Growing into a Green Career in Forestry Management

Put your love of the great outdoors to good use by securing a green job in the forestry management sector. Working directly with nature, most jobs in this field have you outside working to ensure the sustainable management of our forest resources so that they thrive now and regenerate for many centuries to come.

What is Forestry Management?

The world’s forests are immensely important for humanity. Not only are they incredible resource reserves for both wood and non-wood products, they are also home to many indigenous peoples as well as thousands of species of wildlife and plant life. Additionally, forests are important for water and air filtration, fixing carbon dioxide and mitigating climate change, preventing soil erosion, and much more. Managing our forests to protect habitats and local communities, ensure sustainable harvests, and prevent irreversible damage is therefore tremendously important.

But beyond these vital life-sustaining services, forests are also great storehouses for green jobs. Not only do forests feed into many industries (pulp and paper, building supplies, pharmaceuticals, to name a few), there is also a growing labor force of sustainable forest managers worldwide. In fact, the United Nations estimates that if sustainable forestry practices were implemented systematically across the globe, 10 million new jobs could be created. In the US, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) allocated $936 million to forestry jobs, including projects that will restore watersheds, repair trails and roads, maintain public facilities, and remediate abandoned mines.

Though this field encompasses many different disciplines, including things like landscape reforestation, watershed management, atmospheric carbon dioxide measuring, biodiversity, and erosion control, the foundation of all forestry jobs is management of forest ecosystems throughout the entire life cycle – from planting to protection to renewal to harvesting to end product. People who work in this field also find work with companies that deal in wood products and non-timber forest products.

Forestry Green Job Descriptions

Green employment in forestry might mean getting a job with the US Forest Service or another national or municipal forest agency, but it could also mean working with a private firm or even a nonprofit. Some big names in the forestry word include Forest Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance, the American Tree Farm System, ForestEthics, and the American Forest and Paper Association.

To give you an idea of some of the possible green job titles you’ll find in the forest industry, check out this list:

  • Air and Water Quality Analysts
  • Arborist
  • Biologist
  • Botanist
  • Energy Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Firefighter
  • Forest Geneticist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Forest Scientist
  • Forester
  • Forestry Conservation Consultant
  • Forestry Supervisor
  • Freshwater Scientist
  • Genetic Engineer
  • GIS analyst
  • Habitat Conservation Specialist
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Lumberjack
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Natural Resource Scientist
  • Naturalist
  • Packaging Engineer
  • Pulp and Paper Specialist
  • Research Forester
  • Resin Extractor
  • Restoration Planner
  • Rubber Tapper
  • Tree Breeder
  • Water Recycling Specialist
  • Wetlands Scientist
  • Wood technologist

Image Via Flickr: Kaibab National Forest

This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at

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