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What You Need to Know About Foresters

Position Description Manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber’s worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules.

List of Forester Job Duties

  • Plan and direct forest surveys and related studies and prepare reports and recommendations.
  • Choose and prepare sites for new trees, using controlled burning, bulldozers, or herbicides to clear weeds, brush, and logging debris.
  • Determine methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage.
  • Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings.
  • Perform inspections of forests or forest nurseries.
  • Plan and direct construction and maintenance of recreation facilities, fire towers, trails, roads and bridges, ensuring that they comply with guidelines and regulations set for forested public lands.

What a Forester Should Know

These are the skills Foresters say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Land Management Forester
  • Forest Pathologist
  • Timber Management Assistant
  • Chief Unit Forester
  • Timber Management Specialist

Forester Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 12,300 jobs in the United States for Foresters.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Foresters by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,100 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Foresters in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Foresters are Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Vermont, or South Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Foresters

The average yearly salary of a Forester ranges between $41,350 and $86,870. A Forester median salary is $61,410.

Salary Ranges for Foresters

How much do Foresters make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$86,790

California

$80,030

Massachusetts

$76,810

New Jersey

$76,760

Connecticut

$72,010

Alaska

$71,800

Oregon

$70,660

Louisiana

$69,890

Washington

$69,720

Illinois

$68,570

Michigan

$66,630

Pennsylvania

$66,170

New York

$65,620

Alabama

$65,230

Vermont

$65,170

New Hampshire

$64,920

Iowa

$64,840

Texas

$64,740

Maryland

$64,370

Minnesota

$64,330

Florida

$64,190

Nevada

$64,160

North Carolina

$63,610

Ohio

$61,990

Colorado

$61,890

Nebraska

$61,530

South Carolina

$61,430

Wyoming

$60,980

Virginia

$59,940

Mississippi

$59,900

Montana

$57,960

West Virginia

$57,640

Idaho

$57,180

Arkansas

$56,710

Wisconsin

$55,810

North Dakota

$55,760

Tennessee

$55,610

South Dakota

$54,850

Georgia

$54,590

Maine

$52,850

New Mexico

$52,740

Missouri

$50,180

Oklahoma

$49,390

Kentucky

$47,680

Indiana

$47,070

Tools & Technologies Used by Foresters

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Foresters may use on a daily basis:

  • IBM Notes
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Data entry software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Office
  • Trimble CENGEA

Becoming a Forester

What kind of Forester requirements are there?

Forester Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Forester?

Forester Work Experience

Who Employs Foresters?

Forester Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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