One industry that employs a large number of workers is the forestry industry. Certified foresters and other forest management workers throughout the country are routinely hired by the state or federal government as well as by private industries. Therefore, someone who may be considering a career in this challenging industry is certainly making a wise choice.
Typically, a forester performs most work outdoors during the first few career years. These entry-level tasks may include things such as: tree measuring and grading; land surveys; insect outbreak evaluations; wildfire containment; water quality evaluation; and planting tree seedlings to name a few. They may travel in tree trucks to deal with loggers and aid in the layout of roads that are built to get the logs to the mill according to the landowners’ requirements. Furthermore, they must abide with the environmental specifications of both the state and federal governments in order to maintain quality at each particular site.
A person who wishes to become a certified forester needs to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from any accredited school. This is the usual minimum entry-level requirement, set forth by the Society of American Foresters, for a person to apply for and obtain a position in this field.
Occasionally, the federal government may allow a person to become a registered forester with the appropriate education combined with enough experience. One major drawback in this scenario is that the person will have more competition with other workers who have degrees at promotion time. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a person obtain a degree.
Certified foresters can find a position in any of the following industries or area:
• State or Federal Government - Certified foresters working for the state or federal government usually have more responsibilities, such as managing public preserves and parks. The government may also hire them to deal with private landowners in order to protect and manage woodland that is privately owned. They may also design campgrounds and other areas for public recreational purposes.
• Industrial - Those certified foresters that are hired by the private industry will usually take care of the process of the procurement of timber. Their responsibilities start with initial contact of local landowners to gain permission to conduct timber cruising. Once the timber has been appraised, they negotiate a price and prepare the procurement contract. A sub-contract is then negotiated with logging companies for the removal of the trees and assistance in the layout of the road to get the harvested logs to the mill. The foresters must maintain close contact with the landowners and the federal or state government to ensure that they are abiding with the landowners’ requirements as well as the federal or state environmental specifications.
• Consulting - Consulting foresters may perform many of the same tasks as their industrial counterparts and even negotiate timber sales; often they act as the landowners’ agents as compared to being agents for a private industry. Their tasks may also include traveling in a tree truck to the potential worksite to handle the supervision of tree planting and the growth of new trees. They are also responsible for site selection and preparation, controlled burning, and methods to clear weeds to name a few. Furthermore, they can give advice as to what kind of tree or trees should be planted, determine the size of the area to be planted, and help in the determination of the planting location to name a few. Their expertise and monitoring may include knowledge of the entire lifespan of the trees, from seedling to the best time for harvesting. In cases where they detect any signs of disease, they are responsible for choosing the best treatment course to prevent the spread of the disease.
The decision to pursue a career as a certified forester requires dedication and determination. Working outdoors can sometimes be challenging. Someone deciding to embark on a career in this profession should be sure that they are well informed about the challenges involved in this profession. Being armed with education and training will help an eager, new professional confront the many challenges they will face in this out-of-doors industry!