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Career and Education Opportunities for Forestry Conservation Workers in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for forestry conservation workers. There are currently 300 working forestry conservation workers in Michigan; this should shrink 8% to 280 working forestry conservation workers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for forestry conservation workers, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.5% over the next eight years. Forestry conservation workers generally , under supervision, perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect forest, forested areas, and woodlands through such activities as raising and transporting tree seedlings; combating insects, pests, and diseases harmful to trees; and building erosion and water control structures and leaching of forest soil.

The average wage in the general category of Forestry jobs is $11 per hour or $22,850 per year nationwide.

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree as a forestry conservation worker. The most common level of education for forestry conservation workers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a forestry conservation worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forestry Conservation Worker

Forestry Conservation Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, forestry conservation workers, under supervision, perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect forest, forested areas, and woodlands through such activities as raising and transporting tree seedlings; combating insects, pests, and diseases harmful to trees; and building erosion and water control structures and leaching of forest soil. They also includes forester aides, seedling pullers, and tree planters.

Forestry conservation workers talk with other staff to consider issues such as safety and work needs. Finally, forestry conservation workers check machinery to insure that it is operating properly.

Every day, forestry conservation workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for forestry conservation workers to fight forest fires or perform prescribed burning tasks under the direction of fire suppression officers or forestry technicians. They are often called upon to perform fire protection and suppression duties such as constructing fire breaks and disposing of brush. They also maintain campsites and recreational areas, replenishing firewood and other supplies, and cleaning kitchens and restrooms. They are sometimes expected to sow and harvest cover crops such as alfalfa. Somewhat less frequently, forestry conservation workers are also expected to maintain tallies of trees examined and counted during tree marking and measuring efforts.

Forestry conservation workers sometimes are asked to decide on tree seedlings, ready the ground, and plant the trees in reforestation areas, using manual planting tools. They also have to be able to operate a skidder, bulldozer or other prime mover to pull a variety of scarification or site preparation machinery over areas to be regenerated And finally, they sometimes have to operate a skidder, bulldozer or other prime mover to pull a variety of scarification or site preparation machinery over areas to be regenerated.

Like many other jobs, forestry conservation workers must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forestry Conservation Worker Training

Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has a bachelor's degree program in Natural Resources/Conservation which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has 2 areas of study related to Forestry Conservation Worker. They are:

  • Natural Resources/Conservation, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Forestry, associate's degree which graduated 1 student 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: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.