Post-Secondary Students

Are you ready to head to college or university?

This page will help you take the next steps to becoming a Registered Professional Forester (RPF), Registered Forest Technologist (RFT)  or Natural Resource Professional (NRP).

Please note: Post-secondary education is not required to become an Accredited Timber Cruiser, Accredited Timber Evaluator or Silvicultural Accredited Surveyor.

For detailed information, read the Types of Forest Professionals section.

Infographic – Pathways to a Career as a Forest Professional

This infographic shows the educational pathways to becoming registered with the ABCFP, a requirement for practising forestry in BC.

Practice of Professional Forestry
The Foresters Act defines the practice of professional forestry. The scope of practice is different for each designation. Read the scope of practice section for each designation to understand what each type of professional can do.

Designation RPF  RFT  NRP 
Scope of Practice Full Limited Limited

Choose a School

The educational requirements vary depending on whether you decide to become a Registered Professional Forester (RPF), Registered Forest Technologist (RFT) or Natural Resource Professional (NRP).

We recommend completing one of the accredited or recognized post-secondary programs listed on our website. These programs satisfy the core competency requirements for each designation as part of their program.

Accredited/Recognized Programs

There are several post-secondary forestry programs in BC that will give you the first-class education you need in order to become a forest professional.

BC Institute of Technology (BCIT)
BCIT's School of Construction and the Environment offers a variety of natural resource management programs.
College of New Caledonia (CNC)
CNC offers a Natural Resources and Environmental Technology (NRET) Diploma.
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT)
NVIT Natural Resource Technology Department offers a certificate and a diploma program.
Selkirk College
Selkirk College's School of Environment and Geomatics offers several natural resource programs.
Thompson Rivers University (TRU)
TRU's Faculty of Science offers a Natural Resource Science Program.
University of British Columbia (UBC)
UBC's Faculty of Forestry offers a variety of forestry programs.
University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)
UNBC's Ecosystem and Science Management Program offers several natural resource programs. 
Vancouver Island University (VIU) (formerly Malaspina University College)
VIU offers several programs through their Forestry Department.

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While in School

Join START

Receive the magazine and e-newsletter, and participate in professional development.

As a START member, you will stay up to date on what's going on in the profession through subscriptions to our magazine and e-newsletter and discounts on some of our educational events. Join START Now!

Find your Niche

Forest professionals have knowledge of wildlife biology, fisheries, forest ecology, hydrology (the study of water) and silviculture (growing trees), soils, forest engineering, recreation, landscape design, etc. You can discover which areas interest through:

  • Your school course work
  •  Summer employment
  • Being a Mentee - Some post-secondary schools have mentoring programs where you can receive guidance from forest professionals.
  • Workshop Participation – check the Pro D Listings for offerings that might interest you. [ADD LINK]
  • Speaking with Forest Professionals - You can also request for a forest professional to speak to your class or you could job-shadow a forest professional for a day (send an e-mail request to Cheryl Waddell). 
  • Attending the association's annual forestry conference and AGM provides a great opportunity to speak with your future peer

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After You Graduate

Become an Enrolled Member of the ABCFP

After graduating from an accredited forestry program, you should enrol with the ABCFP as a Forester-in-Training or Forest Technologist in Training . During this training period you will be required to gain 24 months of work experience under the supervision of an Registered Professional Forester (RPF) or Registered Forest Technologist (RFT) .

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