Foresters

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Also known as:
Environmental Protection Forester, Forest Ecologist, Forestry Scientist, Land Management Forester, Operations Forester, Resource Forester, Service Forester, Timber Management Specialist, Urban Forester

ABOUT FORESTER CAREERS
Video transcript

Healthy forests supply us with clean air and water, abundant wildlife, and natural beauty we can all enjoy. They also supply the paper and wood products we use every day. A forester is a professional trained in the art and science of managing this vital resource.

Foresters are outdoors a great deal. Typical duties include measuring trees and supervising timber harvests. Foresters look for signs of insects and disease. They help to renew woodlands by planting seedlings and creating conditions for natural seeding to occur. They may collect samples for lab tests in their efforts to ensure water quality and healthy wildlife habitats.

Foresters can be surveyors, educators, even firefighters. Good written and verbal communication skills are important, along with technical ability. Foresters rely heavily on computers for record keeping, research, and mapping. One needs to be in good physical shape for this career - the work often takes foresters outside in all kinds of weather, frequently into isolated areas. Most foresters work for the government, but may be employed by lumber or paper companies, and by water utilities and conservation groups.

A bachelor's degree in forestry is the minimum requirement for a job, but research and teaching positions call for advanced degrees. Some states require licensing or registration. New foresters generally work under the supervision of experienced foresters. Advancement comes with experience and often means trading in field work for an office. Wherever they work, foresters are responsible for the wise use and management of forests, making them productive for us and future generations.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Choose and prepare sites for new trees, using controlled burning, bulldozers, or herbicides to clear weeds, brush, and logging debris.

Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings.

Perform inspections of forests or forest nurseries.

Determine methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage.

Establish short- and long-term plans for management of forest lands and forest resources.

Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.

Supervise activities of other forestry workers.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Geography 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.
TOP SKILLS
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.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.