Foresters and Forestry Technicians

Last updated December 31, 2014

How do you manage a forest so that people can enjoy it for recreation while the needs of the wildlife in the area are also met? How do you protect a forest's water supply while ensuring that it produces a good harvest of trees for a timber company? Foresters often have to make tough decisions to come up with plans that balance economic goals with environmental impact -- all while meeting government regulations.

Foresters develop, manage, use, and protect woodlands and other natural resources, such as water. Forestry technicians help foresters, mostly doing hands-on work outdoors, such as fighting fires or caring for trees in a nursery.

“I like that [my job is] outside … It's always taking me to a different place.” Mike, Urban Forester

Are You Ready To...?

  • Work outdoors
  • Learn about your region's plants and animals
  • Collect data on the size, age, and health of trees
  • Use computers to map and gather info about natural areas
  • Spend more time in the office or lab as you advance in your career

It Helps To Be...

A nature lover in good physical shape who enjoys working outdoors. You need to be a problem solver who likes coming up with original solutions to issues. You should enjoy the sciences, math, and computers. You should also be comfortable communicating with many types of people.

Make High School Count

  • Get a good grounding in the life sciences, such as biology and ecology, and the physical sciences, such as chemistry.
  • Explore courses in such social sciences as economics and government.
  • Build computer skills.

Did You Know?

The National Park Service sometimes sets forest fires deliberately -- to clear out dead brush and prevent wildfires that do more damage.