeding and Nutrition
  • Farm Operation and Maintenance
  • Hatchery Operation and Maintenance


Job Search Skills

  • Resumes, cover letters, interviews
    • Networking with employers
    • Aquaculture-specific HR issues
    • Camp Life and Team Dynamics


Certification Courses and Equipment

  • Forklift Operator’s Certificate
  • Marine Basic First Aid
  • Small Non-Pleasure Domestic Vessel Basic Safety (Formerly known as SVOP)
  • Marine Emergency Duties A# (Med-A3)
  • Restricted Operator’s Certificate – Maritime (Radio)
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Confined Space Awareness (CSA)
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods Certification (TDG


Practicum – Minimum of 40 hours when not in a camp setting. One to Two complete shifts are required for camp settings, as requested by the practicum hosts.

  • A minimum 40 hour practicum component occurs near the end of the program
  • Students work as employees, putting their training into practice gaining valuable experience
  • Rubber boots and rain gear may be required for the practicum
  • Practicum placements that take place in a camp situation are a minimum of 1 shift so will exceed the minimum 40 hours.
  • Confirmation of mature student status (19 years or older on first day, and out of school for 1 full year) OR if under 19, evidence of Grade 12 completion or equivalent
  • Entrance assessment
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must meet Excel’s English Language Proficiency Requirements
  • Successful completion of a physical fitness assessment (at an approved facility or medical clinic)
  • Students are assessed on each module by a test, project, assignment, demonstration of skills or combination there-of
  • Assessments includes evaluation on professionalism, conduct, attendance, and practicum
  • An average of all module grades, as well as the grades for professional conduct and attendance is calculated. Successful completion of the program requires a minimum of a 65% grade in each program module, and successful completion of the practicum component.

Students Supply:

  • Loose-leaf paper & 3-ring binder
  • USB Flash Drive, if desired
  • Pens/pencils/highlighters
  • Weather appropriate clothing and boots for field trips and practicum placements

College Supplies:

  • Handouts & photocopied materials
  • Student Manuals
  • Equipment for dissection and hands-on training components

Aquaculture Diploma Program Fees

Tuition: $9,406.25
Registration: 100.00
Books/Materials: 960.74
GST on Books/Supplies: 48.04
Total: $10,515.03

Registration: 200.00
Books/Materials: 960.74
GST on Books/Supplies: 48.04
Total: $12,966.59

Please review our Refund Policy.

Click image to download Program Outline

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Designated BC Private Training Institutions Branch Logo

“Cermaq Canada has been working with Excel Career College for three years in several aspects relating to its existing Aquaculture Technician Diploma Program; these include field trips, site tours, practicum placements and the employee recruitment. In all our dealings with Excel, we have found them to be professional and responsive to our needs,demonstrating a strong capability in working with industry partners.”

Laurie Jensen , Communications and Corporate Sustainability Manager  Cermaq Canada

Our Partners

West Coast Fishculture Logo
Fanny Bay Oysters Logo
Mac's Oysters Logo - BC Shellfish Industry
Kyuquot Sound Sablefish Logo - BC Aquaculture Industry
Island Scallops Ltd. Logo - BC Aquaculture Industry
Grieg Seafood Logo - BC Aquaculture Industry
Creative Salmon Organic Logo - BC Shellfish Industry
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Logo- BC Aquaculture Industry
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Logo
Cermaq Logo - BC Shellfish Industry
BC Salmon Farmers Association Logo - BC Aquaculture Industry