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Forest Technologist

Forest technologists perform many of the technical functions involved in the scientific management of forested areas.

  • Avg. Salary $80,053.00
  • Avg. Wage $39.63
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Biological Sciences Technician / Technologist, Environmental Technician / Technologist, Forest Guardian

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Forestry Technologists and Technicians (2223) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Forestry Technologists and Technicians (C123) 
  • 2011 NOC: Forestry technologists and technicians (2223) 
  • 2016 NOC: Forestry technologists and technicians (2223) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

100%
100%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Forest Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Forestry Technologists and Technicians
DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising the construction of access routes, forest roads and forest tree nursery operations; and in implementing and supervising technical functions in silviculture and forest harvesting operations and in co-ordinating activities such as timber scaling, forest fire suppression, disease and insect control and pre-commercial thinning of forest stands

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to monitor activities of logging companies and contractors, to enforce regulations, such as those concerning environmental protection, resource use, fire safety and accident prevention

INNOVATIVE

Interest in precision working to provide technical support to forestry research programs in areas such as tree improvement, seed orchard operations, insect and disease surveys and experimental forestry and forest engineering research

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Forest technologists work in close consultation with other land and resource management specialists to ensure that forest land is managed wisely. Their objective is to optimize production of forest resources and minimize adverse impacts on the land, water and wildlife. As such, they assess, plan and manage the health, sustainability, conservation and renewal of forests, vegetation, wildlife, watersheds, soil, airsheds and ecosystems.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, forest technologists:

  • plan and administer silviculture activities such as timber harvesting (logging) and reforestation operations to ensure healthy, diverse forest regeneration
  • conserve and improve wildlife habitat through carefully planned silviculture programs
  • conduct forest timber inventories and analyze forests using computer hardware and software
  • use information-management technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS) and databases to assist with conservation and forest management activities
  • interpret government regulations for effective supervision of staff and contractors
  • prepare and administer forest management plans
  • work with government to develop and implement environmentally sound harvesting and reforestation plans
  • participate in research, analyze data and prepare technical reports
  • conduct forest ecological surveys such as ecosystem classification and songbird inventories
  • work with the oil and gas industry to ensure activities comply with forestry legislation and minimize negative impacts on the forest land base
  • perform auditing and compliance functions
  • direct wildfire control operations and monitor fire activities.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Forest technologists often perform tasks that are strenuous, sometimes on steep, wet or uneven terrain. They also work indoors conducting experiments, analyzing data and writing reports. When outdoors, they work in all weather conditions.

Technologists who work primarily outdoors often work in remote locations, sometimes on their own. They may commute daily to forest sites or routinely be away from home for periods of a week or more, staying in modern camps or small rural communities.

Forest technologists may work 12- to 16-hour shifts when necessary to fight forest fires. Some technologists routinely work 12-hour shifts, 4 days a week.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Forest technologists need:

  • clerical perception for taking measurements and updating computer databases
  • spatial and form perception for mapping and inspecting
  • motor coordination and manual dexterity for adjusting instruments and for activities such as tree planting
  • communication and interpersonal skills for dealing with people and working as part of a team.

Those who work primarily outdoors also need to be:

  • physically fit
  • able to work alone effectively
  • able to deal with mechanical problems such as snowmobile breakdowns.

All forest technologists should enjoy directing and supervising others, taking a methodical approach to compiling information and enforcing regulations, and developing innovative approaches to problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

For the purposes of this profile, forest technologists are defined as graduates of 2-year or 3-year forest technology programs. It should be noted, however, that the terms “forest technologist” and “forest technician” may be used differently by various employers and post-secondary schools.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Forest Technologist

Forest technologists perform many of the technical functions involved in the scientific management of forested areas.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Regulated Forestry Profession Act [pdf] and Registered Professional Forest Technologists Regulation [pdf], you must be registered with the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists (CAPFT) to use the protected titles reserved for regulated members:

  • Registered Professional Forest Technologist
  • Registered Forest Technologist
  • Professional Forest Technologist

Registration is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and intend to practise forestry on public lands.

What You Need

Registration as a registered professional forest technologist requires:

  • A forestry technology diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) or a recognized equivalent
  • Good character and reputation
  • Successful completion of a professional examination

For detailed official information about registration requirements, contact the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists (CAPFT).

Working in Alberta

Forest technologists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered forest technologists in Alberta and the jurisdiction which the applicant originates have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists (CAPFT) website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated forest technologists, see Forest Technologist Registration Process.

Contact Details

College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists (CAPFT)
200, 10544-106 St. NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5H 2X6
Canada

Call: 780-432-1962
Fax: 780-432-4183
Email: info@capft.ca
Website: www.capft.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Forest technologists are employed by:

  • companies that produce forest products such as lumber, pulp and paper, plywood or panel board
  • consulting companies
  • schools
  • government departments and agencies
  • power companies
  • oil and mining companies.

Some forest technologists are self-employed private consultants.

Work experience in the forestry field is a definite advantage for forest technology graduates seeking entry-level positions such as log scaler, timber cruiser or supervisor of a tree-planting crew. Outdoor experience (such as camping, bush travel, use of all-terrain or 4-wheel-drive vehicles) is a definite asset. The Alberta Junior Forest Rangers program, operated by the Government of Alberta, provides work-related forestry experience for senior high school students.

Competition for permanent positions is keen. Post-secondary program graduates usually start their careers in seasonal positions and obtain permanent positions after gaining 2 to 4 years of experience. Most positions are in northern Alberta.

Experienced forest technologists may develop forestry plans or assist foresters in developing plans, supervise other forestry workers and technologists who acquire the data for plans, or actually do the field work required to implement plans. They may also move into related areas such as provincial parks, survey crews, reclamation crews or the oil and gas industry.

Forest technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2223: Forestry technologists and technicians. In Alberta, 90% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017
Forestry technologists and technicians

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $46.60 $35.28 $38.64
Overall $23.13 $50.17 $39.63 $44.10
Top $29.00 $71.41 $45.98 $44.10

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

100%
100%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

31%
31%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Alberta Junior Forest Rangers website: alis.alberta.ca/jfr

College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists website: www.capft.ca

ECO Canada website: www.eco.ca

Work Wild website: www.workwild.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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