What Does A Forester Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Foresters

Foresters 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.

Salary
$66000
Becoming One
Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Foresters 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.

  • Procure timber from private landowners.
  • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
  • Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number, and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forests, and monitoring the growth of new seedlings.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management, and leasing of forest lands.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Foresters procure timber from private landowners. They supervise the activities of other forestry workers.

A typical day for a Forester will also include:

  • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
  • Provide advice and recommendations, as a consultant on forestry issues, to private woodlot owners, firefighters, government agencies or companies.
  • Contact local forest owners and gain permission to take inventory of the type, amount, and location of all standing timber on the property.
  • Plan cutting programs and manage timber sales from harvested areas, assisting companies to achieve production goals.
  • Plan and direct forest surveys and related studies and prepare reports and recommendations.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Foresters also negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management, and leasing of forest lands. They may also plan and direct forest surveys and related studies and prepare reports and recommendations.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Foresters determine methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage. They might also plan cutting programs and manage timber sales from harvested areas, assisting companies to achieve production goals.

In addition, they plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number, and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forests, and monitoring the growth of new seedlings.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them perform inspections of forests or forest nurseries.

To some Foresters, it is also their responsibility to 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.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
10%

Some freedom
44%

A lot of freedom
46%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
2%

Limited freedom
12%

Some freedom
46%

A lot of freedom
39%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

85% said they were satisfied with their job and 81% said they found their job meaningful.


Alex Wick

It’s one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs out there. Whether it’s surveying land, planting trees, or collecting biometrics data on ecosystems, you get to work in some of the most rugged, beautiful terrain in the world. You’ll be in good shape from hiking and scrambling over and through the woods, there is an opportunity to learn and use cool tech, including GPS/GIS units and you get paid decently well, and sleep like a log at night. Plus, you’re directly helping to quantify and reduce the effects of climate change.

11/10, highly recommend for any young adult looking for work that feels (and is) good (for the planet).

Alex Wick
MSc. Forestry
Cascadia Carbon


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want independence and like to work on their own and make decisions.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Good salary (earns more than 50% of the careers out there).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$66000 per year

Average hourly wage

$32 per hour

Entry-level Foresters with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $42,500 to $51,890 per year or $20 to $25 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $45 $93,060
Senior (Top 25%) $37 $77,010
Middle (Mid 50%) $31 $63,980
Junior (Bottom 25%) $25 $51,890
No experience (Bottom 10%) $20 $42,500

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
5%

40 hours
63%

More than 40 hours
32%

Working schedule

54%

39%

7%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
27%

Very important
45%

Extremely important
27%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
6%

Fairly important
7%

Important
14%

Very important
45%

Extremely important
28%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
6%

Fairly important
7%

Important
14%

Very important
61%

Extremely important
13%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
19%

Every day
81%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
24%

Every day
63%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
46%

Every day
54%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
15%

Once a year
74%

Once a month
9%

Once a week
2%

Every day
0%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
3%

Once a year
43%

Once a month
35%

Once a week
17%

Every day
2%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
6%

Once a year
44%

Once a month
32%

Once a week
14%

Every day
5%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
83%

Once a year
15%

Once a month
2%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
26%

Slightly competitive
13%

Moderately competitive
34%

Highly competitive
24%

Extremely competitive
3%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
15%

Fairly important
27%

Important
17%

Very Important
29%

Extremely Important
12%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
14%

Moderate impact
10%

Important impact
35%

Very important impact
41%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
0%

Once a year
16%

Once a month
26%

Once a week
27%

Every day
31%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
6%

Limited responsibility
10%

Moderate responsibility
32%

High responsibility
33%

Very high responsibility
20%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
39%

Moderate responsibility
18%

High responsibility
32%

Very high responsibility
11%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
2%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
14%

Once a week or more
51%

Every day
33%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
17%

Once a year or more
15%

Once a month or more
15%

Once a week or more
25%

Every day
28%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
19%

Once a week or more
46%

Every day
35%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
51%

Once a year or more
23%

Once a month or more
19%

Once a week or more
7%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Hard
You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require a Bachelor’s degree and several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Similar careers include Database Administrators, Chemists, Art Directors, and Accountants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
6%

Some College Courses
6%

Associate’s Degree or similar
7%

Bachelor’s Degree
79%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
2%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
0%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
14%

1 to 2 years
18%

2 to 4 years
31%

4 to 6 years
16%

6 to 8 years
12%

8 to 10 years
2%

Over 10 years
7%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
0%

1 month
17%

1 to 3 months
10%

3 to 6 months
8%

6 months to 1 year
24%

1 to 2 years
24%

2 to 4 years
13%

4 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

95%

81%

19%

33%

57%

43%

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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