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Forest and Conservation Workers Career

Career Description

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. Includes forester aides, seedling pullers, and tree planters.

What Job Titles Forest and Conservation Workers Might Have

  • Crew Leader
  • Foreman
  • Forest Resource Specialist
  • Tree Planter

What Forest and Conservation Workers Do

  • Check equipment to ensure that it is operating properly.
  • Confer with other workers to discuss issues such as safety, cutting heights, or work needs.
  • Gather, package, or deliver forest products to buyers.
  • Sow or harvest cover crops, such as alfalfa.
  • Spray or inject vegetation with insecticides to kill insects or to protect against disease or with herbicides to reduce competing vegetation.
  • Maintain tallies of trees examined and counted during tree marking or measuring efforts.
  • Identify diseased or undesirable trees and remove them, using power saws or hand saws.
  • Drag cut trees from cutting areas and load trees onto trucks.
  • Sort tree seedlings, discarding substandard seedlings, according to standard charts or verbal instructions.
  • Operate skidders, bulldozers, or other prime movers to pull a variety of scarification or site preparation equipment over areas to be regenerated.
  • Explain or enforce regulations regarding camping, vehicle use, fires, use of buildings, or sanitation.
  • Perform fire protection or suppression duties, such as constructing fire breaks or disposing of brush.
  • Examine and grade trees according to standard charts and staple color-coded grade tags to limbs.
  • Erect signs or fences, using posthole diggers, shovels, or other hand tools.
  • Fight forest fires or perform prescribed burning tasks under the direction of fire suppression officers or forestry technicians.
  • Provide assistance to forest survey crews by clearing site-lines, holding measuring tools, or setting stakes.
  • Select or cut trees according to markings or sizes, types, or grades.

What Forest and Conservation Workers Should Be Good At

  • 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 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.

What Forest and Conservation Workers Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - 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.
  • Conventional - 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.

What Forest and Conservation Workers Need to Learn

  • Geography - 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Biology - 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Median Salary: $26,940

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.