Types of Jobs You Can Get With a Forestry Degree

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Forestry degrees focus on sustainable use of forest resources. Courses cover topics such as wildlife management, forest ecology, recreation management, harvest planning and wildland fire. These and other courses equip students with the knowledge they need to spearhead the conservation of forests. Graduates have the opportunity to choose from a variety of jobs, including recreation manager, conservation scientist, firefighter, forest ranger and forestry teacher.

Sun shinning through trees in forest.
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Conservation scientists work to promote the preservation of forest resources. They ensure conservation activities, such as weeding, are done in accordance with relevant forest conservation regulations. Scientists also work with landowners to develop land use strategies that are environmentally friendly. Aspiring conservation scientists must earn at least a bachelor’s degree in forestry. Employers include social advocacy organizations and government agencies like the U.S. Forest Service. In 2013, the average annual wage for conservation scientists was $63,330, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Woman weeding plants.
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The National Park Service, state departments and local governments hire firefighters to prevent and manage wildland fires. During a fire, they drive trucks and other firefighting equipment to the scene and strive to suppress the fire. They also maintain equipment and educate the public about preventing wildland fires. Prospective wildland firefighters can get started with an associate’s degree in forestry. In 2013, all firefighters earned a mean annual wage of $48,270, the BLS reports.

Firefighters spraying water on forest fire.
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Professionals with a baccalaureate in forestry can find jobs as wildlife managers. They use their knowledge of wildlife management to control the interaction between people and wild animals. Managers, for instance, ensure the harvesting of forests doesn’t threaten wildlife. Like most foresters, wildlife managers are mainly hired by government agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state departments and conservation organizations. The annual average wage for wildlife managers in 2014 was $46,000, according to job site Indeed.

A bear attempting to catch a salmon swimming up river.
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Forestry lecturers share their knowledge with students pursuing degrees in forestry, conservation science and other related fields. They participate in the selection of students who have applied to study these courses, plan and deliver lectures to students, grade assignments, examinations and research papers, and advise students on career choices. Apart from instructing students, these lecturers also engage in research activities. Aspiring forestry lecturers must earn at least a master’s degree. As per the BLS, the annual average wage for forestry and conservation science teachers in 2013 was $82,620.

Students taking notes in lecture hall.
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