Forestry engineers, or foresters, monitor and maintain forested lands. They advise forest owners on the activities that should be done in order to heal or preserve the trees. They also develop plans for regeneration of forested lands that have been exhausted, plan tree planting designs and monitor tree growth, and ensure that owners comply with the governments' environmental policies. These specialists work all across the country, and their salaries depend heavely on the employer type.
Forest engineers earned an annual mean wage of $55,220 in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau reports that the lowest 10th percentile earned up to $35,250 a year; the following 25th percentile made $43,310 per year; the median was $53,840; the 75th percentile received $65,800; and the top-paid 90th percentile earned around $75,310 a year.
The largest employers of foresters in 2009, according to the bureau, were state, federal and local governments, with average annual salaries of $50,560, $62,200 and $52,590 a year, respectively. Foresters were paid top dollar working for natural gas distribution enterprises, at $81,270 a year; electric power companies, at $63,580 a year; the freight trucking industry, at $63,390 a year; and electronic wholesalers, at $62,300 a year on average.
Foresters working in California, New Jersey, Alaska, Connecticut and Illinois received highest salaries in 2009, according to the bureau. The average salaries in those states ranged from $61,650 to $67,220 a year. Alaska was also in the list of the top five states with the highest concentrations of these professionals. Other states included in that list were Montana, Oregon, Idaho and Washington with average annual salaries ranging from $52,690 to $60,320.
The bureau reports that in 2009, Washington, D.C., was the highest-paying city for forestry engineers, at $79,200 average a year. It was followed by Redding and Sacramento, California, with average salaries of $69,870 and $69,190 a year, respectively. Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chicago, Illinois, also made it as the top five highest-paying cities with annual mean wages of $67,710 and $64,660, respectively.