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Author Topic: Forestry as a career II....  (Read 2962 times)

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Offline wpayne

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Forestry as a career II....
« on: April 09, 2004, 12:44:48 AM »
I have been checking in on this forum periodically and appreciate all the honest answers I recieved from my "Is Forestry a Viable Career" post.  I will soon be returning for another school year and have a few more questions for you guys.

1.)  Anyone who thinks that the Forestry career forecast is less than good (at least), what would you do to diversify youself in case you can't find good work, decent pay, etc. in typical forestry jobs?  A Forestry/Biology double major (just as an example)?  Is there a semi-easy (not looking for a PhD) way to open myself up to more jobs than the norm?

2.)  I have been scouring the USFS website looking for job openings and such, just to see what is available,where, and for how much $$$.  I have noticed a decent number of jobs in Alaska, which it so happens is a dream locale of mine (southeast AK).  This question is two part; has anyone worked there, and is the Federal Jobs website any indicator of how many jobs are available in an area?

I really do appreciate all the comments, if I'm crazy and need a dose of reality, please give it to me.  I'm a big boy, I can take it.  

Thanks again.

Randy

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2004, 01:03:19 PM »
Does your school's Forestry Department post and schedule graduate interviews with the USDA-Forest Service, States, Private Industry etc?? Check with your school advisor or dean of forestry for available forestry job opportunities.

Don't limit yourself in the beginning. Take what's available to get "your foot in the door" if you really like forestry work.
~Ron

Offline Tom

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2004, 03:15:27 PM »
Sometimes it's difficult to see beyond working for someone else.  Many occupations, and Forestry is one, seem to have no future except for Government and big company jobs.

Don't ever lose sight of the opportunity to work for one's self.  While you may need to start off by punching another's clock, you may do better in a "sky's the limit" job punching your own.

To prepare for those opportunities, colleges offer classes that you might  overlook otherwise.  Some are business, accounting, marketing and also those that teach you to get along with others.  Management courses can  help regardless of which end of the spectrum you are on, if you temper some of the "Hard-nosed" management suggestions.

One of my favorite organizations tried to teach me to "Be Prepared." :D
extinct

Offline jrdwyer

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2004, 10:27:32 AM »
After graduating with a degree in Forestry (BS Forest Management, ISU, 1989), one quickly learns that finding a job requires some work.

My first effort took me to N California for a temp position doing timber cruising every day. A great experience, but not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I then headed to Kentucky to work as a Service Forester for the state. Another great experience, but the bureaucracy got me down after 6 years. I considered the timber buying positions out there, but noticed with the small to meduim mills a large turnover in such positions. And the large companies seem to be buying land one year and then selling and consolidating the next. So I headed out on my own and started a consulting business. And I am happy to say that this career path suits me the best.

I have become more open-minded, but also more focused about balancing work and everything else as I have gotten older. When I graduated, my goal was to work out west managing large Forest Service tracts with multiple-use as a guide. Way to specific a goal, I came to learn. So I took what positions were available at the time and gained expereince and learned the forestry game. And while I enjoy owning and operating my own forestry consulting business, I think I could be happy running a variety of business types. The key work being running. I bore quickly with routine repetitive tasks and thankfully running a business involves enough interesting stuff like planning, research-purchasing, contracts, negotiating, marketing, customer service, etc. This variety makes the routine stuff of marking and measuring trees or doing my business taxes more tolerable.

As far as double majors, I would focus on either the GIS/ forestry combination or the business/forestry combination. The GIS area will open up positions in rural and urban planning as the development of new lands for homes, businesses, and industry never seems to stop. And the business major combined with a forestry degree could open up positions in marketing or sales with pulp and paper, softwood or hardwood lumber, forest machinery or import/export companies. There are a lot of jobs avaiable if one broadens their search to include related industires.


Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2004, 03:58:19 PM »
When I graduated with a BS in 1970, there was a recession and absolutely no jobs.  Weyerhaueser came to our campus and interviewed engineers.  To get state jobs, you needed a Masters and points from being in the military to qualify for a technicians jobs.

But, times have changed.  We had one guy that had a dual major of forestry and journalism.  We used to laugh at him, but he ended up with a job with a large paper company in human relations and did quite well.

I took quite a few economics courses and it helped especially when I started working at the mill level.  But, it never helped me get my foot in the door.  I did take lower level work, such as choker setter.  But, then I got the education from the ground up with hands on experience.  Lots of things you don't learn in school.

Other things to look at would be urban forestry - not very many willing to tackle this, but it will be a growing field.  Engineering courses can be very useful, especially if you get to the logging or equipment end of the business.  Don't overlook the need out there for environmental assessments.  Most engineering firms have an ongoing need.  They rarely hire foresters, usually biologists.  Business courses are always helpful.

It would be good if you could figure out what other areas you are interested in.  It always seems that where you end up is never where you intended to go, but its always an interesting journey.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Eric_Jensen

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2004, 07:23:09 PM »
wpayne,

I recieved a BS in Forest Management in '93 and entered the field of arboriculture in '94 so I'm a decade out of touch.  

When I finally landed a full time forester job, after several summer/temp jobs, I wished I had more hands on experience.  I think a couple years of burning, spraying, planting, and thinning would have helped.  Don't be afraid to start at the bottom. I started in what I thought was the middle and didn't know my head from my butt.

Temp jobs are great opportunities to learn while getting paid and see if you like the work and the company atmosphere.  Personally, I've always been drawn to self employment, but learned the hard way to never tell the boss that.

So many possibilities working with trees.  Your career will be whatever you make it.


Offline wpayne

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004, 08:46:08 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone...  All you insight will be taken into consideration.

I can see working for myself, just not right away.  I really wanna learn the ropes without the pressure of running a business at the same time.  After that, working for myself would be great.

Thanks again, and keep the info coming, it's appreciated.

Offline Tillaway

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2004, 09:28:42 PM »
Currently the Oregon Department of Forestry is hiring, Techs,  Foresters and interns for several positions.

As far as career goes if you can get on with the FS in Alaska, do it, you will have a great time.  I have worked on many FS contracts throughout SE Alaska the experience is priceless.

FS experience outside of Alaska doesn't carry much as much wieght as it once did.  Getting into private industry with only FS experience will be tough.  So will getting on with the various state agencies in the west.  We have hired, including me, six new full time people since January.  Two with pior ODF experience as interns. Three experienced including myself from private (2) and one from Washington DNR.  We have a new inexperienced person I am training right now that has almost zero experience and a degree from Wisconsin.  He got the job because one of his professors taught cable logging.  He was the only one at the interview that knew what it was.  You have to have cable logging experience or training to work in Oregon, Washington or Alaska.  That is the biggest hangup for grads from schools outside this region.
Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2004, 02:54:23 PM »
Sounds like a summer of setting chokers should do the trick.  I did on high lead, yarder and cat logging operations.  They do still use choker setters, don't they?
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Tillaway

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2004, 05:55:11 PM »
Yep, sure do.  As a matter of fact I was waiting for a loaded truck to come out the road today and was watching skyline operation.  The skycar was down the hill and was just visible above a ridge.  I saw the car dip down below the ridge out of sight as it started to winch the logs out.  Next thing you now it comes rocketing straight up into the air above the ridge and bounces up and down like a yo-yo on the skyline.   I hear this "YEEE HAAAAAA" on the CB.  It looked like they broke the skid line.

When we get settled here I plan on taking some pictures of the operations in our unit.
Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2005, 07:48:19 AM »
RE:  FORESTER VACANCY ON THE USFS WHITE MOUNTAIN FOREST IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Attached are vacancy announcements for a GS-460-5/7/9 permanent full time position performing primarily timber sale prep work - (only 1 position will be filled):

DEMO: ADS05-R9WMNF-052DP
Opens:  01/26/2005
Closes:  02/25/2005
Duty Location:  Plymouth, NH

FOREST SERVICE-WIDE:
ADS05-R9WMNF-053FS
Opens:  01/26/2005
Closes:  02/25/2005

These announcements are posted at usajobs.opm.gov
Applicants may also apply at www.avuedigitalservices.com/usfs/applicant.html


Sandy Jamieson
HR Specialist, White Mtn. NF
Northeastern HR Service Center
c/o 222 LIberty Street
Warren, PA 16365
(814) 723-5180, Ext. 190
FAX (814) 726-2710
email:  sjamieson@fs.fed.us


~Ron

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2005, 02:16:55 PM »
RE:  FORESTER VACANCIES WITH THE MICHIGAN DNR

MDNR has a few forester vacancies and are presently taking applications.  A bachelor's degree in forestry is required.  

http://www.state.mi.us/mdcs/asp/vacancyweb/VacancyInq2.asp?ID=11888


~Ron

Offline palmerstreeservice

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2005, 06:46:18 PM »
There is always a need for highly trained tree workers in the urban areas.  Probably 99% of our work is in towns over houses, line, permanant lawn fixtures and anyting breakable.  As an owner I find it more and more difficult to find trained or experienced staff.  Any JQ Public may think they can run a saw and cut down a tree but when you are avoiding danger, and property damage you have to know what you are doing.  Different trees have different breaking points, weights and plyability.  This is hard to teach someone in a short period of time, so the schooling is worth the money I pay.

Kyle Palmer
Palmer's Tree Services

Offline Shotgun

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Re: Forestry as a career II....
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2005, 07:39:04 PM »
I graduated in 1961 with a BS in forestry from Michigan Technological University. I spent my career with the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture involved in the regulatory aspects of insect pests and plant diseases. I worked with a lot of folks who were forest managers, etc. Didn't get rich in $, but I got rich in experiences and had fun doing it. Lots of variety.  I do wish that I had gotten some stump jumping experience early on. Today I would get an MS in some forestry, other science, or business related area. My feeling is you'll be wishing you had an MS and you'll be competing with many who do have one. Hands on early-on, even in college is imperative. And don't be afraid to start at the bottom. It gives you a good chance to prove yourself. Depending on the individual, one can move up quite rapidly.
Joined The Forestry Forum 5 days before 9/11.


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