Career Profile: Foresters (French...

Career Profile: Foresters (French version available)

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Trees are important in our world for producing oxygen, providing a home for animals, and giving us wood to use. Although cities and towns also have trees, forests have the largest number of trees, and keeping them safe is important. If you want to help, the job of forester might be a good choice for you.

Maintaining forests can be difficult. Every year, fires burn large numbers of trees, or diseases kill them. People cut trees down to use for fuel or to make into tables, chairs, or other objects. Keeping forests from disappearing or dying can be a complicated job. Foresters keep track of the health of forests and work to reduce threats to the trees.

Many activities can be part of a forester’s work. They might help restore a forest by planning tree planting projects, work with conservation, regulate logging activities, and manage areas that are protected. This work involves research about trees and other plants, animals, and anything else that affects the health of the forests.

Some of the work that foresters do is based in laboratories and offices, but some is out in the forests, taking soil samples and checking for problems that they might find. Often, foresters work with others, but they should also be able to work alone. Indoor work can be very detailed and can be tedious at times, but the outdoor work can be strenuous. Although foresters can work in this field until retirement, they might want to reduce their outdoor work as they age. Being prepared for bad weather is important.

Requirements for this job vary, but foresters generally need at least a bachelor’s degree in forest management, natural resources, or a similar subject. Almost all universities have three- or four-year degrees in these areas. In high school, courses in biology, mathematics, natural resources, and computers can be useful. As always, English courses are also beneficial. Foresters need to keep up with new research and information. Being able to read and understand this information is very important.

Finding work as a forester can be difficult, but job prospects in Canada will likely improve as people retire. Jobs are available in timber companies, governments, provincial and national parks, universities, and elsewhere. Some foresters are self-employed, working as consultants for various companies and agencies. They might even work for small companies or occasionally for individuals.

Salaries for foresters depend on where they work and how much experience they have. Generally, salaries start at about $42,000 per year and can rise to $95,000 per year. Although foresters can do much of their research work from almost anywhere, living close to forests is best. Often, this means living quite far north, but some people can work with urban forests or other areas with trees.

Working as a forester involves both theoretical and practical tasks. People in this job need to be able to deal with difficult situations, such as non-functioning equipment or sometimes wild animals that live in the forests. Being prepared for emergencies is important. Besides that, knowing the job well can help foresters when they are under pressure to finish a project.

Working as a forester can be a good way of helping to preserve Canada’s trees. If you like both practical and theoretical work, this could be a good job for you.



AgCareers.com. “Career Profiles: Forester.” https://www.agcareers.com/career-profiles/forester.cfm.

Eco Canada. “Forester.” https://eco.ca/career-profiles/forester/.

Job Bank. “Forester in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/wages-occupation/2733/ca.

Payscale Canada. “Average Forester Salary in Canada.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Forester/Salary.

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