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Conservation Scientists and Foresters Job Outlook

Employment of conservation scientists and foresters is expected to increase by 5 percent between 2010 and 2020, slower than the average for all occupations.

Heightened demand for American timber and wood pellets will help increase the overall job prospects for conservation scientists and foresters. Most growth from 2010 to 2020 for conservation scientists and foresters is expected to be in federally owned forest lands, particularly in the southwestern United States. Jobs in private forests will grow alongside demand for timber and pellets, but ongoing fiscal crises will likely lessen the number of available positions in state and local governments.

In recent years, preventing and suppressing wildfires has become the primary concern for government agencies managing forests and rangelands. The development of previously unused lands, in addition to changing weather conditions, has contributed to increasingly devastating and costly fires.

Increases in funding and new programs should create opportunities for foresters and range managers. Restoring lands affected by fires also will be a major task, particularly in the southwestern and western states, where such fires are most common.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition