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Forestry and Conservation

Career Overview

Forest and conservation technicians are responsible for compiling the basic data on a forested area. They measure timber and produce estimates used to compile harvest estimates. They may supervise logging operations and assist in road building in the area, under the supervision of a forester. Forestry and conservation technicians may also engage in surveying, establishing property lines and topographic features.

Education

Most forestry technicians work for the government. The federal government has several entry level options, one of which requires only a high school diploma and some experience in the field. The most attractive option includes 1 year of study beyond high school, including courses such as forestry, agriculture, range, conservation of wildlife, watershed management, soil science, and outdoor recreation.

Employment

There were about 34,000 forestry and conservation technicians working in 2006, according to the Department of Labor. Just over three quarters of them worked for the federal government, and an additional seventeen percent worked for a state government agency.

Job Outlook

The projected job growth for this profession is about the same, or slightly slower than the average growth rate for jobs overall. The reduction in need for monitoring in federal forest lands may be offset somewhat by increases in efforts to create urban forest projects, protection of watershed areas and pest control in current forest lands.

Salary

Lowest 10% $22,540

Median Salary $32,000

Highest 10% $51,810

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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