Agriculture and Interior Seeking Forestry
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.
Forestry Technicians preserve and protect forest lands. This involves fire
prevention, control and suppression. Most are employed at national forests and
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
. 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
How to Apply
Candidates should look on-line for current
Forestry Technicians (GS-0462)
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
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