Forestry Degree (Meaning, Career Opportunities, Duration, Requirements)

Forestry Degree

Forestry is the science and art of generating, processing, and protecting trees and their resources in order to meet projected needs.

It remains a crucial sector in society as it ensures the conservation of forests and their associated resources for our benefit and the environment. 

Obtaining a forestry degree is a smart decision for anyone because it offers an opportunity to pursue a highly beneficial career. Forestry is an amazing professional field that is pretty fun and less stressful.

Forestry professionals don’t even need to work extra hours to meet targets, and they enjoy good job security than professionals in other sectors. Moreover, forestry jobs attract huge salaries.

Nevertheless, to build a successful career in forestry, this article is recommended for you as it provides important information about forestry.

Forestry Degree

What is Forestry?

Forestry is the science and art of producing, controlling, growing, and preserving forests and their related resources for the benefit of man and the environment.

Forestry is also concerned with the provision of timber, wildlife habitat, landscape, and community protection.

Moreover, forestry focuses on the management of municipal trees in municipal green zones, tree seedlings in nurseries for the development of woodlands, and reforestation processes.

Forestry is a field with a wide scope, and pursuing a forestry degree will expose you to the extensive knowledge required for a successful career in forestry. A practitioner of forestry is known as a forester.

Forestry Degree

Career Opportunities in Forestry

Forestry major graduates enjoy a wide variety of career options. From low-profile positions to expert vocations, below are some jobs you can get with a forestry degree.


Foresters are seasoned professionals that manage and supervise the development of trees. They also provide specialized consultancy services to other professionals in the forestry field.


Silviculturists study the value, regeneration, properties, and evolution of trees in a forest. Their technical skills also help them identify pests and bugs that destroy trees.

Wildlife Biologist:

Wildlife Biologists are experts who observe forest schemes to provide innovative ideas to prevent the destruction of wildlife.

They also work closely with government authorities to re-establish habitat and evaluate the number of wildlife living in a habitat.

Recreation Technician:

Recreation Technicians are highly trained individuals who guarantee people’s safety when they visit the forest and other wildlife habitats.

They put in a lot of technical work behind the scenes to guarantee that visitors to wildlife parks are safe.

Soil scientist:

Soil scientists are trained experts with a good knowledge of the properties of land and water. This knowledge helps them conduct a detailed analysis of trees and the environment that suits them best.

Conservation scientist:

Conservation scientists monitor, develop and care for forests to exploit their potentials without harming the environment. Also, they advise agriculturalists on the efficient management of resources.

Wildlife Firefighter:

Fire can mysteriously engulf a forest. However, Wildlife Firefighters are trained individuals on hand to control wildfires using specialized equipment and machines.

Rangeland Manager:

They are experts that provide technical expertise for the preservation of vegetation animals feed on. 

Forest logging manager:

Forest logging managers are flexible professionals with knowledge of forestry aspects, including forest laws and regulations. They advise logging companies on the best action to take regarding forest logging operations.

Requirements for Forestry Degree:

To excel in forestry major, you need to have a strong knowledge of science, computer sciences, and mathematics.

However, before even gaining admission into a forestry degree program, you must finish high school and possess an excellent SAT or ACT score, in addition to other requirements which vary according to school.

How long does it take to obtain a Forestry Degree

The length of time it takes to earn a forestry degree is determined by the degree level.

Students admitted into an associate degree program will spend a maximum of 2 years in college handling courses that add up to 60 credit loads.

Bachelors’ degree aspirants should excel in 120 credit units in just 4 years. Moreover, Masters’ degree aspirants spend between 1-3 years in school to pass courses that add up to 70 credits.

Doctorate students spend at least four years in college and defend a thesis before having a doctorate honors forestry.

Benefits of pursuing a Forestry Career:

The advantages of obtaining a forestry degree are quite numerous, and they include;

High job potentials:

The forestry field offers lots of job potentials that are highly profitable. Since forestry professionals are quite rare, the government and organizations concerned with forests pay a lot of money to acquire their services.

Safeguard forest for future generations:

As a forest expert, you will play a crucial role in sustaining the lives of future generations by preserving trees that release oxygen into the environment.

Work in a natural environment:

Pursuing a forestry career will offer you an opportunity of working in a natural environment that is free of the bustle and hustle of a commercial city. 

Earn money doing what you love:

If you have an obsession with wildlife and forests, the forestry major also offers an opportunity for you to earn money doing what you love.

The average salary for forestry professionals is $75,000 a year, an excellent salary for a job performed with minimum or no fuse. 

Boosts mental abilities:

Spending more time outdoors as a forestry professional will boost your mood and strengthen you, which positively affects the brain.

Frees time:

Forestry will allow you to enjoy a career that does not consume most of your time.

Unlike most professionals that work up to 10 hours during weekdays and even weekends, forestry professionals work a maximum of 7 hours during weekdays and do not work on the weekend.

This opens up a schedule for leisure and other important engagements.

Learn a specialized field:

Forestry is a field that develops special abilities in people, like identifying diseases and prescribing solutions to challenges affecting wildlife and trees.

Also, a career in forestry will develop and improve your knowledge of the environment, increasing your worth immensely.

Decent job security:

Due to their relative scarcity, most companies are not willing to lose forestry professionals for any reason. Hence, when you land a forestry job, you are not at any risk of losing it.

Boosts health:

Working outdoors in a serene environment will boost your health by destroying stress-inducing hormones that attract serious health challenges. 

Best schools to obtain a Forestry Degree:

Although many schools provide forestry majors, some schools have established forestry degree programs that are exceptional. Hence, in no particular order, below is a list of some of these schools;

University of California, Berkeley:

The University of California in Berkeley is an A-grade university for forestry majors. This university offers the perfect facilities for forestry degree aspirants.

Although admission into this school is highly competitive, enrolling in a forestry major is a life-changing step anyone should take.

University of Washington, Seattle:

The University of Washington offers an outstanding forestry degree program. This school offers you the opportunity of picking a specialty out of 17 different forestry areas.

Moreover, their dedicated staffs combine to provide top-notch learning experiences.

Virginia Tech University:

An outstanding university in Virginia, Virginia Tech University is an ideal destination for forestry degree studies. It is widely regarded as one of the best forestry schools in the United States.

The forestry department at Virginia Tech University boasts of a collection of seasoned faculty members that will mentor you to become excellent forestry professional.

Oregon State University:

Oregon State University runs a forestry degree program that provides up to 10 forestry options. It is an exceptional school for forestry education.

University of Florida:

The University of Florida runs highly organized undergraduate, masters’, and doctorate programs in forestry. Their curricula are carefully planned and designed to give aspiring forestry degree holders the best education.

The University of Florida offers six forestry degree programs providing you with a good variety of options.

University of Wisconsin:

The University of Wisconsin is a top university for forestry degree studies. This school runs a forestry program that provides students with spectacular practical experience before they graduate from the program.

The University of Wisconsin is of high recommendation for those that wish to pursue a career in forestry.

University of Idaho:

Another exceptional university for forestry majors, the University of Idaho, offers nine forestry degree programs tutored by award-winning professors.

The Society of American Foresters

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) is a highly recommended professional organization for you once you begin a forestry major.

This organization will support you with tools for educational and professional improvement through the following incentives;

  • Permanent education at the SAF convention
  • Online access to scientific journals and newsletters
  • Reach out to over 600 credible companies with ease 
  • Means to contribute your ideas to shape government policies


Forestry is a specialized field that you should build your career around.

However, to excel as a professional in the forestry field, develop your knowledge of flora and fauna, have a passion for protecting our natural habitats, master the abilities to operate machines safely, and improve your problem-solving skills. 

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