“My grandfather taught me trees and the Latin names of trees when I was five or six. His father was a forester, so he knew them all.”

Krzysztof Pederecki, Composer

Pros and Cons of Working as a Forester

advantages and disadvantages of being a forester

You want to become a forester? Before making your final career choice, you should check out all the pros and cons of being a forester in this article. After reading all the arguments, you may change your mind and go for a career in a different field.

Forester Job Profile

Short Job DescriptionForesters take care of the health of our trees. They are also responsible to keep our natural habitats in balance so that future generations can also enjoy the real beauty of nature.
Salary$65,000 per year on average, most foresters make between $50,000 – $85,000 per year.
Job SecurityDecent job security.
Job SatisfactionGood if you love being in nature.
Work-Life BalanceGood work-life balance since you will have free weekends and holidays.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Can be physically demanding.
Future OutlookGood since many people no longer want to work as a forester.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements.

Advantages of Being a Forester

  1. Foresters can work in nature
  2. You can go back to the roots
  3. Foresters don’t have to work in an office job
  4. You don’t have to work on weekends or holidays
  5. Foresters often have a standard workweek
  6. Good work-life balance of foresters
  7. Decent job security
  8. Foresters don’t need a college degree
  9. Foresters can make decent money
  10. Working as a forester is quite relaxed
  11. You can ensure the health of our natural environments
  12. Good long-term job prospects
  13. Foresters don’t need to go to the gym
  14. Foresters can learn a lot about nature
  15. Use of machines can make your life as a forester easier
  16. Foresters can work rather independently
  17. Your job may not feel like work to you

Foresters can work in nature

One important advantage of being a forester is that you can work in natural environments. You don’t have to work in crowded cities with bad air or get stuck in traffic jams every day when you commute to work.

Instead, you can work in forests where it is usually pretty quiet since almost everyone else will be at work and you will have plenty of time for yourself to enjoy the atmosphere and to learn about yourself since nobody will distract you (apart from squirrels or deer 😉 ).

You can go back to the roots

Working as a forester can also be considered as original in the sense that our ancestors evolved in natural environments like forests for many thousands of years and lived in those natural habitats all day long.

This means that we as humans have it deep inside our DNA to get back to nature. As a forester, you will have the privilege to stay there every day instead of just making weekend trips to natural areas like most other people do.

Foresters don’t have to work in an office job

Another upside to becoming a forester is that you can avoid working in a classical office job. Most people in our current state of the world work in offices, yet most of them don’t like their work at all. I often talk to people who just complain about their work and that it is so frustrating. And I can’t blame them for that.

In fact, working in an office and staring at a computer screen all day long is kind of an artificial working environment that can make people mentally sick in the long run. As a forester, you will not have this problem since you will barely use a computer and can stay in nature instead.

You will also be in a much better mood on average compared to someone who hates going to work every day.

You don’t have to work on weekends or holidays

As a forester, you also don’t have to work on weekends or holidays, at least in most countries of our planet. This means that you will have plenty of time to spend with your family or friends and you will also have enough time to follow your hobbies. While you might take this for granted, there are many people out there who have to work on weekends and holidays.

For instance, public transport workers have to work during those times since people still want to get from A to B every day of the week.

There are also some office jobs that require people to work on weekends, for example in case there are important meetings on Monday and not all work for them has been done yet.

By working as a forester, you will not have this kind of time pressure and can rather enjoy your leisure instead.

Foresters often have a standard workweek

You also don’t have to work many extra hours as a forester. In fact, many foresters just work 9 to 5 or even less and also don’t have to work in the evening. This means that you will also have plenty of time to meet your friends after work and go for a drink.

You will also be able to spend enough time with your kids every day you like.

Good work-life balance of foresters

In general, foresters have a pretty good work-life balance. Since they have free weekends, holidays and also free evenings most of the time, they can do so many different things in their leisure.

Thus, becoming a forester can also be great for you if you are the kind of person who has many different hobbies or if family life is just much more important to you than your job.

Decent job security

Another benefit of working as a forester is that you will also have pretty decent job security. In fact, there is a shortage of qualified foresters in many regions and our forests slowly die due to that.

Hence, by becoming a forester, you can be pretty sure to find a job soon and you will also not be at great risk to lose it.

Foresters don’t need a college degree

You also don’t need a college degree for becoming a forester. In most states, it will be enough to just finish high school and you can start your career as a forester right after it. This means that you will be able to earn money right from the beginning while many of your friends will have to go to college and spend plenty of money for their degree.

In turn, this also means that you can avoid student loan debt and the adverse financial long-term consequences. Therefore, becoming a forester can also be great for you if you want to become independent of your parents pretty soon and also don’t want to make a huge financial commitment to your education.

Foresters can make decent money

Even though foresters are not required to go to college, they can still earn pretty good money. The average income of a forester in the US is around $65,000 a year and due to the shortage of foresters, chances are that the salary will continue to go up in the future.

Hence, foresters can earn pretty decent amounts of money and depending on where you live, you may even be able to afford some luxury.

Working as a forester is quite relaxed

Working as a forester is also not that stressful most of the time. In fact, you will not have as much time pressure as in many other jobs and can just enjoy your time in nature while you get paid for it at the same time.

Thus, a career in forestry may also be great for you if you are a rather relaxed person who doesn’t want to work under stressful conditions but rather wants to enjoy your day and slow down a little bit in general.

You can ensure the health of our natural environments

You can also do good for our forests by working as a forester. In fact, you will be responsible for the health of our natural habitats and thanks to your work, our natural ecosystems will stay in balance.

This means that you can also go to work with the feeling that you do something really useful while most other people work in their jobs just for the money.

In turn, chances are that you will also be more fulfilled with what you are doing and that you will also be happier in the long run.

Good long-term job prospects

Since there are not that many people who want to become a forester anymore, your future job prospects will also be pretty good, especially since climate change and pollution get worse every day and our forests suffer a lot due to that.

Hence, you can be pretty sure to find a job as a forester and you will also not have to worry about losing your job that much since you will soon find another job as a forester due to the shortage of qualified workers in this field.

Foresters don’t need to go to the gym

Since you will work with your hands pretty often and have to do plenty of physical work, there will also not be a need to go to the gym. You will just do your workout in a completely natural manner and can enjoy your leisure after work while many other people who work in office jobs have to go to the gym to stay fit and to lose some weight.

Foresters can learn a lot about nature

You will also be able to learn a lot about nature as a forester. Since you will work in natural environments all day long, you will soon realize how nature really works and will also recognize patterns. In fact, it can be pretty cool to realize that nature really works in a complex but yet efficient manner.

This can not only be helpful and fascinating for you, but you can also teach your kids a lot about nature and may also be able to bring them with you to your natural workplace.

Use of machines can make your life as a forester easier

Just a few decades ago, working as a forester had been quite hard since there was plenty of hard physical work. While there is still some manual physical work to do, machines have greatly facilitated the work for foresters and the job is no longer as hard as it was in former times.

Foresters can work rather independently

As a forester with a little bit of experience, you will also be able to work in a pretty independent manner. This means that you will nobody looking over your shoulder all day long like in many other jobs. Instead, you will have a high level of freedom regarding what and when to do things as long as your results are good enough.

Consequently, becoming a forester can also be great for you if you have this sort of hands-on mentality and want to be your own boss most of the time instead of having someone dictating what you have to do.

Your job may not feel like work to you

For many foresters, their jobs actually don’t feel like work to them. Instead, most foresters really love what they are doing and are really passionate about protecting our forests and our natural environments.

In fact, many foresters would even do their jobs for free and if you are one of those persons who are really passionate about nature and wants to spend as much time as possible in those environments, you may become pretty happy with a career as a forester.

Disadvantages of Being a Forester

  1. Risk of accidents
  2. Foresters will not get rich
  3. You may get bored after a while
  4. Foresters are mainly needed in rural areas
  5. You have to work under extreme weather conditions
  6. You are responsible for many different tasks
  7. Teleworking is not possible
  8. Foresters don’t have a high social standing
  9. Many people will just not understand your career choice
  10. You need to stay fit as a forester
  11. Hard to switch fields
  12. You have to educate yourself on a regular basis

Risk of accidents

While there are in fact many advantages to becoming a forester as we have seen before, there are still many downsides to this profession that you should know. For instance, you will have a significant risk of accidents as a forester. Branches may just fall on your head sooner or later and may cause serious damage.

There is also the risk of accidents with machines you might use. In fact, there is a significant number of foresters who die every year due to accidents and you should be willing to take this risk before deciding for a career in forestry.

Foresters will not get rich

Another disadvantage of being a forester is that you will also not become rich. Sure, you will be able to make a pretty decent salary and may also be able to afford some nice things. Yet, you will not be able to live in a luxurious mansion or drive a luxury car.

This will only be possible with a six-figure income and you will probably never earn this as a forester. Consequently, you may want to go for a different career path in case money is really important to you.

You may get bored after a while

Many foresters are also pretty excited during their first days at work. However, after a few months or years, this initial excitement often vanishes pretty quickly and many foresters even get bored sooner or later. In fact, if you don’t love nature that much, there will just not be many interesting things in your daily workday.

You will just carry out some tasks, yet you might miss real passion for what you are doing. Hence, make sure that you are really interested in natural processes and that you are willing to do this job for a pretty long time since you will get bored otherwise pretty soon.

Foresters are mainly needed in rural areas

Since most big forests are located in rural areas and not in metropolitan areas, many people will just not have the opportunity to work as a forester. If you currently live in a big urban area, chances are that you would have to commute many hours to work and back and this doesn’t make any sense in the long run.

This means that you may just be forced to move for a career in forestry or that you should rather search for an alternative career path instead.

You have to work under extreme weather conditions

While working as a forester can be great when the weather is nice, it can also be quite frustrating and uncomfortable during bad weather. In fact, it is just not much fun to work during heavy rain or snow.

Yet, you will still have to do your work as a forester outdoors and you will often have no choice but to work under those extreme conditions.

You are responsible for many different tasks

Foresters are also not only responsible for the interesting work. Quite often, their job also includes picking up the trash that other people have just left in our forests.

If you go for a walk, you will soon realize that many of our forests just look like garbage dumps and that people just don’t seem to care about protecting our natural habitats at all.

Hence, you will pick up plenty of trash during your career as a forester and this kind of work will definitely not be for everyone.

Teleworking is not possible

You will also not be able to work remote like in many other jobs. If you work in an office job, you will often be able to work from home, which gives you a greater level of flexibility to manage your private life since you will be able to pick up your kids from school and do the laundry between virtual meetings.

As a forester, you will not have this luxury since you will just have to be present in the forest to do your work.

Foresters don’t have a high social standing

Another downside of being a forester is that you will also not have a high social standing. In fact, many people will not even know what foresters actually do all day long and will assume that you will just do nothing and just wait until your workday is over.

You will also not get the same level of appreciation as doctors who can save lives while you are just out there taking care of our trees.

Many people will just not understand your career choice

It may also be hard to convince your family and friends about the career choice of becoming a forester. Many of your peers will just not understand your decision at all since society tells us to go to college and to get a degree should be the gold standard and everything else will be considered as sort of dodgy.

Thus, also make sure that you are emotionally stable enough to deal with this kind of critique.

You need to stay fit as a forester

Since your work as a forester will always imply some physical work, you also need a certain fitness level. Hence, make sure that you are willing to eat healthily, especially once you become older and your overall fitness level will decline so that you will still be able to carry out your work for many years or even for a lifetime.

Hard to switch fields

You will also work in a pretty confined field as a forester. While you will learn all about trees and about our natural habitats, you will learn basically nothing about other fields and your employment opportunities in different fields will be pretty poor due to that.

Thus, make sure that you want to work as a forester for the rest of your life before going this career path since switching fields will be almost impossible, at least if you are not willing to get additional extensive education that could last for many years.

You have to educate yourself on a regular basis

You also have to educate yourself in your own field as a forester. Thanks to our technological progress, there will always be new machines that you could use in your daily routine that can make your work more efficient.

Those technologies can also make your work safer. Yet, you will only profit from those developments if you are willing to educate yourself and to put in some extra work in this regard.

Top 10 Being a Forester Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Forester ProsBeing a Forester Cons
Being a forester can be a passionBeing a forester may become boring
Many people really enjoy being in natureYou will not earn that much money
Working as a forester is rather relaxedForesters have a rather low social standing
You don’t have to work on holidaysHard to switch fields
Free weekendsRisk of serious accidents
Good work-life balanceBeing a forester can feel lonely
Foresters can do good for natureYou may have to move to rural areas
High job securityTeleworking will not be possible
Good future job prospectsYou have to work also during bad weather
Machines can make your life easierYou have to educate yourself

Should You Become A Forester?

Now that you got all the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a forester, it is on you to decide whether you still want to go this career path or if you want to go for an alternative job option instead.

Opportunities are almost endless and you should really take your time for this important decision.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a baker

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a gardener

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forester

https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/forester-salary

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes191032.htm

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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