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Expanding Our Roots
Peter Barss- Program Head, Forest Resources

Thinking about Forestry?

Forestry is a vital part of BC's economy. Forest technologists are part of a team practicing sustainable forest management so that our forests will remain a vital part of our environment, culture and economy now and for the future. With more jobs available than there are graduates, now is an excellent time to start a career in Forest Technology.

If you love the outdoors, care about the environment, and enjoy science and nature, you should consider a forestry career. This career choice offers variety and challenge, travel opportunities, hands-on work, uses computers and field instruments, and applies your knowledge and skills to solve problems and make decisions. It is a career that pays well and offers opportunities to grow professionally.

What Do Forest Technologists and Technicians Do?

Graduates work in offices, but primarily in the outdoors, collecting and processing natural resource information used for planning and managing forest ecosystems. Here are some examples of what you might do:

  • Work with maps, aerial photos, GPS, and computer mapping software (GIS)
  • Use field survey techniques and resource sampling methods to record and analyse information on plants, animals, soils, streams, and forest health.
  • Plan timber harvesting, determine road locations, prescribe road maintenance and de-activation activities, supervise forestry operations...
  • Work in wildland fire fighting and fire management
  • Work in silviculture to plant, tend and manage our new forests

Students and graduates find work throughout B.C. and beyond, primarily with forest companies, consulting firms, and government.

What Kind of Forestry Training Opportunities Does BCIT Offer?

There are a number of schools in BC where you can take forestry diploma and degree programs. Here is a brief summary of the programs offered at the Lower Mainland campus of BCIT (Burnaby):

The Forest Ecosystems Technology Diploma (FET) started in 1964 as the Forestry Technology Diploma, and has trained thousands of technologists now at work throughout the province and beyond. In this program you will gain practical, employable skills that provide the foundation for a rewarding career. This full-time two year program is nationally accredited and if you want, it can open the door to further education, such as a forestry degree. Upon graduation, you will qualify for registration as a Registered Forest Technologist with the Association of BC Forest Professionals. Some students stay an extra year to take the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program and gain a second diploma.

The Forest Resources Technician Certificate (FRT) is a one-year program that will provide you with the necessary skills needed to conduct fieldwork in the forest industry, including safe operation of 4x4s and ATV's, fire-line certification, first aid, data collection, field survey, and reporting skills. Successful graduates of this program may be granted credits toward the two-year FET Diploma at BCIT.

The Cooperative Education option at BCIT involves enhancing academic studies with relevant work experience to develop skills in the real world and improves employment opportunities upon graduation. Both FRT students and FET students may be eligible for the Co-op option.

For more information, you can: attend a class or an information session, speak with a past graduate, visit our website (www.forestry.bcit.ca) or speak with an instructor (604.432.8539).


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