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Education and Training

 

Education, Training and Careers in Canadian Aquaculture

Careers in Aquaculture

There are many types of careers and occupations in the aquaculture sector from the farm to the suppliers, to academia and even government. Many of the occupations are highly skilled and require both formal training and on-the-job upgrading. The occupations are typically year-round, well paying and include numerous benefits. Many of the jobs in the farm sector are found in natural, unspoiled settings, and require dedicated individuals with a keen sense of responsibility for animal care and environmental stewardship. A partial listing of occupations in the sector includes:

  • Fish farm technician
  • Farm manager
  • Saltwater production manager
  • Hatchery technician
  • Hatchery manager
  • Environmental and regulatory affairs manager
  • Fish health technician
  • Aquaculture engineer
  • Research scientist
  • Instructor
  • Policy advisor
  • Regulatory affairs officer
  • Aquaculture development specialists
  • Aquaculture extension officers
  • Habitat biologist
  • Environmental assessment technician
  • Research technician
  • Aquaculture diver
  • Feed production technician
  • Aquatic veterinarian
  • Processing line supervisor
  • Processing line operators
  • Waste management technologists
  • R and D coordinators

….and many more.

Labour Market

The sector is growing and new positions are available every week across the country. There is currently a shortage of skilled labour in the farm production and post-production processing side of operations. Industry is actively recruiting personnel from around the globe, including Poland, Northern Africa, South America and Asia to work in our operations.  Many of the jobs are in rural areas where there is a lack of recruits and the workforce has been aging, or where depressed rural economies have resulted in an exodus of skilled workers to other regions of the country for employment.

CAIA is a member of the recently established Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) which has a mandate to find solutions to the labour market constraints faced by the industry, so that the industry can remain competitive and profitable in the future. Some ongoing initiatives include:

  • Industry-wide labour market inventory and needs assessment for producers
  • Developing recruitment and retention programs for skilled labour
  • Inventory of education and training programs in Canada
  • Describe on farm occupations
  • New markets and future skills needs
  • Communications and career awareness

One of the tools available to the aquaculture industry is the Career-Focus program, offering a wage supplement to employers for hiring recent graduates under 30 years of age.

Education and Training

There are fewer than 12 specialized training facilities in Canada offering one form of aquaculture training or another, ranging from technical short courses to technology diplomas, degrees and post-graduate studies.  Many jobs on the farm in aquaculture require specialized skills in skills in business, technology, science, communications, fish husbandry, and the like, and can only be obtained from a combination of formal and on-the-job training. 

Many colleges and universities offer training that provide useful services in various parts of the sector, such as R and D, business skills, environmental management or communications, IT, and engineering.

For specialized education and training centers offering aquaculture programs, please consult the links below for further details.

Links:

Aquaculture Association of Canada
Canadian job postings
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council

Excel Career College

Fisheries and Marine Institute
Memorial University

North Island College
Vancouver Island University
University of Guelph
Canadian Aquaculture Institute
Atlantic Veterinary College
École des pêches et de l’aquaculture du Québec
Nova Scotia Agricultural College
New Brunswick Community College

 

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