When you think of a forestry job, you might picture yourself working in nature all day, every day. While that’s true for some forestry jobs, others may require you to work indoors with a computer and other machines.
Regardless of which type of forestry job you choose, it can be a rewarding career path with excellent job security.
Each year, Canada’s forest industry directly employs more than 300,000 people and generates more than $3.4 billion in revenue.
With such high demand for professional forest workers and many Canadians pursuing other careers instead of the forest industry, there are few professionals available to fill open positions.
As an added bonus, there is potential for high earnings if you take the time to research your options before choosing one over another.
Let’s explore some top forestry jobs in Canada and see why they are so appealing.
Jobs for Foresters
There are many forestry jobs, but the most common ones are foresters and forestry technicians.
Forestry jobs can be found in both urban and rural areas and offer a variety of work options, from scientific research to maintenance and management. In order to pursue a career in forestry, you will need at least a high school diploma, preferably a bachelor’s degree in forestry.
Some positions may require a master’s degree. A background in math, science, or engineering can be helpful as you advance in your career. Forestry jobs are full of variety and are often physically demanding.
You will work outside in all types of weather, often outdoors from sunrise to sunset, and you may be required to work at remote locations.
Foresters are responsible for everything that happens in the forest after harvesting trees, including planning the next cutting cycle and reforestation practices.
Forestry technicians assist foresters and other forestry managers with the paperwork and data analysis involved in the forestry industry.
Technicians often specialize in forestry equipment operations, forest sampling, or forestry administration. Forestry technicians can earn up to $40 per hour, and foresters start at $36 per hour.
These are the highest-paid forestry jobs in Canada, and many forestry workers earn significantly more than the average salary of $35,000 per year.
Harvesting Equipment Operator
A harvesting equipment operator drives harvesting machinery such as harvesters, feller bunchers, or wood chippers.
These machines cut down trees, chip trees smaller than 30 centimeters, and gather the wood chips for transport to a truck for delivery. Harvesting equipment operators play a crucial role in the forestry industry and are responsible for ensuring that all timber meets forest management standards.
This involves measuring trees, determining where they should be felled, and controlling harvesting machinery.
Harvesting equipment operators are responsible for the safety of themselves and their co-workers, as well as the surrounding environment.
They are required to have a valid OSH (occupational health and safety) ticket and a valid driver’s license.
Average salary: $42,000 Harvesting equipment operators earn about $42,000 per year, with the potential for higher earnings depending on experience and seniority.
Forestry technicians assist foresters with mapping and analyzing data to determine harvesting strategies and reforestation practices.
Forestry technicians also monitor trees for diseases and pests and maintain logging equipment. Forestry technicians work indoors at a computer and sometimes out in the field.
The salary for a forestry technician varies depending on the size of the company and the experience level of the technician. Forestry technicians can earn $40,000 per year or more. Entry-level technicians with a two-year diploma can earn around $34,000 per year.
Logging foremen and women supervise loggers who cut down trees and remove them from the forest.
Foreman and women work closely with logging equipment operators to ensure that harvesting is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Most logging foremen have a background in forestry or a related field.
Average Salary: $33,000 Logging foremen earn about $33,000 per year.
Foresters plan and oversee all aspects of forestry practices. They also perform reforestation activities and work to protect the forest from pests and diseases.
Foresters are often required to have a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field and may specialize in wildlife management, forest pathology, silviculture (reproduction of forest trees), or forest economics.
Foresters may advance in their careers by earning a master’s degree, conducting research, or taking on leadership roles within the profession. Many foresters work for government agencies, such as the Canada Forest Service.
Others work for consulting companies, universities, or private businesses. The work settings are often outdoors and may involve dangerous conditions, such as working with hazardous chemicals.
The salary for a forester varies by industry and location, but the average salary is $58,000 per year.
Forestry managers plan and oversee all aspects of a forestry business. A forestry manager may oversee a harvesting operation, timber stand, or a wood product manufacturing plant.
Depending on the size of the company, forestry managers may also be responsible for hiring and managing employees.
Forestry managers must have a thorough understanding of the business and stay up-to-date on industry trends. They must be able to make informed decisions regarding the purchase of supplies and equipment and the hiring of workers. They must also keep accurate financial records and report earnings to investors.
A forestry manager may have a degree in forestry or a related field or may have been promoted from a lower-level forestry position. The average salary for a forestry manager is $76,000 per year.
There are many forestry jobs in Canada, and each one provides excellent job security. Foresters, harvesting equipment operators, forestry technicians, foresters, and forestry managers are top forestry jobs and provide excellent employment prospects.
Forestry jobs are a great choice for anyone who loves being outdoors, is interested in a career with a high salary, and enjoys working with people and managing projects.