Forestry roles vary, as forestry can be considered a sector in itself (just like conservation or ecology can also be seen as their own sectors). This means that roles can be as varied as those in the wider environmental sector, spanning areas such as project management, environmental education, practical conservation skills, media and communications and more.
Forestry roles in the public sector and within NGOs that focus on woodland environments are important for encouraging and protecting biodiversity in woodlands and forests, as well as promoting its value. Roles in commercial forestry, meanwhile, are about balancing the need for biodiversity with the need to produce timber. Roles can be increasingly accessed through vocational routes such as apprenticeships and traineeships, although degrees in forestry are also available. See our ‘Get that Green Job’ pages for more information on possible entry routes.
Read below for information on forestry roles across each employment sector or browse all forestry job profiles.
Public Sector Forestry Roles
Public sector forestry workers may find themselves working for statutory conservation agencies, national parks authorities, and local authorities. Work could include running events and public outreach campaigns, forest and woodland management, helping to run visitor centres, managing people and projects or more practical on-the-ground project delivery experience. These roles are crucial to improving the biodiversity of forests and woodland areas and raising awareness of this to local communities and the wider public.
NGO Forestry Roles
NGO Forestry roles are varied. Rangers and nature reserve staff carry out ecological surveys and activities to enhance biodiversity and engage with the public via educational and outreach activities such as guided walks.
Forest and Woodland Managers protect the forest environment and biodiversity, advise landowners, and manage public access for recreational activities. They can be involved in all stages of development, from valuing and buying land through to planting and establishing new woodland.
Policy and Advocacy roles will develop policy positions and advocate for policies and resourcing to support woodland creation and conservation.
- Green Jobs for Nature: Forestry workers’ job profiles (profiles of people working in forestry roles, what they do and how they got into them)
- Lantra’s Land-Based Careers Hub: Forestry and Arboriculture information page
- Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF): Education and Careers page
- ICF’s video ‘Forestry Careers in 60 Seconds‘ on YouTube
- ICF’s position paper to government: Skills Shortages in the Forestry Sector
- Royal Forestry Society’s Forestry Induction Pack: The Wood and the Trees
- Ireland: The Irish Student’s Information on being a Forest Manager/ Forester
- Ireland: Forestry Focus’ information on the Forests of Ireland (types of forest and land owners) and on Forestry organisations in Ireland
- Scotland: Scottish Forestry’s guide to Starting out in Forestry in Scotland and Job Profiles of Forestry Roles in Scotland
Example Job Roles
Forestry workers have many different job titles! Browse the following job profiles of people working in forestry for examples of the kinds of work you could do.