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Forestry worker Forest craftsperson, lumberjack

Forestry workers manage trees, plants and the environment in forests and woodland.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £27,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll find it useful to have some GCSEs, experience of working on the land or a qualification in forestry. 

Volunteering for a woodland or wildlife charity is a good way to gain experience.  

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Lantra has more information on careers in forestry.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills to operate machinery
  • organisational skills to manage your workload

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • clearing undergrowth for planting
  • planting new tree seedlings
  • digging drainage systems
  • thinning out densely wooded areas
  • felling trees, stripping branches and chopping up tree trunks
  • protecting the forest against insect pests and disease
  • clearing footpaths and nature trails, and maintaining car parks
  • putting up fences, gates, signs and public information notices
  • checking and maintaining tools and equipment
  • preventing forest fires

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000

Experienced: £18,000

Highly Experienced: £27,000 (supervisors)

Some employers provide accommodation as part of your salary package.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

This is a physically demanding job. You'll spend most of your time outdoors in the countryside in all weathers. You may need to travel between different sites.

Some of your work may be hazardous, as you'll be using power tools while working at height.

You'll need to wear protective clothing for certain jobs and a safety harness for climbing trees.

6. Career path and progression

You could progress to senior forest worker or become a forest officer.

You could also become a forest ranger, working with wardens or conservation officers to look after wildlife.

You could become self-employed.

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Last updated: 21 August 2017

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