Outdoor Job Descriptions

The following are some of the basic job opportunities typically available through private contractors. Some of the job titles may vary from contractor to contractor, but the essence of the work performed will remain the same. Most, but not all, of these jobs require some previous experience.

Those with no experience, but plenty of enthusiasm, may also find work with private contractors.

Road and Campground Maintenance

This type of maintenance involves cleaning plugged culverts, picking up rocks uncovered by a grader machine, emptying garbage dumpsters, cleaning restrooms, and collecting visitor fees.

Slash Piler/Burner

For this job, employees usually perform one or more of the following: transport and pile slash (woody debris) by hand; ignite slash using a drip torch; set up and use pumps and hoses to wet areas or extinguish spot fires; use hand tools to build fire lines; patrol fire lines; and patrol burned areas to be sure all fire has been extinguished.

Tree Planter

People in this position work planting bare-root or containerized trees using a shovel, hoedad, dibble bar, hoe, or powered auger. They also transport trees in a tree bag and select optimum planting locations to meet spacing, soil, and shade requirements. JobMonkey has a section detailing treeplanting jobs, which shouldn’t be missed.

Tree Nursery Worker

Tree nursery workers maintain trees by pruning, trimming, and shearing to maintain healthy plants by removing dead, diseased, or injured wood. They also control and direct growth to increase the quality or yield of flowers or fruit using pruning shears, lopping shears, pruning saws, pole pruners, and pole saws to trim, prune and shape trees. Additionally, nursery workers remove debris from the job site. The position requires knowledge of ropes, knots, rigging, and hitches, and the operation of equipment such as chain saws, motorized winches, and block and tackle.

Other Reforestation Tasks

Other tasks that may constitute all or a portion of a reforestation worker’s duties include the following:

  • Tree shading: placing shade cards beside seedlings
  • Stream clean out: picking rocks, limbs and other debris out of stream channel to prevent erosion
  • Lookout: observing in forest towers for forest fires
  • Wildlife tree limbing and topping: climbing trees to cut off tops and limbs, or shooting tops out of trees
  • Watchman: patrolling burning unit to assure fire doesn’t escape
  • Vehicle maintenance: washing, oil changing, lubricating, and other light maintenance
  • Gopher baiting: opening gopher runway and spreading poison wheat
  • Cone collection: climbing trees to pick cones, or picking them from the ground
  • Tree netting: placing small plastic tubes over seedlings
  • Trail maintenance: cutting out wind-felled trees across trails, repairing small washouts, and replacing short lengths of trail tread rock
  • Sign installation and maintenance: replacing damaged or obsolete road and trail signs
  • Fire hose maintenance: washing, testing, drying, and rolling fire hoses


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