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Career profile Forest Technician

Also known as Biological Science Aide, Forest Technician, Forestry Aide, Forestry Technician, Resource Technician, Timber Appraiser

Forest Technician

Also known as Biological Science Aide, Forest Technician, Forestry Aide

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,970 - $60,910 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Law and Government
Core tasks
  • Thin and space trees and control weeds and undergrowth, using manual tools and chemicals, or supervise workers performing these tasks.
  • Keep records of the amount and condition of logs taken to mills.
  • Monitor activities of logging companies and contractors.
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What does a Forest Technician do?

Forest Technicians provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources.

In addition, Forest Technicians

  • may compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts under the direction of foresters, or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation and fire prevention and suppression,
  • may assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats.

What kind of tasks does a Forest Technician perform regularly?

Forest Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Thin and space trees and control weeds and undergrowth, using manual tools and chemicals, or supervise workers performing these tasks.
  • Train and lead forest and conservation workers in seasonal activities, such as planting tree seedlings, putting out forest fires, and maintaining recreational facilities.
  • Provide information about, and enforce, regulations, such as those concerning environmental protection, resource utilization, fire safety, and accident prevention.
  • Patrol park or forest areas to protect resources and prevent damage.
  • Map forest tract data using digital mapping systems.

The above responsibilities are specific to Forest Technicians. More generally, Forest Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Forest Technician salary?

The median salary for a Forest Technician is $38,940, and the average salary is $42,780. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Forest Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Forest Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Forest Technicians earn less than $27,970 per year, 25% earn less than $31,510, 75% earn less than $51,240, and 90% earn less than $60,910.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Forest Technicians is expected to change by 0.9%, and there should be roughly 4,000 open positions for Forest Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$38,940
Typical salary range
$27,970 - $60,910
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
0.9%

What personality traits are common among Forest Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Forest Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Enterprising, and Investigative interests.

Forest Technicians typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Forest Technicians typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Lastly, Forest Technicians typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Forest Technician tend to value Independence, Support, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Forest Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Forest Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Forest Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Forest Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, adaptability/flexibility, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Forest Technicians, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Forest Technicians need?

Forest Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Forest Technicians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Forest Technicians

  • 2.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 14.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.5% completed some college coursework
  • 13.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 31.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Forest Technicians

Forest Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as public safety and security, customer and personal service, or law and government knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Forest Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Important Abilities needed by Forest Technicians

Forest Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Forest Technicians need abilities such as problem sensitivity, information ordering, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Forest Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Forest Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Forest Technicians frequently use skills like active listening, critical thinking, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Forest Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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