Careers in Forestry Education

As with any other industry, reforestation changes and adapts as new methods are developed or better understandings of trees and their environment are discovered.

This knowledge management requires teachers and professors to train new people for tomorrow’s forester jobs or business analyst careers, while research scientists are needed to develop the new techniques to maximize reforestation efficiencies.

The activities for a professor at an accredited forestry or natural resources program at a college or university combines teaching and research.

Undergraduate or graduate teaching positions can periodically be found based on background and experience. In addition to the teaching duties, a portion of time is typically filled with research projects, the extent of which is generally dictated by the availability of grants. Many institutions have their own forested areas or have entered into mutually beneficial agreements to manage those owned by private corporations. The forestry professors often are the lead personnel in the forest management activities on these lands. The professors design their programs, with typical projects of focus including general forest management and health, forestry activity impacts on habitat, forest fire management and the impact climate change has on forest systems, which has been increasing in popularity of late.

A salary for a forestry professor is comparable to similar positions in other disciplines at institutions in Canada and the United States. Most positions require a doctorate degree, with at least one in forestry or other natural resources discipline. Many institutions require the position to hold various certifications or licenses found in the forestry industry.

Experience in forest or resource management and a track record of proven research ability is necessary as well.

A research scientist works at various private and public entities to expand the understanding of various topics in the reforestation arena. In addition, governmental entities periodically fund programs for individuals pursuing post-graduate work to research various forestry-related programs. The underlying theme is to develop new, more efficient means to keep forest systems healthy.

Climate change, insect and disease prevention and improved harvesting techniques are just a few of the topics falling within the range of a forestry research scientist. Recent trends have placed a large emphasis on determining the impact of tree harvesting and other reforestation practices on global warming and carbon levels in the atmosphere. As with a professor, a forestry research scientist typically requires a doctoral degree in a natural sciences field. Some positions only require a master’s degree, if a candidate possesses certain unique experience.

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