Alberta's forests are a renewable public resource, managed according to Alberta's Forests Act. In NAIT's Forest Technology diploma program, you'll learn how to manage forests responsibly and sustainably on behalf of the residents of Alberta through a variety of field activities, class lectures and data analysis.

If you have a passion for the environment, enjoy being outdoors, have a strong work ethic, are in good physical fitness and comfortable working with computers, Forest Technology could be an excellent fit for you!

This is a 2-year diploma program delivered over 4 semesters. Fall semesters that begin in August run 17 weeks while Winter semesters beginning in January run 15 weeks.

Aug 14, 2023

Quick Facts

Credential: Diploma

Diplomas are credit programs that take 2 to 3 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Length: 2 Years

With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 2 Years to complete.

Open Studies: Available

This program has courses that are available for Open Studies. Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program. It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in. View courses

International Students: Accepted

This program accepts international students, however, program availability may be limited. Check program availability for this term. This program also meets the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and do not guarantee future employment opportunities. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

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Median Starting Salary: $58,800

Salaries are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and are not a guarantee of future income.

View Career Outcomes

Work Integrated Learning: Co-op

This program has Work Integrated Learning (WIL). WIL is a form of experiential learning that integrates academic studies with relevant work-based learning. Experiences are directly tied to curriculum and part of an approved program of study.

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Instructor and Students

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

Modern forestry is a high-tech, field-oriented career focused on forest management activities such as reclamation, fire behaviour and protection, insects and disease, watersheds, ecosystems, reforestation, forest engineering, wildlife habitat, forest legislation, recreation, soils, harvest planning and operations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). 

These are just some of the subject areas we cover in the Forest Technology program to help prepare you for real-world environmental management:

  • Learn to use current tools, equipment, techniques and technology for forest and land management
  • Conduct wildfire and forest health operations
  • Generate a vegetation inventory
  • Apply relevant policy and legislation

Field training

What better way to learn about forests than spending some quality time outdoors? In Forest Technology, field training is stressed over the 2 years of the program.

The first 5 weeks of Year 1 are spent at NAIT’s Kidney Lake camp, located about 50 km northwest of Whitecourt, AB.  During camp, plenty of time will be spent in the field developing foundational skills in wildfire suppression, plant identification, forest ecology, and forest measurements.

The Kidney Lake camp has a number of modest cabins and permanent structures in which you'll sleep, eat and attend classes.  You'll also have time to develop strong relationships with the people you’ll be working with during the program and throughout your career.

Year 2 field training primarily occurs in the Cache-Percotte forest, located adjacent to Hinton, AB.  Here you'll continue your hands-on learning and further develop career focused skills essential to becoming a successful forest professional.

Field labs will emphasize real world activities associated with reforestation, operational planning, sustainable harvesting, and reclamation using the latest technology.

Other field labs in and around Edmonton are conducted throughout the two years of the program.

Forest Technology student

Co-op option

Students may be eligible to participate in a 4, 8, or 12-month co-op placement once they complete all level 1 courses, and before they complete all the level 2 courses.  Successful co-op students will secure a position  working in a program-related industry and gain advanced job-readiness skills. Acceptance into our co-op program is based on successful completion of a minimum of 30 credits in first term coursework, including two prerequisite courses and a minimum GPA of 2.5+. 

For international students to participate, a Co-op Work Permit is required. Applying and receiving this permit can take time so please apply as soon as possible. To learn more, visit

  • Length: 1 to 3 semesters
  • Salary: Determined by participating employers with support through MITACS
  • Dates: January to April, May to August, or August to December

For more information about our co-op program, please contact Program Chair, Heath Schneider,  at or 780-471-8652.

Video gallery 

Student success

Techlifetoday: Wildfires fuel thirst for adventure, community spirit

Forestry Technology grads share what motivates them to battle blazes

Read more

Alumni profile: Braden Shaw

This NAIT Forest Technology grad has embraced a rewarding career in reclamation – returning former industrial sites to a natural state.

Watch the video

Career Outcomes

NAIT's Forest Technology program currently works with the Association of Forest Management Professionals (AAFMP) to set the academic benchmark required for Registered Professional Forest Technologists under the Regulated Forestry Profession Act.

Graduates of the program are eligible to register as Registered Professional Forest Technologists.

Any person who practices forestry in Alberta is required to register with the AAFMP.  Learn more about the AAFMP and mandatory registration at 

The program will work closely with you to identify career opportunities within the forest industry and help you develop the skills you'll need to find a meaningful, lifelong career. 

Over 80% of our grads have secured employment directly related to their studies a short time after graduation. Graduates report competitive salaries and opportunities for rapid career advancement.

Build your resume before you even graduate

Explore work experience opportunities that help grads get hired even sooner.

View Work Integrated Learning

Work Experience Placements

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find information and updates about their program on their My Program page in the MyNAIT Portal. To monitor your course progress and the courses still needed to graduate, visit your Academic Progress Report.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 7 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of D in the course(s) or program

Transfer credit - successful graduates from the Portage College Forest Technician program will be granted one year of advanced credit in the Forest Technology program at NAIT, provided they meet the prerequisites for the program.

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.


Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

Tuition & Fees

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

Admission Requirements

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions. If you are a current or recently admitted student you can find program and course information as well as contact details for your program on the My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.

General inquiries

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Program-specific questions

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal

The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or

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