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Forest and Conservation

Earnings Potential

Earnings vary with the particular forestry or logging occupation and with experience. Earnings range from the minimum wage in some beginning forestry and conservation positions to about $25.46 an hour for some experienced fallers.

Facts at a glance

  • Workers spend all their time outdoors, sometimes in poor weather and often in isolated areas.
  • Most jobs are physically demanding and can be hazardous.
  • A slight increase in overall employment is expected.

Summary of what this career entails

Workers in the forest and conservation field develop, maintain and protect forests by growing and planting new seedlings, fighting insects and diseases that are harmful to trees and helping control soil erosion. Those in the forest and conservation have many jobs in order to reforest and conserve timberlands. Some forest and conservation workers work in what are called forest nurseries. At a nursery, tree seedlings are sorted out and seedlings that don’t meet the proper criteria are thrown out. Forest workers work with either his/her hand or hand tools specific for the job.

Examples and or details of work

A growing concern in the field (at least as far as Australia is concerned) is the fact it is been said by a forest expert that large plantations disrupt societies. The major disruption is that people are being driven off lands such as Tumit in Southern South Wales. The expert, Professor David Lindenmayer, urges forest managers to take into account issues such as the use of water and biodiversity, as well as the effect of communities before planting trees.  

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees that lead to a career in Forest and Conservation include technical (or two-year) degrees in forestry, wildlife management, conservation and forest harvesting. With that said for the most part college degrees are not needed for a job in this field, on the job training is a much more appropriate preparation. There are several training programs for this field. Training programs for loggers and foresters are prevalent throughout the country. What is provided during these programs is classes/lectures that encourage potential workers to sustain the health of the forests in the United States through the Sustainable Forest Initiative program.  Loggers can be certified in certain states, but the classes in all states are generally the same. The classes (or on the field training) include best management practices, environmental practices, safety, endangered species, reforestation and business management. Because tree falling is a job that requires more skill than some other jobs in the field, forestry and logging associations provide training sessions for that profession. Logging companies and associations include the Northeastern Loggers Foundation, the American Loggers Council, and the Forest Resources Association Inc.

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific jobs in the forest and conservation field include tree planters, tree fallers, buckers, choke setters, rigging slingers and chasers, log sorters, markers, movers, and chippers


“Australia: Forest expert says plantations disrupt societies”. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 October 2006. 23 October 2006.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Forest, Conservation, and Logging Workers , on the Internet at