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Agriculture and Interior Seeking Forestry Technicians

Most technicians work in national parks. Many temp jobs are open.

Some 433 vacancy announcements for Forestry Technicians appear on the current Federal list. Over 8,000 Federal workers are now employed as Forestry Technicians (GS-0462). The majority of these employees work for the Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Service. A substantial number are also employed by the Department of the Interior.

Job Description
Forestry Technicians preserve and protect forest lands. This involves fire prevention, control and suppression. Most are employed at national forests and parks.

Some Forestry Technicians are trained as “Smokejumpers”. Smokejumpers are transported to fires by air, and then parachute to the ground to battle the blazes. The duties of these positions require sustained, arduous physical exertion under rigorous and dangerous conditions. Candidates for these positions must be in excellent health and must undergo a physical exam prior to appointment as well as periodically thereafter during employment.

A current vacancy announcement for Forestry Technician listed by the Department of Agriculture describes the job duties as follows:

"Develops, implements and makes presentations on the role of fire in ecosystem management educational programs on unit, both internally and externally; develops the means to disseminate information to the public; develops and presents fire prevention training for unit and forest personnel and cooperating agencies, public utilities and citizens groups; develops district or unit fire prevention plan by analysis of fire occurrence data, hazard and risk, values, suppression capabilities and potential for the loss of resources; develops a hazard reduction plan for developed sites and facilities and byways throughout the district or unit."

General experience requirements for Forestry Technician jobs include any previous paid or volunteer work that provided experience in firefighting. In addition, specialized experience may be required for positions at the GS-4 level and above. Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:

. Forestry aid or technician work.
. Engineering, range, or soil conservation technician work that involved the application of cultural, resource conservation or land management practices on non-forest or ranch lands.
. Farming or ranching work that involved the application of cultural soil and water conservation practices, including safety techniques and the use of equipment.
. Forest or range fire control, prevention or suppression work.

Forestry Technician Series
Education or training may be substituted for experience in most cases.

For GS-3: Successful completion of 1 year of study that included at least 6 semester hours in a combination of courses, such as range management or conservation, agriculture, forestry, wildlife management, engineering, biology, mathematics or other natural or physical sciences.

For GS-4: Successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources, outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildlife fire science.

For GS-5: Successful completion of a 4-year course of study leading to a Bachelor’s degree with a major in forestry, range management, agriculture, or related subject.

How to Apply
Candidates should look on-line for current Forestry Technicians (GS-0462) openings.

In addition, candidates may contact the Forest Service directly to inquire about current openings. Candidates may be told during their initial contact that a hiring freeze is in effect. This means that the hiring ceiling has temporarily been reached at that location. Frequent contact should be maintained, however, as positions open and close very quickly.

The Forest Service often hires temporary employees for summer and fall Forestry Technician positions. This is a means for gaining experience and for prospecting future career opportunities. The Department of Agriculture announced its summer vacancies in January. To find out more about these jobs visit Forest Service.

Candidates should also contact national parks and national forests for vacancy information. Listings may be found in local phone directories under “U.S. Government” for national parks (Department of the Interior) or national forests (Department of Agriculture) in their area. Candidates can also visit:

U.S. Forest Service

Dept of the Interior