Spend time outside and get paid? Sounds like a great job description! These careers are all integral to the sustainable management of our forests.

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Aboriginal Relations

Forest Management Agreement areas often overlap with Aboriginal lands, which makes you a critical part of the forest industry. As an Aboriginal Relations Liaison, you help build and maintain effective relationships between the forest industry and Aboriginal people. Every planned activity in forestry operations that is in proximity of an Aboriginal community needs to go through an intensive consultation process. You are the one who works between your organization and Aboriginal communities to facilitate the consultation process. Cross-cultural understanding between people of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal origin is important to you.

What you need

High School Diploma and related forestry/communications experience.

Salary Range

$23.98 - 37.29 an hour

Environmental Coordinator/Environmental Management Systems Coordinator

Reduce, reuse and recycle—words you live by. Forestry is a sustainable industry and you ensure it operates accordingly. As an Environmental Coordinator, you ensure that mills are run in an environmentally friendly manner. Your small goal is to generate environmental improvements and your big goal is to preserve the environment for future generations.

What you need

Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science.

Where

University of Alberta, University of Calgary.

Salary Range

$32.80 to $46.41 an hour.

GIS Specialist/Analyst

You’re a modern day Christopher Columbus. You combine your innate sense of direction with computer-based Geographical Information Systems to create and maintain information in maps and databases. As a GIS Specialist, you use related software to gather and analyze spatial data in order to create maps and graphs for use in forest management.
Forestry Job Profile: Inventory Forester

What you need

Diploma or Degree in Geography, Forestry, or Science with a strong background in computer science and remote sensing.

Where

Lethbridge College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Olds College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), University of Lethbridge, University of Alberta, University of Calgary.

Salary Range

Average: $25.94 to $36.95 an hour.

Grader

Logs eagerly await your critical eye and approval. They want to become hardwood for dancing, pencils for writing or flutes for fluting and you’re the one who determines their future. As a Log Grader, you are finicky about log characteristics and determine the grade according to established criteria. The logs think you’re ruthless, but you’re just doing your job.

What you need

No formal education required. Grade schools are attended after hire for quality certification.

Salary Range

$24.15 to $27.93 an hour.

Operations Forester (RPF)/Forest Technician (RPFT)

For you, unfinished business is risky business. You’re always one to follow through in life and in the thickets. As an Operations Forester or Forest Technician, you make forest plans come to life. It’s up to you to choose the state-of-the-art technology and high-tech machinery to meet a variety of objectives. Depending on your level of education, you may deliver these results from the comfort of your desk or as you conquer the wilderness. You love being surrounded by lush forest and you ensure forest plans are carried out in a way that retains the natural beauty.
Forestry Job Profile: Operations Supervisor

What you need

Registered Professional Forester: Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry.
Registered Professional Forest Technologist: Diploma in Forest Technology.
Outdoor experience recommended.

Where

Forester: University of Alberta.
Forest Technologist: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
For high school students, Alberta Junior Forest Rangers provides work related forestry experience.

Salary Range

Forester: $31.12 to $40.32 an hour.Forest Technologist: $22.32 to $32.16 an hour.

Planning Forester (RPF)/Forest Technologist (RPFT)

You enjoy working outdoors and are physically hardy. As a Planning Forester or Forest Technician, you have many skills and responsibilities. Depending on your level of education, you may conduct your woodsy business in the great outdoors or your cozy office. You are a designer of the wilderness and your designs maximize timber production and attractiveness. Protecting forests is high on your priority list as you plan and direct forestation and reforestation projects. Forests are your pride and you manage them by achieving an economic, recreational and environmental balance.
Forestry Job Profile: Planning Forester

What you need

Registered Professional Forester: Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry.
Registered Professional Forest Technologist: Diploma in Forest Technology.
Outdoor experience recommended.

Where

Forester: University of Alberta.
Forest Technologist: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
For high school students, Alberta Junior Forest Rangers provides work related forestry experience.

Salary Range

Forester: $31.12 to $40.32 an hour.Forest Technologist: $22.32 to $32.16 an hour.

Roadbuilder

The road less travelled is the road you intend to be on. You have an affinity for the outdoors that you are responsible for paving the way to. As a Road Construction Operator, you spend most of your time outdoors monitoring road construction, transporting culverts, tracking bridge and culvert inventory, and ensuring roads are properly graded. You often use high-tech equipment, like Global Positioning Systems (GPS), to navigate road construction in forests. It is your job to help get people to various industry operations throughout Alberta.

What you need

Roadbuilders Certificate.

Where

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Salary Range

$25.75 to $36.04 an hour.

Scaler

You love the outdoors, timber and how the two size up. As a Timber Scaler, you measure logs or trees to determine volume, inspect for defects and estimate the amount of timber that is suitable for structural uses. You have the ability to keep your numerical and computer skills sharp while working even in very cold climates.

What you need

Provincial certification is required and can be obtained through the Hinton Training Centre. Forest education is valued (RPF/RPFT).

Where

Hinton Training Center.

Salary Range

$22.32 to $32.16 an hour.

Silviculture Contractor

You’re passionate about the environment and prefer to spend your summers being at one with nature and your winters waging war against the pine beetles. As a Silviculture Contractor, you make and nurture baby forests through regeneration, cultivation, and reforestation projects. You are vital to the forest industry because you are responsible for putting the forest in forestry. The physicality of your responsibilities makes you part of the most physically fit team in the industry.  

What you need

There are many job titles, but you could be a tree planter, regeneration surveyor, herbicide applicator, or cone picker.

Where

No formal education required. Many are Registered Professional Forest Technicians with training as such.

Salary Range

$17.97 to $23.04 an hour.

Silviculture Forester (RPF)/Forest Technologist (RPFT)

You’re alone in the woods and you’re not lost. As a Silviculture Forester or Forest Technician, you often work alone in remote locations and that’s just the way you like it. You work with seasonal contractors and manage programs to control the establishment, growth, quality and health of forests. You analyze forests to maximize production and minimize negative impacts on the land, water and wildlife. You conduct experiments, analyze data and write reports—all in an awesome combo of indoor and outdoor work, all in the name of Mother Nature.
Forestry Job Profile: Silviculture Forester

What you need

Registered Professional Forester: Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry.
Registered Professional Forest Technologist: Diploma in Forest Technology.
Outdoor experience recommended.

Where

Forester: University of Alberta.
Forest Technologist: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
For high school students, Alberta Junior Forest Rangers provides work related forestry experience.

Salary Range

Forester: $31.12 to $40.32 an hour. Forest Technologist: $22.32 to $32.16 an hour.

Tree Faller

You’re an adrenaline junkie, you ‘do it for the thrill’, and danger is your middle name. Your forestry job is like every action-packed phrase and that’s exactly why you do it. As a Tree Faller, you’re part of forestry’s extreme team that eliminates pine beetle trees, helps control fires, and does low impact harvesting through precision cutting of trees. Your tools are axes, chainsaws and your hands as you fell trees using knowledge of tree characteristics and cutting techniques. Although tree falling is physically demanding, it’s also taxing on your brain. You have to keep physics in mind during high-stress periods because it’s your responsibility to be precise as to where your trees fall to minimize danger and damage.

What you need

No formal education is required but outdoor experience is recommended.

Where

Training can be done through one year forest diploma programs at Northern Lakes College or Portage College.

Salary Range

$19.13 to $29.71 an hour.

Tree Planter

Tree planting is a tough job for only the toughest of people. Tree planters deal with unpleasant weather, incessant insects, blisters, physically exhausting work, and long hours. If you're not scared away yet, this might be the summer job for you. The perks: tree planters are paid for every tree they plant, making it a great job for people motivated by productivity.

What you need

A good work ethic and lots of motivation.

Where

Find more information on tree planter qualifications at Tree-planter.com.

Salary Range

$0.08 - $0.25 per tree

Wildland Firefighter

You are the picture of health and physical fitness. You’re in the business of saving lives and saving forests. As a Fire Fighter, you enter extremely dangerous conditions to suppress fires in remote locations. You are either part of a helitack or firetack crew. Essentially, you attack fires—safely. Your work is physically demanding but you’re continuously up for the challenge.

What you need

Successful completion of a training program approved by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD).

Where

Alberta Wildfire Management

Salary Range

$21.08 - 25.95 an hour

Woodlands Manager

You’re the go-to person for woodlands media inquiries, woodlands staff and government relationships. As a Woodlands Manager, you oversee woodlands operations and ensure a steady flow of fibre to mills. Your innovative skills in the thickets and in production improvement make you apt to motivate and lead your employees to forest victory.

What you need

Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry or Diploma in Forest Technology with extensive industry experience.

Where

University of Alberta or Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

For high school students, Alberta Junior Forest Rangers provides work related forestry experience.

Salary Range

$29.95 to $40.32 an hour.