A forester is a multi-disciplined natural resource manager whose profession has collectively increased our forest resources over the last century. Foresters have a proud history of over 100 years of managing North American forests and positively regulating North American deforestation. The first University founding a school for forester higher education was Yale in 1900 - nearly 110 years devoted to the Science of Forestry.
Although some of the work is solitary, a forester has to also deal regularly with landowners, loggers, forestry technicians and yes, politicians. A forester works with farmers, ranchers, government officials, special interest groups and the public in general. Some foresters work regular hours in offices or labs but this is usually the experienced forester or forester with a graduate level degree. The average "dirt forester" divides his/her time between field work and office work, many opting to spend most of the time outside.
Biltmore, First American Forestry School
Of all the natural resource professions, forestry may be the most misunderstood of the lot. Many kids and adults asking me about becoming a forester haven't a clue that it takes a four year degree. A bachelor's degree in forestry is the minimum educational requirement for a professional forester. The accreditation of these college programs are overseen by the Society of American Foresters.
South Carolina Forestry Commission
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest employer of a forester is state and federal government. However, the government is not the only source for forester employment. The forest products industry is a very large employer and routinely hires foresters, forestry technicians and forestry workers throughout the United States and Canada. There are also forestry consulting companies and private organizations that regularly seek a forester for employment.
Careers in Forestry
Finding a job for a forester takes some effort and preparation. Just having a degree does not insure you get a job offer. Here is a list of things to do after graduation.
Forest Inventory Equipment
I often am asked what a forester does. Here is a list of questions most often asked about a career in forestry and becoming a forester. Find answers to questions about educational qualifications for foresters, forester activities, salaries, professional organizations and many more.
Although a Forester does not start a career making a six figure pay check, a forester is well payed and employers who write the checks are the first to recognise the value of this natural resource professional. Most foresters do very well as their experience increases and reputations are developed.
An arborist works with individual trees and knows the essentials for their surviving and thriving in different environments. Interestingly enough, many arborists are trained foresters. Urban forestry is a growing sub-discipline of the modern forestry school and graduates are often hired by municipal governments that have aggressive tree progams.
Here is a short list of biographies of individuals that have made major impacts on forestry and tree issues. Some are foresters, some are arborists, one is an artist and his bear. If your favorite is not here, let me know.