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Forest/Conservation Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Under supervision, performs manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect areas such as forests, forested areas, woodlands, wetlands, and rangelands through such activities as raising and transporting seedlings; combating insects, pests, and diseases harmful to plant life; and building structures to control water, erosion, and leaching of soil.

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


A person in this career:

  • Checks equipment to ensure that it is operating properly.
  • Confers with other workers to discuss issues such as safety, cutting heights, or work needs.
  • Gathers, packages, or delivers forest products to buyers.
  • Sows or harvests cover crops, such as alfalfa.
  • Sprays or injects vegetation with insecticides to kill insects or to protect against disease or with herbicides to reduce competing vegetation.
  • Maintains tallies of trees examined and counted during tree marking or measuring efforts.
  • Identifies diseased or undesirable trees and removes them, using power saws or hand saws.
  • Drags cut trees from cutting areas and loads trees onto trucks.
  • Sorts tree seedlings, discarding substandard seedlings, according to standard charts or verbal instructions.
  • Operates skidders, bulldozers, or other prime movers to pull a variety of scarification or site preparation equipment over areas to be regenerated.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



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 use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting 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
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • 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
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Forest Ranger -- Responsible for the care and conservation of designated wild areas and parks that are held both nationally and locally.
  • Brusher --
  • Rangelands Conservation Laborer --
  • Reforestation Worker --
  • Wetlands Conservation Laborer --