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Career profile Forester

Also known as Area Forester, Chief Unit Forester, Environmental Protection Forester, Fire Prevention Forester, Forest Practices Field Coordinator, Forester, Regional Forester, Resource Forester, Silviculturist, Urban Forester

Forester

Also known as Area Forester, Chief Unit Forester, Environmental Protection Forester

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$42,500 - $93,060 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Speaking
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Mathematics
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Law and Government
Core tasks
  • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management and leasing of forest lands.
  • Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings.
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What does a Forester do?

Foresters manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes.

In addition, Foresters

  • may inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement,
  • may determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations,
  • may devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules.

What kind of tasks does a Forester perform regularly?

Foresters are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
  • Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings.
  • Establish short- and long-term plans for management of forest lands and forest resources.
  • Determine methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage.
  • Supervise activities of other forestry workers.
  • Perform inspections of forests or forest nurseries.
  • Plan and direct forest surveys and related studies and prepare reports and recommendations.
  • Direct, and participate in, forest fire suppression.
  • Choose and prepare sites for new trees, using controlled burning, bulldozers, or herbicides to clear weeds, brush, and logging debris.

The above responsibilities are specific to Foresters. More generally, Foresters are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Forester salary?

The median salary for a Forester is $63,980, and the average salary is $66,000. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Forester salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Foresters earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Foresters earn less than $42,500 per year, 25% earn less than $51,890, 75% earn less than $77,010, and 90% earn less than $93,060.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Foresters is expected to change by 10.2%, and there should be roughly 1,400 open positions for Foresters every year.

Median annual salary
$63,980
Typical salary range
$42,500 - $93,060
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
10.2%

What personality traits are common among Foresters?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Forester are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Enterprising interests.

Foresters typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Foresters typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Foresters typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Forester tend to value Independence, Working Conditions, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Foresters strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Foresters moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Foresters moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Foresters must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Foresters, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Foresters need?

Many Foresters will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Foresters usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Foresters

  • 76.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 18.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 5.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Foresters

Foresters may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mathematics, computers and electronics, or law and government knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Foresters might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Important Abilities needed by Foresters

Foresters must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Foresters need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Foresters, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Foresters

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Foresters frequently use skills like monitoring, speaking, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Foresters, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.