Forester Job Description
A forester is a person whose job is focused on forest management and conservation. Foresters develop and manage forest lands and forest resources for economic, recreational and conservation purposes by performing tasks such as planting and monitoring forest trees for healthy growth, supervising forest harvesting, and providing advice and recommendations for the planting and growing of trees.
A forester should be well organized, careful, adaptable, observant, analytical, and good at planning and decision making. They should have physical fitness and stamina, and the ability and willingness to travel and work outdoors.
What does a Forester do?
Foresters may do some or all of the following:
- liaise with landowners, timber merchants and government agencies to manage forests
- plan and oversee the growing, harvesting, marketing and sales of timber
- plan and oversee the planting of groundcovers to prevent soil erosion
- monitor forest trees for healthy growth
- negotiate terms and conditions for timber harvesting and land use contracts
- provide information to farmers and landowners on land use and management
- plan and oversee the clearing of planting sites by controlled burning, bulldozers or herbicides
- plan and oversee wildfire management activities
- plan and prepare budgets for forest activities
- monitor forest activities to ensure they are in compliance with government regulations
- operate and maintain forest equipment such as clinometers, increment borers and bark gauges
- train and supervise junior foresters and other forest workers
Where does a Forester work?
Places of work for foresters include:
- Logging and timber companies
- Pulp and paper mills companies
- Forest and environmental service companies
- Natural resource management and conservation organizations
- Colleges and universities
- Government agencies
Foresters may work normal office hours or irregular hours depending on the kind of work they do. They work indoors in offices and outdoors in forest areas doing fieldworks. During fieldworks, they may be away from home for a period of time, and work outdoors in all weather conditions.
What is Required to Become a Forester?
To become a forester, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a closely related discipline.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Forest products and services
- Watershed hydrology
- Forest ecology
- Wildlife ecology
- Range ecology
- Wildlife management
- Recreation management
- Harvesting planning
- Ecosystem management
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Foresters need to have:
- Physical fitness
- self –motivation
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good analytical and problem solving skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- math and computer skills
- leadership skills
- observation skills
- organizational skills
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability and willingness to travel and perform field work
- knowledge of scientific rules and methods
- knowledge of ecology
- knowledge of soil properties and processes
- knowledge of forest plant and animal organisms
- knowledge of forest measurement and mapping
- knowledge of wildfire management
- knowledge of GIS and remote sensing
- knowledge of forest resource management theories, principles and practices
Should I be a Forester?
Take our career test to find out if this career is ideal for you!
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