Forestry Professionals

Occupation:Forestry Professionals
Category:Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

About the job

Nature of work:

Forestry professionals conduct research, develop plans and administer and direct programs related to the management and harvesting of forest resources. They are employed by the forest industry, provincial and federal governments, consulting companies, educational institutions and other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties:
Forestry professionals perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Plan and direct forest surveys and related studies and prepare reports and recommendations.
  • Establish short- and long-term plans for management of forest lands and forest resources.
  • Plan and direct woodlands harvesting, reforestation, silviculture and fire prevention and fire suppression programs, road building, wildlife management, environmental protection and insect and vegetation control programs.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management and leasing of forest lands.
  • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities.
  • Ensure adherence to government regulations and company objectives.
  • Plan and conduct public relations programs, and education and extension programs related to forestry.
  • Develop and oversee programs for tree seedling production and woodlands nursery operations.
  • Conduct advanced research in the areas of tree improvement, nursery seedling production, forest soils, forest ecology, forest mensuration, forest operations and other areas.
  • Provide advice and recommendations, as a consultant on forestry issues, to private woodlot owners, municipal, provincial or federal governments or to companies.
Sample job titles:
  • forest engineer
  • forester
  • forestry superintendent
  • industrial forester
  • parks and recreation forester
  • professional forester
  • regional forest inventory officer
  • registered professional forester (RPF)

To work in this field, you should have an aptitude for seeing the bigger picture, which will be needed for long-term resource management. Good communication skills are required to convey this picture to your coworkers and the public. Leadership and effective oral and written communication skills are necessary. You must be able to work as part of a team, using both administrative and project management skills. You should enjoy working outdoors and be physically capable of travelling through rough terrain, but also recognize that a portion of your time will be spent working in an office environment where computer skills are required. An interest in science and biology, and the relationships between living organisms in particular, will start you on the right path.

Job requirements:
  • A bachelor's degree in forestry or forestry engineering is required.
  • Certification as a forester or forest engineer by provincially chartered associations is required in provinces having such associations.
  • A two-year practicum of supervised work experience and professional examinations are usually required before registration.
Other considerations:

Unlike other forestry occupations, there are no significant seasonal patterns of unemployment among foresters. Supervisory and senior jobs in this group require additional experience. With experience, mobility is possible to management positions in government and industry.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Forestry Professionals most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 83% of Forestry Professionals who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $74,686. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Forestry Professionals65xxx
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum:  N/A
Median: $74,241
Maximum:  N/A
Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology25,875Strong growth3,095Low
Minimum: $17.69
Median: $31.35
Maximum: $47.18
Minimum: $13,568
Median: $60,422
Maximum: $107,009
Forestry ProfessionalsCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
Percent employed full-time100%94%
Percent self-employed0%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentForestry ProfessionalsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton15%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley15%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeForestry ProfessionalsCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4643
GenderForestry ProfessionalsCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
EducationForestry ProfessionalsCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax0.7%$28,107
High schoolN/Ax12.1%$35,125
Trades certificateN/Ax6.8%$54,923
College certificate or diploma27.3%x33.7%$52,476
University certificate or diplomaN/Ax3.7%$52,446
Bachelor's degree54.5%$55,84829.7%$58,011
University advanced certificate or diploma18.2%x2.0%$54,917
Master's degreeN/A$49,5739.7%$37,706
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$57,566
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Right to Title:This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected (you may not use this job title without a professional designation). Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial requirements for the job. Employers may require professional designation, however, you do not need professional designation to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 1031
Truro, NS B2N 5G9
Useful contacts:
Canadian Institute of Forestry - Nova Scotia
c/o The Canadian Ecology Centre P.O Box 99, 6905 Hwy. 17 West
Tel: (705) 744-1715
Fax: (705) 744-1716
Forestry Safety Society of Nova Scotia
PO Box 696
Truro, NS B2N 5E5
Tel: (902) 895-1107
Fax: (902) 895-4270
Nova Scotia Forestry Association
PO Box 696
Truro, NS B2N 5E5
Tel: (902) 895-1179
Fax: (902) 893-1197
Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 696
Truro, NS B2N 5E5
Tel: (902) 895-1179
Fax: (902) 893-1197
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 698
Halifax, NS B3J 2T9
Tel: (902) 424-5935
Fax: (902) 424-7735
Canadian Institute of Forestry
P.O. BOX 99, 6905 HWY. 17 WEST
Tel: (705) 744-1715
Fax: (705) 744-1716

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Forest engineering
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply scientific, mathematical, and forestry principles to the design of mechanical devices and processes for efficient forest management, timber production and related forest logistics systems. These programs include courses in forest products processing, forest management, forest harvesting, timber structure design, production analysis, road and bridge construction, vehicle adaptation and design, and harvesting equipment design.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Forestry - Other
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Forestry.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Additional resources: