What Do Forest and Conservation Workers Do?
Forest and Conservation Workers exist to maintain and improve the quality of the nation’s forests. This work entails manual labor and maintenance skills to protect forested areas including rangeland, wetland, and woodland areas. These workers labor under the supervision of foresters and conservation technicians to develop and protect the country’s forests. This type of work is expected to increase 5% every year in the United States. This increase in positions means there is an average of 230 new jobs available annually. Theses positions are available in areas of the country where forested areas are more prominent.
Forest and Conservation Workers Skills and Abilities
For individuals that work in this field, knowledge of geography and the fundamentals of forestry are essential. Also having an understanding of various aspects of public safety and security, such as equipment, policies and procedures, is imperative. A foundation in biology will also be important including identification of plant and animals and how members of the forest interact with each other and their environment. Physical strength, deductive reasoning, communication skills and the ability to sense problems or issues are all elements of effective forestry abilities.
Forest and Conservation Workers Duties
This type of work requires a varied skillset as individuals work with both the environment and the public in order to keep forested areas safe and protected. The ability to perform work directly with the public is just as necessary as being able to perform physical activity and problem solve issues as they arise. Knowledge of the biological makeup of the area is another factor and should not be overlooked for people seeking a career in forestry. A small overview of some of the potential tasks associated with conservation work include:
- Maintain equipment
- Utilization of chemicals to eliminate competing vegetation or harmful insect growth
- Thin or space tree growth
- Plant trees and vegetation
- Provide fire protection tasks and help prevent and fight forest fires
- Enforce camping rules and regulations
- Build agricultural structures
- Transport equipment, crops or animals
Forest and Conservation Workers Tools and Technology
An understanding of forestry equipment is also needed to perform these tasks well. This includes power tools such as forestry saws to cut or trim trees, sprayers to spread chemicals, and standard tools for maintenance and building structures. Knowledge of equipment vehicles is also required such as four-wheel drive and all terrain vehicles to reach any area of the territory. Familiarity with agricultural equipment, such as tractors, may also be necessary.
Education and Training for Forest and Conservation Workers
While there is plenty of specialized knowledge required for a position doing forestry work, all that is often required to get the job is a high school diploma. This is a very specific field of work and, often, those holding the position are trained on the job. There are options available for individuals to take coursework in biology, forestry and public safety to increase their odds of obtaining a job in this field. However, this is rarely a requirement to land this type of role.
Forest and Conservation Workers Salary
This type of work is extremely important for the protection of the environment and forested areas. The average salary for forest and conservation workers in the United States is around $27,200 a year, or $13.06 per hour. Entry-level employees earn less and the lowest 10% take home around $16,800 a year. Those who have been working in the field a long time can earn around $46,400 a year utilizing their expertise.
Forest and Conservation Workers Jobs by Geography
States with a higher concentration of forested areas will have the most need for forestry assistance. The states along the west coast – Oregon, California, and Washington – have the highest concentration of forest and conservation workers in the United States. There are over 10,000 positions of this type across the country but around 6,000 of those are situated near the Pacific Ocean.