What Can I Do With This Major?
FORESTRY

FIELDWORK

Inventory
Harvest Planning
Reforestation
Firefighting
Forest Health
Wildlife Management
Recreational Design/Planning

EMPLOYERS
State and federal government agencies: USDA Forest Service, Local, state, and national parks, Reserves, State extension services, State divisions of forestry, Peace Corps, Universities
Private tree care/landscaping companies
Utility companies
Consulting firms
Pulp and paper manufacturers
Timber companies
International: World Bank, United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization
Non-governmental organizations, e.g. The Nature Conservancy

STRATEGIES
Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends. Be prepared to work with minimal supervision, outdoors, in all types of weather conditions. Develop physical stamina, be able to tolerate extensive walking, and be willing to relocate to find employment. Maintain up-to-date computer skills including desktop publishing and specialized tools used in fieldwork. Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills. Learn a foreign language to increase marketability for international employment. Participate in related clubs and organizations like The Society of American Foresters or The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council to build contacts and cultivate academic related interests. Gain knowledge of the social and cultural factors that affect forest management in areas of interest. Take courses in communications, horticulture, landscape architecture, entomology, pathology, urban affairs and planning to increase marketability in urban forestry. Seek volunteer or paid experiences in forestry or conservation. Obtain Certified Forester credential through the Society of American Foresters. Seek forester certification/registration at the state level if applicable. Become familiar with the federal job application process for government employment. Seek management experience to advance e.g. junior forester to forest manager.

FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

Forest Engineering
Production
Wood Science/Utilization
Research
Sales
Marketing
Management
Public Relations

EMPLOYERS
State and federal government agencies:
Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, National and state parks, State extension services, Resource agencies, Universities
Pulp and paper manufacturers
Timber companies
Research groups
Consulting firms

STRATEGIES
Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends. Participate in related clubs and organizations to build contacts and cultivate academic related interests. Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills. Acquire strong background in physical sciences such as physics or chemistry and wood science. Obtain dual degrees in civil engineering and forestry to enter as a forest engineer. Seek experience in sales, marketing, management, or administration to increase marketability in operations. Earn a graduate degree for advanced opportunities in research or management. Plan to earn Ph.D. for employment as a professor. Obtain paid or volunteer experiences in the wood products industry. Become familiar with the federal job application process for government employment.

EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION

Teaching
Research
Public Relations
Environmental Policy/Law

EMPLOYERS
Local, state, and federal government agencies: City, state, and national parks, State extension services, Public schools
Nature centers
Wildlife refuges
Youth camps
Environmental education centers
Universities
Vocational schools
Private schools
Timber companies
Pulp and paper manufacturers

STRATEGIES
Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy and conservation. Develop strong communication skills, particularly public speaking and group presentation skills. Join relevant campus organizations and seek leadership positions. Understand the resources and populace of an area of interest. Earn a minor in journalism, broadcasting, media relations, and/or education to increase marketability. Seek paid or volunteer experiences in a local park, nature camp, or educational center. Obtain teacher certification to secure positions in public education. Obtain advanced degree to teach at the post-secondary level. Become familiar with the federal job application process for government employment. Plan to earn law degree to advance in policy or environmental law.

MANAGEMENT

Resource Recreation
Range/Wildland Management
Forest Management

EMPLOYERS
State and federal government agencies: National and state parks, USDA Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Soil Conservation Service, Department of Defense, State extension services, Fish and Wildlife Service
Botanical/zoological gardens
Historical sites
Land management companies
Land appraisers
Livestock ranches
Private consulting services
Conservation agencies
Universities

STRATEGIES
Maintain knowledge of current environmental issues including policy, conservation, and industry trends. Develop strong communication skills including public speaking, group presentation, and mediation. Maintain up-to-date computer skills including desktop publishing and specialized tools used in fieldwork. Take courses in outdoor recreation, park administration, or outdoor interpretation. Gain knowledge of the sports/leisure, logging/mining activities and wildlife of regions of interest. Acquire strong knowledge of ecology, fiscal procedures, program design, government and social trends. Join student organizations such as Society of American Foresters and Wildlife and Fisheries Student Chapter to network and cultivate academic interests. Be prepared to work with minimal supervision, outdoors, in all types of weather conditions. Develop physical stamina and be able to tolerate extensive walking, and be willing to relocate to find employment. Obtain professional certification from The Society for Range Management. Obtain paid or volunteer experiences in a recreational setting such as a national park or forest. Earn PhD. to obtain employment as a professor.


GENERAL INFORMATION

For entry-level positions, a bachelor's degree is sufficient. Some federal and private agency work, consulting positions, and especially research positions require a graduate degree.

Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, or co-op experiences in field of interest. Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Maintain up-to-date computer skills and knowledge of specialized tools used in fieldwork.

Join a student club, a student professional association, or a local/state/national forestry association to network and cultivate related academic interests.

Plan informational interviews or job shadowing opportunities to make contacts in government and industry and to learn more about specific fields.

Stay current on news in forestry including policy issues, industry trends, and the job market by reading periodicals such as the Journal of Forestry or Forestry Industries. Plan to relocate to national parks, forests, and cities with demand for foresters.

Be prepared to work under minimal supervision.

Many foresters advance from fieldwork to administrative positions.

Teacher certification is required for public education and varies by state.

Contact the Society of American Foresters for updates to the national Certified Forester credential and other similar certifications.

Additional forester certification can be obtained at the state level and varies by state.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2006) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

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