What Do Forester Do?
Career 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.
Life As a Forester: What Do They Do?
- 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.
- Provide advice and recommendations, as a consultant on forestry issues, to private woodlot owners, firefighters, government agencies or to companies.
- Plan cutting programs and manage timber sales from harvested areas, assisting companies to achieve production goals.
- Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
- Contact local forest owners and gain permission to take inventory of the type, amount, and location of all standing timber on the property.
- Supervise activities of other forestry workers.
What a Forester Should Know
Below is a list of the skills most Foresters say are important on the job.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Types of Forester
- Resource Forester
- Timber Management Specialist
- Forest Supervisor
- Operations Forester
- Utility Forester
Job Opportunities for Foresters
In the United States, there were 12,300 jobs for Forester in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Forester by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,100 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Forester are Nevada, North Dakota, 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.
Forester Average Salary
Foresters make between $41,350 and $86,870 a year.
Foresters who work in New Jersey, District of Columbia, or California, make the highest salaries.
How much do Foresters make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$86,790|
What Tools & Technology do Foresters Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Foresters may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- IBM Notes
- Geographic information system GIS software
- ESRI ArcView
- Work scheduling software
- Mapping software
- ESRI ArcGIS software
How to Become a Forester
Education needed to be a Forester:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Forester?
Where Foresters Are Employed
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Image Credit: Lynn Betts via Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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