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Forestry worker

Alternative titles for this job include Forest craftsperson, lumberjack

Forestry workers manage trees, plants and the environment in forests and woodland.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£27,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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


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

More Information


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
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


The following apprenticeships can help you get into this role:

  • Level 2 Arborist
  • Level 2 Forest operative

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • clear undergrowth for planting
  • plant new tree seedlings
  • dig drainage systems
  • thin out densely wooded areas
  • fell trees, strip branches and chop up tree trunks
  • protect the forest against insect pests and disease
  • clear footpaths and nature trails, and maintain car parks
  • put up fences, gates, signs and public information notices
  • check and maintain tools and equipment
  • prevent 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Arborist

  • Wage: £11,700.00 Annually

Arboriculture Apprentice

  • Wage: £194.40 Weekly
  • Location: Not known

Courses In England

Christmas garland/topiary tree workshop

  • Start date: 01 December 2022
  • Location: Farnborough

Stained glass: tree decorations

  • Provider: Learn Devon
  • Start date: 19 November 2022
  • Location: Bideford

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