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Forestry
From Grolier's The New Book of Knowledge
Most foresters have a college degree, and it is not uncommon for forestry professionals to pursue a master's degree or doctorate as well. A forestry degree in the United States can be pursued at any one of 48 schools accredited by the Society of American Foresters. However, since forestry's emphasis on fieldwork calls for specific skills, many vocational and technical schools offer their own programs. Germany and other heavily forested countries have such a large market for forestry that they often employ nonprofessionals as well, mainly as field assistants who work under the supervision of well-trained professionals.

Of the 20,000 or so foresters in the United States, about half are employed by federal, state, or local government agencies, notably by the U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In the private sector, many foresters work for paper companies, chemical manufacturers, and even railroads or mining companies (which own large tracts of land). Any organization in the public or private sector that owns or oversees forestlands needs to employ foresters to preserve its resources and to ensure compliance with environmental legislation. Other careers in the field include education or consulting.

Entry-level jobs in forestry include compassman (working with mapmaking crews), forest-fire spotter or dispatcher, or one of myriad positions assisting more-experienced scientists in cataloging, cutting, protecting, and maintaining forests. Experienced foresters supervise planting crews, evaluate timber, designate timber for cutting, inspect logging practices, serve as consultants for environmental agencies, work in public relations, or perform any of a host of other tasks. Salaries are competitive, especially now that the need for more forestry professionals is growing every day.

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