How a Forester Begins a Career

Female forestry worker checking height of tree in nursery
Female forestry worker checking height of tree in nursery. (Roger Tully/Getty Images)

Entering and completing a forestry career can be the most rewarding thing a person can do in one's lifetime. If you become familiar with the expectations, can accept demanding entry-level work and have a true love of forests and nature, you will do just fine. Most successful foresters know this and earn the title of "successful resource manager." Many consider them true naturalists.

Every forester's goals should be working toward becoming a proficient and complete natural resource scientist with a willingness to change.

A forester must be flexible to change which will include dealing with shifting forest management priorities, influencing popular political environmental and energy policies plus understanding climate change concerns while utilizing forests for dozens of uses.

So, how do you start the process of becoming a graduate forester?

Q: Do you have to be a forester to have a career in the forest?

A: I frequently get employment, career and job questions on forestry and becoming a forester or forestry technician. Just how do you begin a forestry career or find a job with a conservation organization or company? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest employer of forestry personnel...read more.

Q: What should you expect to do as a new forester?
A:There aren't many careers where you do so much with such variation! Foresters spend considerable time outdoors the first years of their careers.

Typical entry-level responsibilities might include measuring and grading trees, evaluating insect outbreaks, conducting land surveys, working in...read more.

Q: Who will hire you as a forester?
A:The Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook says "Conservation scientists and foresters held about 39,000 jobs.

Nearly 3 out of 10 workers were in the Federal Government, mostly in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Foresters were concentrated in the USDA's Forest Service...read more.

Q: What training is required to be a forester?
A:Of all the professions, forestry may be the most misunderstood of the lot. Many kids and adults asking me about becoming a forester haven't a clue that it takes a four-year degree or higher. The stereotypical picture is of a job spent in the forest, or...read more.

Q: Do foresters have to be licensed?
A:Fifteen states have mandatory licensing or voluntary registration requirements that a forester must meet in order to acquire the title "professional forester" and practice forestry in the state. In many cases you do not have to be licensed if you work on federal...read more.

Q: What are the chances of new foresters finding jobs?
A:If you are a new forester and using this FAQ, the odds of you finding a forestry job have just dramatically increased. Information included here will get you started in a big way and uses the Internet to the fullest extent....read more.

Q: What are some tips on finding forestry employment?
A:First, be working on a bachelor's or technical degree in forestry.

Decide in what area of forestry you want to work (state, federal, industry, consulting, academic)...read more.

Q: What are future prospects for finding a job as a forester?
A:Here are some predictions from the Department of Labor:"Employment of conservation scientists and foresters is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2008. Growth should be strongest in State and local governments and in research and testing services, where demand ...read more.

Q: How much money do foresters make?
A:The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that "Median annual earnings of foresters in 2008 was $53,750. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,980 and $65,000. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,190 and the highest 10 percent earned...read more.

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Nix, Steve. "How a Forester Begins a Career." ThoughtCo, Apr. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-a-forester-begins-a-career-1343045. Nix, Steve. (2017, April 2). How a Forester Begins a Career. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-a-forester-begins-a-career-1343045 Nix, Steve. "How a Forester Begins a Career." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-a-forester-begins-a-career-1343045 (accessed January 22, 2018).