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Forestry Degree Online

Within the forestry profession, there are many different jobs you can take up, depending upon your interests and your level of education. Entry level positions can be applied for with an associate’s degree and are a great way to gain experience in the field. When you’re ready to move up the ladder, you can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field for more advanced roles. Most of these degrees can be taken online.

If you are interested in learning more about forestry as a profession, read on to learn more and find out what qualifications you need to have to enter this profession.

What is forestry?

Forestry is a profession which has a wide range of applications and therefore offers a variety of different jobs and career opportunities. Some of these jobs include conservationist, park ranger, forestry manager, and agricultural and fisheries management.

What are some of the job duties and responsibilities in a career in forestry?

  • Manage and protect forested lands
  • Monitor plants and insects for any form of diseases
  • Collect and study data on the forest
  • Clear excess trees and bushes
  • Manage forest fires
  • Find ways to maintain a healthy growth of forests
  • Manage and protect national parks and natural resources
  • Work with government agencies, private companies, and landowners to improve the use of land
  • Create detailed plans for new forestry projects
  • Supervise and carry out conservation initiatives

How to pursue a career in forestry

For those interested in pursuing a career in forestry, there are many options for you to choose from in terms of what to do. Depending on what area of forestry you choose to work or specialize in, you’ll need to have certain qualifications. For entry level positions, an associate’s degree in forestry will typically suffice. However, more and more employers prefer applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Advanced positions in the field require you to have a graduate degree and relevant in-field training and experience.

If you want to take a forestry degree online, do some research to see which universities offer the best programs in the field.

In general, here are some of the steps you can follow to pursue a career in forestry.

Steps to pursuing a career in forestry

1. Get an associate’s degree in the field of forestry

2. Get an bachelor’s degree in the field of forestry

3. Get an master’s degree in the field of forestry

4.  Gain relevant in-field experiences in the field of forestry 

Associate's Degree in Forestry

Two-year associate’s degree programs in the field of forestry are designed to give students an introduction to the field. With this degree, students may apply for certain entry level positions in the field such as a utility forester, forestry technician, nature interpreter, or recreation technician.

These degrees feature a wide range of courses, predominately in the physical sciences. Some programs also offer students the chance to participate in field work.

Degree

Duration

Some of the courses offered

Associate’s degree in forestry 

2 years

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Physics
  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Ecology
  • Soil science
  • Forest management

Bachelor’s degree in forestry

If you are looking to take on professional positions in the field of forestry, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in the field. Firstly, students will be taught a variety of foundational science courses. Afterwards, you will progress to learning about forestry specific courses.

When you are looking for undergraduate programs in the field of forestry, be sure to choose programs which are accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). This will demonstrate to prospective employers that you have all the training and knowledge required in order to take on professional forestry work.

Degree

Duration

Some of the courses offered

Bachelor’s degree in forestry 

4 years

  • Biology
  • Hydrology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Environmental science
  • Ecology
  • Forestry
  • Social sciences
  • Natural resources management

 

Master's Degree in Forestry

If you want to take on advanced positions in the field such as in research, teaching, policy, or managerial techniques and positions, you will likely need to have a graduate degree in forestry. These programs are designed to give you advanced knowledge in the field as well as allow you to take part in advanced scientific coursework.

In order to apply for a graduate program in the field, you must have a significant amount of experience in the field of forestry and natural resource management. As part of the program, you will have to complete a capstone project or thesis.

With a graduate degree in forestry, you can apply for positions in environmental consulting, government agencies, nonprofit environmental organizations, wildlife and range management, and private companies.

Degree

Duration

Some of the courses offered

Master’s degree in forestry 

2 years

  • Ecology
  • Natural science research methods
  • Administrative policy
  • Forest dynamics
  • Environmental law and policy
  • Tree physiology
  • Taxonomy
  • Soil science
  • Hydrology
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Policy and management

Forestry Career Prospects and Salary

If you’re interested in learning more about what a career profile for the forestry industry looks like, you can look for information on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Information for this profession can be found under the profile of Forest and Conservation Workers.

According to BLS, professionals in this field made an annual median salary of $26,190 per year as of May 2015, which translates to about $12.59 per hour. In terms of job outlook and employment growth, this industry is expected to see a 4% increase between 2014 and 2024. That is a slower than average growth rate, the average being 7% for most professions.

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