What to expect from a career as a Forestry Technician

The responsible management of our forests is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. Trained forestry professionals are needed to serve as the legal and socio-economic checkpoints when dealing with issues such as deforestation, timber interests, sustainability and conservation. Forestry programs at Ontario colleges give students the knowledge and practical skills they need to take on these challenging roles.

If you’ve got an interest in the natural environment and want to start a career in forest management, here’s what you need to know.

Forestry Courses

Forestry programs will cover a variety of topics, from wildlife, ecology and forest health to fire management, tree harvesting and tree marking. Programs will be skill-oriented, giving students the knowledge to identify different types of trees, interpret satellite images and aerial photographs, learn orienteering (the ability to navigate using a map and a compass) and much more. Field placements will give students the opportunity to put their skills into practice. In addition to achieving their college credential, students may also have the opportunity to obtain various certifications that will benefit them in their careers.

Theoretical components will also focus on ethical and legal issues surrounding the forest industry, including land use agreements, responsible forest management, conservation laws and much more.

General Forestry Program Requirements

Ontario college forestry programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit and a senior math credit (often a grade 12 math credit). Additional academic credit requirements will vary by program.

Aside from academic criteria, other recommendations or requirements may include First Aid and CPR training, a background in horticulture and plant biology and a valid G driver’s license.

Forestry Jobs and Salaries

There are plenty of challenging and exciting jobs in the forestry industry, from forest or forest fire technician to tree and shrub specialist, and more, in industries such as conservation and protection, pulp and paper or logging, silviculture and eco-tourism or adventure tourism.

Salaries in the field will vary depending on the position and the organization, but typical starting salaries for graduates are usually between $30,000 and $35,000 per year. With more experience, salaries could rise to between $40,000 and $50,000 or more.

Ontario Colleges Offering Forestry Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of forestry programs at Ontario colleges.

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