Forest Technology


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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.

Upcoming Intakes

Select your preferred intake to see relevant program information. Program details, including tuition and course information, may vary by intake.

Selection Start Date Delivery Mode Time Campus Length Domestic Status International Status
Aug. 19, 2024 (Fall) In-person Weekdays - Daytime Main 2 Years (Full-time) Open Limited

Swipe table to view more information for each intake.

Delivery Mode

  • In-person - All your class activity will be delivered in person, on campus.
  • Online - All your class activity will be delivered online.
  • Hybrid - Your classes will be a mixture of in person and online learning. You must be able to come to campus and participate remotely online.
  • Your choice - Your program offers a variety of class delivery options (in person, online, or a mixture of both) and you can select which type of classes to take. If you wish, you can complete your entire program either in-person or online.
  • HyFlex - All your classes are delivered for simultaneous participation in person and online. You can choose daily to attend your classes in person or join remotely online.


  • Your choice - You can select class times and days that fit your schedule. There are a variety of class options for you to choose from including daytime, evening, weekdays or weekends.
  • No set time - No set class days or times, content is access on-demand. You can complete your studies on your own schedule within the scheduled class dates; may have set due dates and deadlines.
  • Evenings & Weekends - Classes are scheduled after 5 p.m. on weekdays or anytime on weekends.
  • Weekdays - Daytime - Classes are scheduled on weekdays, before 5 p.m.
  • Weekdays - Evening - Classes are scheduled on weekdays, after 5 p.m.
  • Weekends - Classes are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.


Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at this campus location.

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  • Full-Time - This is the standard length to complete the program, with a full course load per term.
  • Part-Time - Students follow a structured schedule of classes so they can progress in their studies part-time while balancing everyday life.

Domestic Status

The program availability status for domestic applications is updated as applications are reviewed and assessed. Program availability is subject to change without notice.

  • Open - Program intake is accepting applications.
  • Waitlisting - Program intake is accepting applications, but qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Closed - Program intake is not accepting applications.
  • Upcoming - Applications will open soon for this intake. View the upcoming terms for open dates.
  • N/A - Not available for this intake.

International Status

The program availability status for international applications is updated as applications are reviewed and assessed. Program availability is subject to change without notice.

  • Open - Program intake is accepting applications.
  • Limited - For international applicants, the program intake is now only available if you already have a valid study permit.
  • Waitlisting - Program intake is accepting applications, but qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Closed - Program intake is not accepting applications.
  • Upcoming - Applications will open soon for this intake. View the upcoming terms for open dates.
  • N/A - Not available for this intake.

Credit programs that accept international applicants also meet the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program, including programs with a Hybrid delivery mode. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

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.

Scholarships & Awards

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.


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