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Forest/Conservation Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Provides technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. 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, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Natural Resource Systems pathway, Plant Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Keeps records of the amount and condition of logs taken to mills.
  • Manages forest protection activities, including fire control, fire crew training, and coordination of fire detection and public education programs.
  • Trains and leads forest and conservation workers in seasonal activities, such as planting tree seedlings, putting out forest fires, and maintaining recreational facilities.
  • Surveys, measures, and maps access roads and forest areas such as burns, cut-over areas, experimental plots, and timber sales sections.
  • Selects and marks trees for thinning or logging, drawing detailed plans that include access roads.
  • Provides information about, and enforces, regulations such as those concerning environmental protection, resource utilization, fire safety and accident prevention.
  • Monitors activities of logging companies and contractors.
  • Supervises forest nursery operations, timber harvesting, land use activities such as livestock grazing, and disease or insect control programs.
  • Patrols park or forest areas to protect resources and prevent damage.
  • Thins and spaces trees and control weeds and undergrowth, using manual tools and chemicals, or supervises workers performing these tasks.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Firefighter -- Responds to fire alarms and other emergency calls to control and extinguish fires, protect life and property, and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Forestry and Wildlife Manager -- Researches or studies range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife
  • Natural Resources Technician -- Duties may include identifying plants or animals, testing water quality, counting and tagging animals, building trails, measuring trees, and navigating to a site using maps and global positioning.
  • Silviculturist -- Establishes and cares for forest stands.
  • Wildlife Technician -- Studies the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife.
  • Conservation Agent --
  • Soil Technologist --