There are currently an estimated 12,300 foresters in the United States. The forester job market is expected to grow by 4.9% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are foresters?

CareerExplorer rates foresters with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 6,700 foresters. That number is based on 600 additional foresters, and the retirement of 6,100 existing foresters.

Are foresters in demand?

In recent years, the primary concern for government agencies managing forests and rangelands has become the prevention and suppression of wildfires. Most employment growth for foresters in the United States is projected to be with state and local government-owned forest lands, particularly in the western part of the country. Private consulting firms to which governments outsource some work will also present opportunities. The development of previously unused lands and changes in weather patterns have contributed to increasingly devastating and costly fires. These factors should lead governments to hire more foresters, especially as more people live on or near forest lands. Growing demand for American timber products may create some jobs in the field, particularly with private forests. Revitalization, city-planning, and eco-management projects may generate some additional positions for urban foresters. Investments in conservation programs will augment the need for foresters familiar with the use of forests to mitigate carbon emissions and develop renewable forms of energy. Foresters with a background in geographic information systems (GIS) technology, remote sensing, and other software tools will likely have the best job prospects. Those who earn certification from the Society of American Foresters or the Society for Range Management may enhance their employability. Experienced foresters may advance to positions as managers, researchers, or policy makers. During the cold winter months, employment in certain geographic regions can be curtailed by weather conditions.

What’s the supply of foresters?

The forester industry is concentrated in Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon

Forester job market by state

State Name Employed Foresters
Washington 630
Wisconsin 460
Oregon 450
California 440
Minnesota 380
Georgia 350
Virginia 330
Michigan 310
Idaho 300
North Carolina 280
Pennsylvania 250
South Carolina 220
Colorado 220
Alabama 210
Montana 210
New York 210
Mississippi 190
Ohio 170
Arkansas 160
Tennessee 160
West Virginia 150
Missouri 150
Maine 140
Kentucky 130
Texas 130
Illinois 120
Louisiana 120
Massachusetts 110
South Dakota 110
Indiana 100
Iowa 100
Florida 90
New Mexico 80
New Hampshire 80
Vermont 70
Maryland 70
Wyoming 60
Connecticut 60
Alaska 60
Nebraska 50
North Dakota 30
Oklahoma 30
New Jersey 30