If you’re college-bound and interested in a career in the forest sector, there are many opportunities to choose from. This resource guide details these career options, and it will help you identify both college and career paths.
What path will you take?
Just imagine the possibilities.
Management, Policy and Planning
Work to conserve and manage forests and their many natural resources. Develop strategies and policies to ensure a perfect balance between social, economic and environmental concerns.
Chief Forester, Deputy Forester
Forestry and Natural Resource Sciences
A background in biological or physical sciences is the foundation for a career in managing water systems (hydrology), forest ecology, tree physiology regarding insects and disease (entomology and pathology), forest soils, geology and microclimatology.
Forester / Urban Forester / Research Forester / Arborist
Forest / Environmental Consultant
Forest Resource Administrator
Conservation Biology (Soil, Plant, Hydrology, Wildlife, etc.)
Fire Suppression Specialist
Environmental Protection Specialist
Land Use Planner / Land Investment Analyst
Habitat Conservation Specialist
Natural Resource Specialist
Insect and Disease Management
Land Rehabilitation Specialist
Realtor / Real Estate
Professor / Educator
Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Combine your excellent people skills with an intimate knowledge of forests, fish and wildlife. In your job you will help people develop a greater understanding, respect and connection with the forest and its natural wonders.
Parks and Recreation Coordinator
Adventure Travel Guide
Public Information Officer
Supervisor / Parks Maintenance
Environmental Science and Technology
Using GIS and other sophisticated air and water testing technologies, monitor the ecosystem, take measurements and make assessments that will help guide forest management decisions.
Forestry GIS Analyst
Air and Water Quality Specialist / Chemist
Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental Safety Specialist
Water Recycling And Solid Waste Engineer
Watershed Program Director
Water Quality Specialist
Fish and Wildlife Management
A career working with government, industry and private organizations, you will manage and sustain healthy populations of fish and wildlife by drawing from your extensive knowledge of biology and ecology.
Fisheries Biologist / Technician
Wildlife Animal Control Technician
Wildlife Biologist / Wildlife Refuge Manager
Aquatic Toxicologist / Ecologist
Genetics and Biotechnology
How do forest organisms grow, adapt and interact with their environment? Jobs in these rapidly evolving fields of study tackle these types of intricate questions and then use the results to shape the forest of the future.
Tree Improvement Technician
Tissue Culture Specialist
Genetic Engineering Specialist
Professor / Educator
Wood and Paper Science
Try to imagine the number of the wood and paper products being used each day. Now double or even triple it. Be at the forefront with a career that allows you to create new and exciting uses for nature's most abundant and versatile renewable material.
Pulp and Paper Specialist
Wood Science and Engineering
Wood Fiber Acquisition and Sales
Professor / Educator
High school graduates
If you are a high school grad, or soon to be, there are plenty of interesting career opportunities in the forest and wood products sectors that don’t require a college degree.
Check out this guide for descriptions of jobs in wood product production – everything from growing, harvesting and transporting timber to milling and manufacturing wood products. Get a clear picture of the job duties, required skills, working conditions and potential career paths.
Forest sector jobs pay a better-than-average wage
Logging and Forestry Crews
With a job in logging, you’ll work in a team of five to ten and use cutting tools and machinery to move logs safely from stump to roadside landing. You’ll also be involved in reforestation and active management of new forests.
Fire Engine Assistant
Heavy Equipment Operator
With computer monitor, joysticks, buttons, toggles, gauges, levers and pedals you will operate sophisticated equipment to select and fall trees, remove branches and cut them into logs. Then haul them up steep terrain and sort and load them for transport.
Log Loader Operator
Rock Crusher Operator
Grade, select and purchase raw materials for the mill, or supervise the assets needed to bring raw materials to the mill in a manner that is safe for workers and has minimal impact on the forest.
Timber Cruiser and Marker
Log Buyer / Appraiser
Biology / Hydrology Technician
Road Construction Specialist
Fire / Security Watch
Transport logs from remote locations to lumber mills via narrow and steep forest roads and wide highways. Work independently to locate travel routes and guide the safe loading and delivery of your payload.
Log Truck Driver
Dump Truck Driver
Semi Truck Driver
In the field or in the shop, this job will give you an opportunity to diagnose, repair and maintain heavy forestry equipment, trucks and in some cases airplanes and helicopters.
Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Diesel Truck Mechanic
Saw Shop/Motor Mechanic
Field Service Mechanic
Management / Supervision
In addition to coordinating daily work activities, be responsible for ensuring safe working conditions and training and mentoring crewmembers.
Reload / Log Yard Manager
Production / Shift Supervisor
Maintenance or Transportation Manager
Using specialized skills, in this job you will help install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair mill machinery and equipment.
With specialized training, a career in finishing will require that you process timber into lumber and ensure maximum output from both logs and wood byproducts.
Boiler / Dry Kiln Assistant
With a skilled eye, control the conveyor systems and machines that process timber to maximize grade and value.
Rough Stacker Operator
Gang Saw / Sorter Operator
Edger / Optimizer Operator
Move materials and equipment through the mill with constant concern for safety and efficiency.
Truck / Railcar Loader