Forestry technologists and technicians (NOC 2223)

About this job

Forestry technologists and technicians may work independently or perform technical and supervisory functions in support of forestry research, forest management, forest harvesting, forest resource conservation and environmental protection.

People in this group:

  • work for the forest industry sector, provincial and federal governments, consulting firms, and other industries and institutions
  • may be self-employed
  • must be able to draw conclusions from data and communicate conclusions clearly
  • should be physically fit and have knowledge of safety procedures, as well as be able to work independently and in a team setting, both in the laboratory and in the field
  • are required to use technological equipment for field work
  • must have the ability to use maps and compasses to navigate in the forest
  • must be familiar with geographic information system (GIS) software and computers
Common job titles
  • conservationist, range
  • co-ordinator, forestry crew
  • crew leader, forest fire suppression
  • officer, forest inventory resource
  • ranger / technician, forest extension
  • silviculturist
  • conservationist, range
  • co-ordinator, forestry crew
  • crew leader, forest fire suppression
  • cruiser / cruising chief
  • forest fire officer / ranger / crew leader
  • forestry worker

Duties

Forestry technologists and technicians:

  • Conduct, supervise and participate in forest inventory cruises, surveys and field measurements following accepted scientific and operational procedures
  • Assist and perform technical functions in the preparation of forest management and harvest plans using photogrammetric and mapping techniques and computerized information systems
  • Assist in planning and supervise construction of access routes and forest roads
  • Implement, supervise and perform technical functions in silvicultural operations involving site preparation, planting, and tending of tree crops
  • Co-ordinate activities such as timber scaling, forest fire suppression, disease or insect control or pre-commercial thinning of forest stands
  • Supervise and perform technical functions in forest harvesting operations
  • Monitor activities of logging companies and contractors and enforce regulations such as those concerning environmental protection, resource utilization, fire safety and accident prevention
  • Provide forestry education, advice and recommendations to woodlot owners, community organizations and the general public
  • Develop and maintain computer databases
  • Supervise forest tree nursery operations
  • Provide technical support to forestry research programs in areas such as tree improvement, seed orchard operations, insect and disease surveys or experimental forestry and forest engineering research.

Work environment

Most forestry technologists and technicians work at least part of the time outdoors in remote forested areas or log-sorting yards. They are often required to work in remote field camps away from home for extended periods, but other work may also take place in offices and laboratories.

Workers must be able to walk long distances in heavily forested areas, sometimes on steep and difficult terrain and often in extreme weather (heat, rain, snow).

While work occasionally requires the use of dangerous equipment, such as chain saws and brush saws, safety is the most important aspect of every job in the forest industry and mandated safety procedures must be followed. Workers may also encounter wildlife when working in isolated backcountry areas.

Extended work hours are common during peak seasons. Workers may also experience periods of seasonal unemployment.

Workers must be comfortable operating 4x4 motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles (also known as quads) and snowmobiles, and working around airplanes or helicopters.

Insights from industry

There will be a significant number of job openings as a result of both new job creation and the need to replace experienced workers who retire.

Employers have found it difficult to attract young skilled people to the Forestry and Logging industry and retain them. This problem may become worse as older workers retire. In recent years, the number of graduates in this field has also been decreasing.

Demand for forestry-related employment services are expected to be constrained by the limited growth in related activity in government agencies and forestry companies. As well, there has been increased consolidation of companies and greater use of technology to remain globally competitive, which will continue to limit job creation. These trends are expected to result in limited employment growth for forestry technologist and technicians.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Forestry technologists and technicians typically work for government, forest companies or research facilities or they are self-employed. Progression to supervisory and management positions is possible with experience.

Additional resources