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Career and Education Opportunities for Foresters in Vancouver, Washington

Forester career and educational opportunities abound in Vancouver, Washington. About 570 people are currently employed as foresters in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 2% to 590 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for foresters are expected to grow by about 12.1%. In general, foresters manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes.

Foresters earn approximately $29 per hour or $60,830 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $25 per hour or $53,750 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as foresters in Washington earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. People working as foresters can fill a number of jobs, such as: forest examiner, chief unit forester, and resource forester.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a forester, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. The most common level of education 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.


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 Vancouver 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.
  • 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.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • 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.


Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Natural Resources/Conservation which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has 2 areas of study related to Forester. They are:

  • Natural Resources/Conservation, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.


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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.