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Become A Forest Worker

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Working As A Forest Worker

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Make Decisions

  • $75,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Forest Worker Do

Forest and conservation workers measure and improve the quality of forests. Under the supervision of foresters and forest and conservation technicians, they develop, maintain, and protect forests.

Duties

Forest and conservation workers typically do the following:

  • Plant seedlings to reforest land
  • Clear away brush and debris from trails, roadsides, and camping areas
  • Count and measure trees during tree-measuring efforts
  • Select or cut trees according to markings, sizes, types, or grades
  • Spray trees with insecticides and fungicides to kill insects and protect the trees from disease
  • Identify and remove diseased or undesirable trees
  • Inject vegetation with insecticides and herbicides
  • Help prevent and suppress forest fires
  • Check equipment to ensure that it is operating properly

Forest and conservation workers are supervised by foresters and forest and conservation technicians, who direct their work and evaluate their progress.

Forest and conservation workers perform basic tasks to maintain and improve the quality of the forest. They use digging and planting tools to plant seedlings and power saws to cut down diseased trees.

Some forest workers work on tree farms or orchards, where they plant, cultivate, and harvest many different kinds of trees. Their duties vary with the type of farm and may include planting seedlings or spraying to control weed growth and insects.

Some forest and conservation workers work in forest nurseries, where they sort through tree seedlings, discarding the ones that do not meet standards. Others use hand tools or their hands to gather woodland products, such as decorative greenery, tree cones, bark, moss, and other wild plant life. Some may tap trees to make syrup or chemicals.

Forest and conservation workers who are employed by or under contract with state and local governments may clear brush and debris from trails, roads, roadsides, and camping areas. They may clean kitchens and restrooms at recreational facilities and campgrounds.

Workers with a fire protection background help to suppress forest fires. For example, they may construct firebreaks, which are gaps in vegetation that can help slow down or stop the progress of a fire. In addition, they may work with technicians to determine how quickly fires spread and how successful fire suppression activities were. For example, workers help count how many trees will be affected by a fire. They also sometimes respond to forest emergencies.

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How To Become A Forest Worker

Forest and conservation workers typically need a high school diploma before they begin working. Most workers get on-the-job training.

Education

Forest and conservation workers typically need a high school diploma and a valid driver’s license before they begin working. Some vocational and technical schools and community colleges offer courses leading to a 2-year technical degree in forestry. The programs typically offer courses in forest management technology, wildlife management, conservation, or timber harvesting. Programs that include field trips to watch and participate in forestry activities provide particularly good background knowledge.

Training

Entry-level forest and conservation workers generally get on-the-job training as they help more experienced workers. They do routine labor-intensive tasks, such as planting or thinning trees. When the opportunity arises, they learn from experienced technicians and foresters who do more complex tasks, such as gathering data. Workers also learn safety procedures, including how to operate equipment safely and how to maintain safety gear.

In addition, some states require that crews and individuals receive training, and sometimes a license, in the use of commercial pesticides. For more information, consult states’ Departments of Agriculture.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Forest and conservation workers must convey information effectively to technicians and other workers.

Decisionmaking skills. Forest and conservation workers must make quick, intelligent decisions, especially when they face dangerous conditions.

Detail oriented. Forest and conservation workers must watch gauges, dials, or other indicators to determine whether equipment and tools are working properly. Workers must follow safety procedures with precision.

Listening skills. Forest and conservation workers must give full attention to what their superiors are saying. They must understand the instructions they are given before performing tasks.

Physical stamina. Forest and conservation workers plant trees and repeatedly perform a variety of physical tasks. They also must be able to walk long distances through densely wooded areas and carry heavy equipment with them.

Advancement

To advance their careers and become forest and conservation technicians or foresters, forest and conservation workers usually need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field.

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Forest Worker Typical Career Paths

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Forest Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

59.1%

Female

34.1%

Unknown

6.8%
Ethnicity

White

68.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Black or African American

8.7%

Asian

4.1%

Unknown

2.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Portuguese

100.0%

Forest Worker Education

Schools

Lane Community College

9.5%

University of Connecticut

4.8%

Front Range Community College

4.8%

Manchester University

4.8%

Southern Wesleyan University

4.8%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.8%

College of Western Idaho

4.8%

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

4.8%

Linn-Benton Community College

4.8%

Northwest Christian University

4.8%

University of North Georgia

4.8%

Clark College

4.8%

North Carolina State University

4.8%

Ventura Adult and Continuing Education

4.8%

Bryant & Stratton College-Virginia Beach

4.8%

University of Montana

4.8%

William Jessup University

4.8%

Schenectady County Community College

4.8%

University of Minnesota - Duluth

4.8%

Barry University

4.8%
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Majors

Environmental Science

16.7%

Business

10.0%

Natural Resources Management

6.7%

Forestry

6.7%

Automotive Technology

6.7%

Accounting

6.7%

Animation

3.3%

Music

3.3%

Culinary Arts

3.3%

Finance

3.3%

Fine Arts

3.3%

Marketing

3.3%

Fire Science And Protection

3.3%

Human Resources Management

3.3%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

3.3%

Kinesiology

3.3%

General Studies

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Construction Management

3.3%

Counseling Psychology

3.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.5%

Other

34.4%

Associate

18.8%

Masters

6.3%

Certificate

3.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$75,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$168,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Miller Timber Services
Highest Paying City
Hammond, IN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Forest Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Forest Worker in the United States is $75,811 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $168,000.

Real Forest Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Forest Worker Omega Forestry, LLC MS Jan 26, 2012 $52,175
Forest Workers Trees Are Us Forestry, LLC Warren, AR Nov 01, 2016 $40,843
Forest Worker Barreto Forestry, Inc. MS Jan 01, 2012 $36,856
Forest Worker Gary Hess Contracting, Inc. DBA Gary Hess Gary He OK Dec 01, 2011 $36,752
Forest Workers Perez Forestry, LLC AR Oct 01, 2013 $35,062
Forest Worker Grano Reforestation, Inc. AR Dec 15, 2011 $34,060
Forest Worker Stan Sweeney LLC LA Dec 15, 2011 $34,039
Forest Worker Stan Sweeney LLC AR Oct 03, 2011 $34,039
Forest Worker Timberland Forestry Service Heflin, LA Feb 15, 2016 $33,016
Forest Workers Perez Forestry, LLC Huttig, AR Oct 30, 2015 $30,679
Forest Worker Mendiola Forestry Services, LLC Bainbridge, GA Dec 05, 2016 $30,095
Forest Workers Forestree Network Services, LLC Roanoke, AL Nov 01, 2016 $30,095
Forest Workers Cornejo Forestry Service, Inc. Fayette, AL Dec 05, 2016 $29,969
Forest Worker DL Reforestation OR Jul 16, 2012 $29,928
Forest Worker C & R Forestry, Inc. AZ Dec 26, 2011 $24,961
Forest Workers Cornejo Forestry Service, Inc. AL Nov 15, 2013 $24,731
Forest Worker Forrester and Associates NM Mar 01, 2012 $24,564
Forest Worker P & R Forestry, LLC Nov 01, 2012 $24,543
Forest Worker Imperial Forestry, Inc. UT Nov 01, 2011 $24,543
Forest Worker Pacific Coast Contracting, Inc. SD Apr 02, 2012 $24,543
Forest Workers Pritchett Forestry Services, Inc. Sweet Water, AL Nov 14, 2016 $24,522
Forest Workers Reforestation Specialists, Inc. Braxton, MS Nov 01, 2016 $24,522
Forest Worker Progressive Solutions LLC DBA Progressive Solution TN Apr 25, 2012 $21,496
Forest Worker Progressive Solutions LLC AR Jun 15, 2011 $21,225
Forest Worker Progressive Solutions LLC AR Feb 01, 2011 $21,225
Forest Worker Northwoods Forestry I Nc. MN Apr 01, 2012 $21,225
Forest Worker Sunrise Reforestation, Inc. OR Feb 01, 2012 $21,204
Forest Worker Silvicultural Management Associates TX Apr 16, 2012 $21,141
Forest Workers Pritchett Forestry Services, Inc. AL Apr 02, 2013 $21,120
Forest Worker Summitt Forests, Inc. CA Jun 17, 2011 $20,870

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Top 10 Best States for Forest Workers

  1. Missouri
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Georgia
  4. Illinois
  5. Michigan
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Ohio
  9. Minnesota
  10. Alaska
  • (17 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (208 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Top Forest Worker Employers

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