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Fastest Growing First Response Careers

FireLink and the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

12% Projected Job Increase
3,600 New Jobs
Average Salary (2008): $36,410

What’s Ahead

Employment of conservation scientists and foresters is expected to grow by 12 percent during the 2008–18 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. A majority of conservation scientists and foresters are employed by Federal, State, and local governments, and a large percentage of new jobs will be found in these areas.

In recent years, the prevention and mitigation of wildfires has become the primary concern for government agencies managing forests and rangelands.

The Federal Government and some State governments expect a large number of their workers to retire over the next decade. As a result, there is likely to be a large number of job openings for foresters and conservation scientists in government. In general, workers with a 4-year degree from an accredited university program, along with good technical and communication skills, should have the best opportunities for entry-level work.

Specialized Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in forestry, biology, natural resource management, environmental sciences, or a related discipline is the minimum educational requirement for careers in forestry. In the Federal Government, a combination of experience and appropriate education may substitute for a bachelor’s degree, but competition for jobs makes this route to a career in the occupation less common. Foresters who wish to do research or to teach usually need an advanced degree, preferably a Ph.D.

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