In Summary - Forest Worker
Forest Workers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
The Work - Forest Worker
The work at any forest may include initial ground preparation, planting, maintenance of plantations, pruning, thinning, road-making, assessing and growing, stock, felling and extracting as well as the conservation and development of game and wildlife.
Forestry Workers may specialise in cutting tree lengths, tractor driving and lorry driving to move wood stacks to transportation points.
They are also responsible for protecting forests from misuse by the general public.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Check equipment to ensure that it is operating properly.
- Confer with other workers to discuss issues such as safety, cutting heights, or work needs.
- Fight forest fires or perform prescribed burning tasks under the direction of fire suppression officers or forestry technicians.
- Perform fire protection or suppression duties, such as constructing fire breaks or disposing of brush.
- Select or cut trees according to markings or sizes, types, or grades.
- Identify diseased or undesirable trees and remove them, using power saws or hand saws.
- Spray or inject vegetation with insecticides to kill insects or to protect against disease or with herbicides to reduce competing vegetation.
- Drag cut trees from cutting areas and load trees onto trucks.
- Thin or space trees, using power thinning saws.
- Maintain tallies of trees examined and counted during tree marking or measuring efforts.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Interests - Forest Worker
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Forestry Workers need to be observant, responsible, good at manual work and extremely fit, as the work is physically demanding. They should be capable of working on their own initiative as well as forming part of a team. Forestry workers have to be out in all sorts of weather. Protective clothing must be worn such as boots, hard hats, ear defenders, chainsaw trousers and gloves.
Entry Requirements - Forest Worker
It is possible to enter this sector either from secondary school or from college. Operative type jobs are genarally open to entrants with second level education, while those who have acheived a recognised further education or third level qualification tend to be employed in higher level supervisory/managerial type roles.
It is possible to gain forestry qualifications at Certificate, Diploma or Degree levels. To be recognised as a Professional Forester, a minimum of a Diploma from a recognised college is required.
There are currently four main providers of full time education and skills training courses catering for the forestry sector in Ireland. These courses are aimed at new entrants preparing for a career within the forestry sector, but also are suitable for existing practitioners now seeking formal educational qualifications.
Teagasc Ballyhaise - Teagasc offers a fulltime one year forestry certificate programme (NFQ Level 5) with the option of an additional one year advanced certificate programme (NFQ Level 6). This is a highly practical vocational education and training (VET) programme primarily aimed at preparing students for practical, operational jobs within the forestry sector, and in particular the establishment and management sectors. There is considerable emphasis placed on practical work experience, particularly in the second year. Students attaining their Level 5 certificate can progress to WIT outside of the CAO system, under the QQI – HETAC linkages programme.
WIT - WIT offers a fulltime three year forestry ordinary degree programme WD076 (NFQ Level 7) with the option of an additional one year honours degree programme in land management (NFQ Level 8). The ordinary degree programme is considered to be somewhat more vocational than UCD, and is more focused on preparing students for specific technical jobs within the forestry sector. WIT also offers masters degree and doctoral degree opportunities through its broad range of forestry and wood-energy related research programmes.
UCD - UCD offers a fulltime four year forestry honours degree programme DN271 to National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 8. The programme is considered to be more focused on providing a broad forestry education rather than on preparing students for specific jobs within the forestry sector. UCD also offers masters degree and doctoral degree opportunities through its broad range of forestry related research programmes. The honours degree and masters programmes are accredited by the Society of Irish Foresters and the UK Institute of Chartered Foresters
UL - UL offers a full time four year honours degree programme in materials and architectural technology LM094 (NFQ Level 8). The programme focuses on the creative and effective use of wood and wood-based materials in commercial products and prepares students for careers in the timber processing sector and associated downstream industries.
A number of short courses are also available woth COFORD and the Society of Irish Foresters.
Last Updated: November, 2015
Pay & Salary - Forest Worker
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 31k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Forest Worker
While the data does not point to any shortages in this area, employers are indicating significant issues with sourcing staff; as such, employment permits are being issued, albeit for a restricted numbers.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Forest Worker
Teagasc - Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority
- The Irish Forestry Board, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow
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