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Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Fieldwork

  • Forest Inventory
  • Harvest Planning
  • Reforestation
  • Fire Fighting
  • Forest Health Monitoring
  • Forest Ecology
  • Wildlife Management
  • Ranger Services
  • Recreational Design/Planning
  • Urban and Community Forestry
  • Environmental Conservation

  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Forest Service
    • Fish and Wildlife Service
    • National Park Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • Natural Resources Conservation Service
    • Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service
    • Geologic Survey
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Corps of Engineers
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • State government including:
    • Municipalities
    • Parks and Reserves
    • Extension Services
    • Divisions of Forestry or Natural Resources
    • Departments of Environmental Conservation
  • Private forestry consultants
  • Universities
  • International:
    • World Bank
    • United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization
    • Peace Corps
  • Non-governmental organizations, e.g. The Nature Conservancy
  • Private tree care/landscaping companies
  • Utility companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Pulp and paper manufacturers
  • Timber companies

  • Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends.
  • Be prepared to work with minimal supervision, outdoors, in all types of weather conditions.
  • Develop physical stamina, be able to tolerate extensive walking, and be willing to relocate to find employment.
  • Learn to map and describe parcels of land using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and  Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
  • Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Participate in related clubs and organizations like The Society of American Foresters or The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council to build contacts and cultivate academic related interests.
  • Gain knowledge of the social and cultural factors that affect forest management in areas of interest.
  • Take courses in communications, horticulture, landscape architecture, entomology, pathology, urban affairs, and planning to increase marketability in urban forestry.
  • Seek volunteer or paid experiences in forestry or conservation.
  • Obtain Certified Forester credential through the Society of American Foresters.
  • Earn forester certification or registration at the state level if applicable.
  • Become familiar with the federal job application process for government employment.
  • Seek management experience to advance e.g. junior forester to forest manager.
  • Learn a foreign language to increase marketability for international employment.

 


Management

  • Forest Management, e.g. Forest Thinning, Tree Planting, Restoration, Insect and Disease  Management
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Range Management
  • Wildlife Habitat Management
  • Fire Planning/Control
  • Program Analysis
  • Silviculture
  • Agroforestry
  • Urban Forestry
  • Watershed Management
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Forest Service
    • Fish and Wildlife Service
    • National Park Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • Natural Resources Conservation Service
    • Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service
    • Corps of Engineers
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • State government including:
    • Parks
    • Reserves
    • Extension Services
    • Divisions of Forestry
  • Botanical/zoological gardens
  • Historical sites
  • Land management companies
  • Land appraisers
  • Livestock ranches
  • Private consulting services
  • Conservation agencies
  • Private landowners
  • Obtain paid or volunteer experiences in recreational settings such as a national parks or forests.
  • Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends.
  • Develop strong communication skills including public speaking, group presentation, and
    mediation.
  • Gain experience with technology and computer software relevant to the field of forestry, such as GIS and GPS.
  • Take courses in outdoor recreation, park administration, or outdoor interpretation.
  • Learn about the sports/leisure, logging/mining activities, and wildlife in regions of interest.
  • Seek information about fiscal procedures, program design, government regulations, and industry trends.
  • Join student organizations such as Society of American Foresters and Wildlife and Fisheries Society Student Chapter to network and cultivate academic interests.
  • Be prepared to work with minimal supervision, outdoors, in all types of weather conditions.
  • Develop physical stamina and be able to tolerate extensive walking.
  • Prepare to relocate to find employment.
  • Research the professional certification from The Society for Range Management.
  • Learn about government hiring procedures and seek assistance form campus career centers.


Forest Products (Paper/Wood) Industry

  • Forest Engineering
  • Production/Quality Control
  • Wood Science/Utilization
  • Resource Procurement
  • Forest Management
  • Research (bio-based products)
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Consulting
  • Local, Wood, wood products, pulp, and paper manufacturers, e.g. International Paper, Georgia         Pacific
  • Consumer goods producers, e.g. Kimberly-Clark
  • Timber companies
  • Research groups
  • Consulting firms
  • Private landowners
  • Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends.
  • Participate in related clubs and organizations to build contacts and cultivate academic related interests.
  • Hone communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Acquire strong background in physical sciences such as physics or chemistry and wood science.
  • Seek experience through internships or volunteer positions in the paper and wood products
    industry.
  • Obtain dual degrees in civil engineering and forestry to enter as a forest engineer.
  • Gain experience in sales, marketing, management, or administration to increase marketability in operations.
  • Join the Society of Wood Science and Technology or the Forest Products Society to stay abreast of industry trends.
  • Earn a graduate degree for advanced opportunities in research or management.


Education and Other

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Conservation Education
  • Visitor Education
  • Landowner Education
  • Public Relations
  • Environmental Policy/Law
  • Universities and colleges
  • Local, state, and federal government agencies including:
    • City, state, and national parks
    • State extension services
  • Nature centers
  • Wildlife refuges
  • Youth camps
  • Environmental education centers
  • Law firms
  • Earn a Ph.D. to teach at a university.  Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations.
  • Assist a professor with a research project or complete an independent study course.
  • Participate in summer research programs.
  • Publish research in a national journal, e.g. Forest Products Journal.
  • Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy and conservation.
  • Develop strong communication skills, particularly public speaking and group presentation skills.
  • Join relevant campus organizations and seek leadership positions.
  • Understand the resources and populace of an area of interest.
  • Seek paid or volunteer experiences in a local park, nature camp, or educational center.
  • Become familiar with the federal job application process for government employment.
  • Earn a minor in a communications to increase marketability in that field.
  • Plan to earn a law degree to advance in policy or environmental law.


General Information and Strategies

  • For entry-level positions, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient.  Some federal and private agency work, consulting positions, and many research positions require a graduate degree.
  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, or internship experiences in field of interest.
  • Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Maintain up-to-date computer skills and knowledge of specialized tools used in fieldwork.
  • Join a student organization or local/state/national forestry association to network and cultivate related academic interests.
  • Schedule informational interviews or job shadowing opportunities to make contacts in government and industry and to learn more about specific fields.
  • Stay current on news in forestry including policy issues, industry trends, and the job market by reading periodicals such as the Journal of Forestry or Forestry Industries.
  • Develop a knowledge base in academic research related to forestry.
  • Plan to relocate to national parks, forests, and cities with demand for foresters.
  • Be prepared to work under minimal supervision.  Many foresters advance from fieldwork to administrative positions.
  • Contact the Society of American Foresters for updates to the national Certified Forester credential and other similar certifications.
  • Additional forester certification can be obtained at the state level and varies by state.