Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Foresters in Chicago, Illinois

Foresters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. The national trend for foresters sees this job pool growing by about 12.1% over the next eight years. In general, foresters manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes.

A person working as a forester can expect to earn about $26 per hour or $54,780 yearly on average in Illinois and about $25 hourly or $53,750 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for foresters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Life Sciences in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Life Sciences category nationally. Foresters work in a variety of jobs, including: forestry technician, forestry scientist, and chief unit forester.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a forester, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level for foresters is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a forester if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forester

Forester video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, foresters manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. They also may inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement.

Foresters monitor contract compliance and results of forestry efforts to assure adherence to government regulations. They also direct, and participate in, forest-fire suppression. Equally important, foresters have to establish short- and long-term plans for management of forest lands and forest resources. They are often called upon to supervise efforts of other forestry staff. They are expected to formulate and implement projects for conservation of wildlife habitats and soil and water quality. Finally, foresters conduct public educational programs on forest care and conservation.

Every day, foresters are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for foresters to map forest area soils and vegetation to estimate the amount of standing timber and future value and growth. They are often called upon to negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management and leasing of forest lands. They also decide on methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage. They are sometimes expected to study different tree species' classification, life history, light and soil requirements, adaptation to new environmental conditions and resistance to disease and insects. Somewhat less frequently, foresters are also expected to contact local forest owners and gain permission to take inventory of the type and location of all standing timber on the property.

Foresters sometimes are asked to design techniques for measuring and identifying trees. and procure timber from private landowners. And finally, they sometimes have to monitor contract compliance and results of forestry efforts to assure adherence to government regulations.

Like many other jobs, foresters must believe in cooperation and coordination and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forester Training

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree program in Natural Resources Management and Policy.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has a master's degree program in Natural Resources Management and Policy which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.

For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.