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Occupational Profile

Forest Technologist

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

  • Avg. Salary $59,167.00
  • Avg. Wage $31.69
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

86%
86%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Forest Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Forestry Technologists and Technicians
NOC code: 2223
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 Oct 26, 2015

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. 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 though 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
  • 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 Oct 26, 2015

Forest technologists perform tasks that are often strenuous, sometimes on steep, wet or uneven terrain, or indoors conducting experiments, analyzing data and writing reports. They may work outdoors in all weather conditions such as rain, snow, or cold.

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, four days a week.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Oct 26, 2015

Forest technologists need the following characteristics:

  • good clerical perception for taking measurements and updating computer databases
  • good spatial and form perception for mapping and inspecting
  • good motor co-ordination and manual dexterity for adjusting instruments and activities such as tree planting
  • good 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 skidoo 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 Oct 26, 2015

Forest technologists are defined for the purposes of this profile as graduates of two year or three year forest technology programs. It should be noted, however, that the terms forest technologist and forest technician may be used differently by specific employers and post-secondary institutions.


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 Oct 26, 2015

Forest Technologist

Forest technologists perform many of the technical functions involved in the management of forested areas including forest management, land use and fire management.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Regulated Forestry Profession Act and Registered Professional Forest Technologists Regulation, 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 or Forest Technologist-In-Training. Registration is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and intend to practice forestry on public lands.

Education

Registration as a Registered Professional Forest Technologist requires: (1) a Forestry Technology Diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology or a recognized equivalent, (2) good character and reputation, (3) two years of suitable post graduate forestry work experience, and (4) successful completion of a professional examination. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the website below or contact the College.

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 the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated forest technologists, see Forest Technologist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists
200, 10544 - 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5H 2X6
Phone number: 780-432-1962
Fax number: 780-432-4183
Website: www.capft.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 26, 2015

Forest technologists are employed by the following types of organizations:

  • companies that produce forest products (such as lumber, pulp and paper, plywood, panelboard)
  • consulting companies
  • educational institutions
  • 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 four-wheel-drive vehicles) is a definite asset. The Alberta Junior Forest Rangers program, operated by Land and Forest Services, Alberta Environment and Parks, 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 two to four 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. Or, they may 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 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 that never existed before)
  • 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 Oct 26, 2015

Forestry technologists and technicians
NOC code: 2223

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 $19.00 $37.70 $26.38 $25.00
Overall $21.45 $47.41 $31.69 $30.00
Top $23.00 $50.00 $35.42 $35.00

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Forestry, Logging, Fishing and Hunting

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

86%
86%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

9%
9%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

8%
8%

2015 Vacancy Rate

1%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Natural Resources
    • Forestry
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 26, 2015

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

Work Wild website: www.workwild.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 01, 2009. 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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