They're all around us, creating beauty, providing timber, and even helping to clean the air. But too often we take trees, and the forests where they grow for granted. Once ubiquitous and self-sufficient, our nation's woodlands now require special management and care.
That's the job of forest ...
and conservation technicians. They usually work outdoors, often in remote locations, checking the health of individual trees and tree populations. Walking long distances in all kinds of weather is all part of the job.
Technicians help in reforesting, supervising the planting of new trees. They consult on fire-prevention procedures, such as planning for fire breaks. These are strips of forest that have been cleared of trees and brush, to help prevent fires from spreading. They also work with businesses that are cutting trees, ensuring that logging operations have the least possible impact on the environment.
Forest and conservation technicians usually have an associate degree, earned in two-year programs, accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Most jobs are for the government, and although hiring by the federal government is expected to decrease in coming years, there could be more opportunities in state and local governments.
An increasing number of forest and conservation technicians are helping towns and cities preserve their parklands and neighborhood trees. Whether surrounded by concrete or rugged country, our nation's trees are a vital resource, carefully guarded by dedicated forest and conservation technicians.
Provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. May compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under the direction of foresters; or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Inspect trees and collect samples of plants, seeds, foliage, bark and roots to locate insect and disease damage.
Provide technical support to forestry research programs in areas such as tree improvement, seed orchard operations, insect and disease surveys, or experimental forestry and forest engineering research.
Perform reforestation, or forest renewal, including nursery and silviculture operations, site preparation, seeding and tree planting programs, cone collection, and tree improvement.
Measure distances, clean site-lines, and record data to help survey crews.
Plan and supervise construction of access routes and forest roads.
Thin and space trees and control weeds and undergrowth, using manual tools and chemicals, or supervise workers performing these tasks.
Monitor activities of logging companies and contractors.
Manage forest protection activities, including fire control, fire crew training, and coordination of fire detection and public education programs.
Provide information about, and enforce, regulations such as those concerning environmental protection, resource utilization, fire safety and accident prevention.
Select and mark trees for thinning or logging, drawing detailed plans that include access roads.
Provide forestry education and general information, advice, and recommendations to woodlot owners, community organizations, and the general public.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to see details at a distance.
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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