Forest and conservation technicians typically need an associate’s degree in forestry or a related field. Employers look for technicians who have a degree that is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF).
Forestry and conservation technicians typically need an associate’s degree in a forestry technology or technician program or in a related field. Most forestry and conservation technology programs are accredited by SAF, and every state has accredited programs.
Many technical and community colleges offer programs in forestry technology or a related field. Associate’s degree programs at community colleges are designed to provide easy transfer to bachelor’s degree programs at colleges and universities. Training at technical institutes usually includes less theory and education than that in community colleges.
Coursework for an associate’s degree in forestry technology or a related field includes ecology, biology, and forest resource measurement. Some technicians also have a background in a Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and other forms of computer modeling.
Analytical skills. Forest and conservation technicians conduct a variety of field tests and onsite measurements, all of which require precision and accuracy.
Critical-thinking skills. Forest and conservation technicians reach conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment. They determine how to improve forest conditions and must react appropriately to fires.
Interpersonal skills. Forest and conservation technicians need to work well with others. They supervise forest and conservation workers and also receive instruction from scientists and specialists, so effective communication is critical.
Listening skills. To avoid making dangerous mistakes, forest and conservation technicians must follow instructions given to them by foresters and conservation scientists.
Physical stamina. Forest and conservation technicians often walk long distances in steep and wooded areas. They work in all kinds of weather, including extreme heat and cold.
Speaking skills. Forest and conservation technicians must clearly instruct forest and conservation workers, who typically do the labor necessary to take care of the forest.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition