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Career profile Forestry Support Specialist

Also known as Conservation Officer, Field Laborer, Forest Resource Specialist, Forestry Support Specialist, Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator), Park Maintainer, Reforestation Worker, Tree Planter

Forestry Support Specialist

Also known as Conservation Officer, Field Laborer, Forest Resource Specialist

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$23,400 - $48,700 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Coordination
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Geography
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Gather, package, or deliver forest products to buyers.
  • Sow or harvest cover crops, such as alfalfa.
  • Check equipment to ensure that it is operating properly.
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What does a Forestry Support Specialist do?

Forestry Support Specialists under supervision, perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect areas such as forests, forested areas, woodlands, wetlands, and rangelands through such activities as raising and transporting seedlings; combating insects, pests, and diseases harmful to plant life; and building structures to control water, erosion, and leaching of soil.

In addition, Forestry Support Specialists includes forester aides, seedling pullers, tree planters, and gatherers of nontimber forestry products such as pine straw.

What kind of tasks does a Forestry Support Specialist perform regularly?

Forestry Support Specialists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Check equipment to ensure that it is operating properly.
  • Confer with other workers to discuss issues, such as safety, cutting heights, or work needs.

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

Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Forestry Support Specialist salary?

The median salary for a Forestry Support Specialist is $30,640, and the average salary is $33,520. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Forestry Support Specialist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Forestry Support Specialists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Forestry Support Specialists earn less than $23,400 per year, 25% earn less than $27,250, 75% earn less than $37,550, and 90% earn less than $48,700.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Forestry Support Specialists is expected to change by -7.9%, and there should be roughly 1,800 open positions for Forestry Support Specialists every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$23,400 - $48,700
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Forestry Support Specialists?


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 Forestry Support Specialist are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Forestry Support Specialists 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, Forestry Support Specialists typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


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 Forestry Support Specialist tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Forestry Support Specialists 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.

Second, Forestry Support Specialists moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Forestry Support Specialists moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

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 Forestry Support Specialists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as independence, attention to detail, and cooperation.

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

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Forestry Support Specialists need?

Forestry Support Specialists often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Forestry Support Specialists usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Forestry Support Specialists

  • 26.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 27.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 15.8% completed some college coursework
  • 8.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 19.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.9% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Forestry Support Specialists

Forestry Support Specialists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as geography, public safety and security, or administrative knowledge.

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

Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Important Abilities needed by Forestry Support Specialists

Forestry Support Specialists 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, Forestry Support Specialists need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Forestry Support Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Critical Skills needed by Forestry Support Specialists

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.

Forestry Support Specialists frequently use skills like speaking, coordination, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Forestry Support Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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.