Foresters may spend one day in the laboratory and the next in the field. Some days they speak with executives in board rooms and other days they talk with tree farmers. Therefore, foresters must be highly trained technically, but they must also be good communicators. They must see themselves as stewards of forest resources and must be able to convince others that forests are vital to the welfare of humanity.
Our forests are owned and managed by a wide range of individuals, private organizations, and public agencies. Foresters may manage timberlands for private industry or may scout out and buy timber from other landowners for their companies. Some foresters are private consultants who advise landowners on the multiple-use management of their timberlands. Many work in management, administration, or research for public agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service.
Foresters have long-range views on environmental issues. They should be able to visualize a forest's development over many years. They must understand natural history and forest ecology. Basic college courses you should take to become a forester include: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, economics, communications, and computer science. You will also take professional courses in forest biology, forest resource measurement, forest management, and forest policy, and administration. There are over 40 accredited forestry programs in the United States.
In high school, take four years each of mathematics and English. Also take courses in biology, chemistry, and physics.
-- Fred B. Knight, University of Maine