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Forestry Technician

Algonquin College
45 weeks
Full time
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
Open House
Algonquin College

Program description

Forestry Technician

Get an edge on a career in the great outdoors - earn a minimum of 10 industry certifications plus a Diploma.

The two-year Forestry Technician Ontario College Diploma program, delivered in a compressed format over 45 weeks, is the most hands-on and field-oriented program of its kind in Ontario. It prepares you to participate in the management of natural resources for timber and non-timber values by the forest industry, sustainable forest licence holders, private landowners and ministries.

Acquire experience in the planning, execution and monitoring of forest, environment, ecosystem and wildlife management activities.

Spend approximately one-third of your time outdoors, exploring a variety of landscapes such as forests, parks and private woodlots. Practice collecting, compiling and analyzing forest resource data while learning to make recommendations for its use.

Benefit from the opportunity to earn a minimum of 10 industry certifications. These are customizable and give you an advantage entering the workforce.

In your third semester, complete an 80-hour field placement. This gives you the opportunity to practise your skills in a real work setting.

Admission requirements

Program eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 11 (MCF3M or equivalent).
  • International applicants must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either: (IELTS / TOEFL) IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT) Overall 80, with a minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency.

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

A current Standard First Aid and CPR certificate is preferred prior to registration. Otherwise, the student must obtain the certificate within the first two months of the first level. Applicants must sign and submit a Forestry Technician Program Assumption of Risk and Indemnifying Release Form.

An up-to-date tetanus booster is preferred prior to class. This immunization is available at no cost through the College health services.

Success factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Thrive in an active, outdoor, hands-on learning environment.
  • Have an interest in protecting, sustaining and enhancing our natural environment and forest ecosystem.
  • Can work well independently or as a member of a team.
  • Have good communication skills.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Core courses include:

Level: 01

  • Microcomputer Applications
  • Communications I
  • The Forest Environment
  • Dendrology
  • Ecology
  • Soils and Landforms
  • Wildlife
  • Remote Sensing
  • Forest Health

Level: 02

  • Communications for Forestry Technicians
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Mensuration
  • Silviculture
  • Harvesting
  • Fire Management
  • Arboriculture
  • Parks Operation

Level: 03

  • Land Stewardship
  • Forest Access
  • Forest Management
  • Ecological Land Classification
  • Tree Marking
  • Certifications
  • Advanced Techniques
  • Freshwater Environments
  • Silvicultural Surveys
  • Field Placement

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the college website.

Tuition fees

For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 



Ontario College Diploma

Learning outcomes

  • Conduct forest inventory surveys and field measurements to determine forest resources and values in forests and woodlots.
  • Assess soil characteristics, vegetation and wildlife habitats to identify their interactions within forest ecosystems.
  • Perform technical functions in silvicultural operations and assist in the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of silvicultural practices.
  • Collect, analyze, interpret, and display spatial data using mapping technology and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to contribute to forest resource management.
  • Contribute to sustainable forest management plans, including conservation and rehabilitation measures, taking into consideration the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders and the requirements of relevant legislation and regulations.
  • Identify and analyze forest diseases, pests, invasive species and other disturbance events and implement mitigation strategies to maintain and improve forest ecosystems.
  • Select, operate, troubleshoot and maintain tools and equipment in a variety of environmental conditions and in accordance with safety and operating standards.
  • Work independently and in a collaborative environment while applying effective teamwork, leadership and interpersonal skills.
  • Communicate technical information to a variety of stakeholders in oral, written, visual and electronic forms.
  • Develop strategies for ongoing professional development to enhance work performance in the forestry sector.
  • Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career opportunities

Graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce or to further their studies through university or the natural resources law enforcement (conservation officer) program. Geographic mobility is usually a prerequisite to employment with forestry companies, governments, private woodlot owners, hydro, municipalities, conservation authorities or resource consultants.

With a Forestry Technician diploma, you may find entry-level work in the fields of:

  • Tree marking
  • Forest inventory
  • Forest environment and ecosystem assessment
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Forest renewal
  • Harvesting
  • Parks and wildlife management
  • Nature interpretation
  • Arboriculture
  • Bio-energy management
  • Forest fire control

Self-employment as a forestry contractor or consultant is another avenue graduates may decide to pursue.

About this institute

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op. Employers value the combination of theory and experiential learning, at Algonquin College you get it all. In addition...

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Why study at Algonquin College

Canada ranked #1 study abroad country

Canada has been ranked the #1 study abroad country in the world for 2020! Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad.

Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario


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