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

Stan T.Career, Overview

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.

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

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Foresters based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Real Estate $84450 $40.60
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $79870 $38.40
Sawmills and Wood Preservation $72430 $34.82
Logging $70000 $33.66
Federal Executive Branch $67750 $32.57
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods $67350 $32.38
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $66660 $32.05
Veneer, Plywood, and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing $65690 $31.58
Social Advocacy Organizations $65580 $31.53
Management of Companies and Enterprises $64990 $31.25

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Foresters work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Foresters including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
State Government 3050 $61640 $29.63
Federal Executive Branch 1300 $67750 $32.57
Local Government 1140 $64320 $30.92
Logging 1120 $70000 $33.66
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 760 $66660 $32.05
Sawmills and Wood Preservation 550 $72430 $34.82
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 450 $79870 $38.40
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 270 $60760 $29.21
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills 150 $63720 $30.64
Veneer, Plywood, and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing 90 $65690 $31.58

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%

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%

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%

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 majors

Forest Resources Production and Management

A program that focuses on the application of forestry principles to the production, harvesting, and processing of forest resources and that prepares individuals to perform associated technical and managerial functions. Includes instruction in forest production and utilization, industrial forestry, agroforestry, transplantation, timber harvesting, selection and identification of trees, processing technologies and systems, equipment operations and maintenance, and related management skills.

Natural Resources/Conservation

A general program that focuses on the studies and activities relating to the natural environment and its conservation, use, and improvement. Includes instruction in subjects such as climate, air, soil, water, land, fish and wildlife, and plant resources; in the basic principles of environmental science and natural resources management; and the recreational and economic uses of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources.


Environmental/Natural Resources Management and Policy

A program that prepares individuals to plan, develop, manage, and evaluate programs to protect and regulate natural habitats and renewable natural resources. Includes instruction in the principles of wildlife and conservation biology, environmental science, animal population surveying, natural resource economics, management techniques for various habitats, applicable law and policy, administrative and communications skills, and public relations.

Forestry

A program that generally prepares individuals to manage and develop forest areas for economic, recreational, and ecological purposes. Includes instruction in forest-related sciences, mapping, statistics, harvesting and production technology, natural resources management and economics, wildlife sciences, administration, and public relations.

Forest Sciences and Biology

A program that focuses on the application of one or more forest-related sciences to the study of environmental factors affecting forests and the growth and management of forest resources. Includes instruction in forest biology, forest hydrology, forest mensuration, silviculture, forest soils, water resources, environmental science, forest resources management, and wood science.


Forest Management/Forest Resources Management

A program that prepares individuals to apply principles of forestry and natural resources management to the administration of forest lands and related resources. Includes instruction in silviculture, forest mensuration, forest protection, inventorying, biometrics, geographic information systems, remote sensing, photogrammetry, forest policy and economics, forest land use planning, fire protection and management, and related administrative skills.

Urban Forestry

A program that prepares individuals to apply the principles of forestry and related sciences to the development, care, and maintenance of individual trees and forested areas within or close to areas of dense human habitation. Includes instruction in urban environments; effects of pollution on tree species; environmental design and landscaping; urban pest infestation; urban forest management; and applicable policies and regulations.

Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology

A program that focuses on the application of chemical, physical, and engineering principles to the analysis of the properties and behavior of wood and wood products and the development of processes for converting wood into paper and other products. Includes instruction in wood classification and testing, product development, manufacturing and processing technologies, and the design and development of related equipment and systems.


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 type 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.

The Builder
95%

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


The Thinker
81%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
19%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
33%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
57%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
43%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


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.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
57%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
64%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
52%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
57%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
52%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
81%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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