Energy Career Profile: Forestry Technician

The scope for energy careers is vast. Energy production and regulation is at one end of the spectrum, while environmental conservation sits at the other. In between are all kinds of tech-focused jobs that look for ways to combine energy production with the greatest level of environmental protection.

Virtually all areas of the natural world need looking after or preserving in some shape or form. A forestry technician concentrates on the conservation of our forests – no trivial task and one that is of the utmost importance. Decisions that will have far-reaching effects are made on a daily basis as forestry technicians collect and analyse data from postings in the field. If you love being at one with nature and want to turn your passion into a career, read on to learn more about the life of a forestry technician.

Basics of the Job

There are dozens of ways a forest can be affected by human and natural forces. One particularly prominent problem is forest fires. These blazes can devastate enormous swathes of forest, damage or even destroy habitats of both humans and animals, and cause staggering death tolls. After a forest fire has been extinguished and the crisis has subsided it is up to the forestry technicians and their teams to help the forest regenerate. You will decide whether to actively reseed the area or to simply let nature take its course.

As you search among the charred remains for regrowth you will meticulously photograph your surroundings. These photos will then be compared against photos taken from the immediate aftermath as you search for natural progress. You will also examine soil samples to determine whether the quality has gone back to its pre-blaze level.

Job Duties

There is no pro forma to follow for forestry technicians and job duties depend entirely on the context and place. However, there are some general tasks that all forestry technicians will get involved with at some point. These include carrying out and overseeing the reseeding or cultivating of young trees; experimenting with various pesticides and herbicides; and collecting samples from trees and their surrounding soil.

You will spend time in the lab analysing the samples you have taken from the forest. With this data you can plot graphs and charts that will help you predict regrowth rates and will indicate what level of human intervention is required. Back in the office you will log your findings and create reports outlining your results and recommendations. Part of your job will also be to ensure industry compliance is monitored when they are active in natural areas.

Where You Will Work

A forestry technician has the good fortune to be able to work in a variety of different places. Most field work will, unsurprisingly, take place in forests. This offers up a huge portion of the world in which to work. When you aren’t scouring the forest for data, you will split your time between the office and the lab. Occasionally, you may be required to present at conferences to a mixture of government officials, industry executives, and other scientists.

Who to Work For

There is a demand for forestry technicians within oil and gas companies and logging companies. They need talented forestry technicians on board to ensure they cause the least amount of environmental damage possible and that they adhere to any regulatory compliance requirements. Conservation authorities and NGOs with a focus on the environment also need the expertise of forestry technicians. There are also jobs available within research institutions and government departments.