How to become a forestry worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • graduate training scheme

University

You could study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • forestry
  • arboriculture
  • countryside management
  • forest management
  • woodland ecology and conservation

You may choose to study a degree accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could take a college course to learn some of the skills needed in this job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Land-based Technology
  • Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through an intermediate apprenticeship as a forest operative.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Volunteering

Volunteering for a woodland or wildlife charity is a good way to get experience, which could help you when looking for work. You can find opportunities with the following organisations:

Other Routes

You can apply for a graduate training scheme with Forestry England.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Chartered Foresters , for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in forestry from the Royal Forestry Society and Forestry England.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • leadership skills
  • knowledge of geography
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of maths
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • clearing undergrowth for planting
  • planting new tree seedlings
  • digging drainage systems
  • thinning out densely wooded areas
  • felling trees, stripping branches and chopping up tree trunks
  • protecting the forest against insect pests and disease
  • clearing footpaths and nature trails, and maintaining car parks
  • putting up fences, gates, signs and public information notices
  • checking and maintaining tools and equipment
  • preventing forest fires

Working environment

You could work in a park or in woodland.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could progress to senior forest worker or become a forest or arboricultural officer.

You could also become a forest ranger, working with wardens or conservation officers to look after wildlife.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Forest Operative Apprentice

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Nuneaton

Apprentice Arborist

  • Wage: £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Bristol

Courses In England

Diploma Level 3 Forestry and Arboriculture

  • Provider: MOULTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Northampton

BTEC National Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture Level 3

  • Provider: RNN GROUP
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Rotherham

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