Forest and Conservation Worker Career

forest-worker-500A career as a forest and conservation worker could see you spending your days working in the beautiful outdoors to maintain, improve and protect forests, woodlands, range lands and other vulnerable natural environments. Working under the supervision of a professional forester or other conservation professionals, forest and conservation workers perform a wide variety of manual labor tasks.

The majority of forest and conservation workers are employed on projects on state or federal lands. Many of these workers are directly employed by various government agencies, but they may also be employed through a private company on a contract basis. A smaller number of forest and conservation jobs are available on privately owned woodlands and nurseries.

Forest and Conservation Worker Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as a forest and conservation worker are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual pay for forest and conservation workers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


jobs in 2014 with 600 new jobs expected to be added by 2024.

Forest Worker Education

Most forest and conservation jobs require employees to have at least completed their high school education. Extensive on-the-job training is then provided to successful applicants so that they can learn all of the various required forestry techniques. There are secondary degrees and certificates in forestry, but those who possess this type of education are generally the supervisors and other higher ups.

Forest Worker Job Duties

The duties of a forest and conservation worker can vary quite widely depending on the type of project they are working on. These duties can include anything from cutting down trees, to raising and transplanting saplings and using pesticides and other methods to combat insects. Forest workers are also important in the fight against forest fires, as these workers are often assigned to cut down dead sections of forest to prevent fire. Due to the potential hazards of many forestry tasks, safety is also a major priority in all forest and conservation jobs.

Forest Worker Salaries

Forestry workers can expect a fairly average salary in terms of manual labor positions. In 2015, the median annual salary for all forest and conservation workers was just under $30,000 according to reports. Those in the bottom 10 percent of jobs made only around $19,000, whereas the top 10 percent of workers took home a yearly paycheck of approximately $49,000.

Forest Worker Job Outlook

The total number of forest workers is expected to grow at a relatively slow rate over the next 10 years. The predicted growth rate of 4 percent is lower than the average for other jobs. However, the overall growth rate depends heavily on the demand for U.S. timber products, which means that an increased demand could lead to a much greater rise in the number of available forestry jobs.

Forest and Conservation Worker Skills & Traits

Forest Worker Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Forest Workers:Typical Work Activities:
• Coordination
• Speaking
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Problem Sensitivity
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Deductive Reasoning
• Forestry saws
• Portable ladders
• Planting drills
• Phillips head screwdrivers
• Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
• Performing General Physical Activities
• Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

Related Careers

Agricultural Workers

No Formal Educational Credentials

Logging Workers

High School Diploma or Equivalent

Conservation Scientists & Foresters

Bachelor’s Degree

What Do Related Careers Pay?