Become a Certified Farm Technician

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is working in partnership with the Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University on a free program to prepare eligible candidates to challenge the certification exam for the farm technician trade. This program will allow farmers who have significant experience in the trade (trade qualifiers) to review the content of the occupational standard in preparation to challenge the certification exam. A 5-week refresher course is offered online and is self-paced for a total of 90 hours. Participants can choose which units to study or complete over the course of the entire 90 hours. They will have access to an instructor via email for any questions or concerns along the way. 

Listed below are some questions and answers that may be helpful to those who are interested in becoming certified in the farm technician trade.


For those who participated in the refresher training last year (2022) but did not write the exam, can they retake some or all of the refresher training?

Yes. They may contact the Industry Training Consultant in their area to become reenrolled. Refresher training is available until April 30, 2023. 


Is refresher training required before an individual can write the exam?

Those who wish to write the farm technician exam are not required to participate in refresher training beforehand. However, refresher training is available. Those who would like to participate in refresher training must first submit an exam application.


Is there a cost to write the farm technician exam?

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is waiving the Trade Qualifier fee until the end of November, 2023.  The exam fee is $148.18.


What options are available for someone who wrote the farm technician exam but did not pass? 

Individuals are given two attempts to pass the exam.  If unsuccessful after two attempts, individuals are encouraged to take steps to better prepare for the exam before writing again.


How can someone prepare to write the farm technician exam? 

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is offering free refresher training which will allow participants to better prepare to write the exam.  Participants may also use the Nova Scotia occupational standard to review the tasks of the trade on which the exam questions will be based. Click here to access the Nova Scotia Occupational Standard for the farm technician trade. Those who need help interpreting the occupational standard are encouraged to contact an Industry Training Consultant.                   


How many questions are on the exam and what is the pass mark? 

There are 100 multiple choice questions (with four choices per question), and the pass mark is 70 percent. 


What is the first step for someone who is interested in participating in the refresher training or challenging the farm technician certification exam.

Those interested in becoming a certified farm technician may contact an Industry Training Consultant with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency who will work with the individual to fill out a Trade Qualifier application.  The applicant must prove that they have acquired 5400 hours or more in the trade and have two references from qualified persons verifying that they are competent in the farm technician trade.  The applicant is eligible to take refresher training then write the exam, or simply write the exam without participating in the refresher training.                                                                                                


For those interested in learning the Farm Technician trade as an apprentice, when and how can they register?

An individual may register as an apprentice and begin their apprenticeship journey at any time, as long as the employer employs a certified journeyperson in the trade to mentor the apprentice. Click here to register as an apprentice.