Explore Careers - Job Market Report
Silviculture and forestry workers perform a variety of duties related to reforestation and to the management, improvement and conservation of forest lands. They are employed by logging companies, contractors and government services.
clearing saw operator, forest firefighter, forestry crew worker, forestry worker, pieceworker – silviculture, scarification equipment operator, silviculture worker, spacing saw operator, thinning saw operator.
- Assess site, select seedlings and plant trees using manual planting tools in reforestation areas
- Operate power thinning saw to thin and space trees in reforestation areas
- Operate chain saw to thin young forest stands
- Control weeds and undergrowth in regenerating forest stands using manual tools and chemicals
- Complete firefighting reports and maintain firefighting equipment
- Dig trenches, cut trees, pump water on burning areas to fight forest fires under direction of fire suppression officer or forestry technician
- Operate and maintain a skidder, bulldozer or other prime mover to pull a variety of scarification or site preparation equipment over areas to be regenerated
- Perform other silviculture duties such as collecting seed cones, pruning trees, assisting in planting surveys and marking trees for subsequent operations.
Sudbury, Elliot Lake, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Algo, Blind River, Capreol, Cobalt, Englehart, Espanola, Garson Junction, Haileybury, Hearst, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Mattawa, New Liskeard, Nickel Centre, Parry Sound, Powassan, Temiskaming Shores, Thessalon, Valley East, Blezard Valley, Carol Richard Park, Connaught Hill, Dowling, Elmview, Finntown, Flake, Guilletville, Hanmer, Laurentien, Levack, Lively, McCrea Heights, Naughton, Parkwood, Pinecrest, Porcupine, Pottsville, South Porcupine, Val Caron, Val Therese
Education & Job Requirements for Silviculture and Forestry Workers in Northeast Region
Education and job requirements can vary by region. Workers in regulated occupations require a licence to work legally. Workers in non-regulated occupations do not require a licence, but employers may have other certification requirements.
Employment requirements are prerequisites generally needed to enter an occupation.
- Completion of secondary school may be required.
- Completion of a college or other specialized program for silviculture workers or forestry crew workers may be required.
- Formal training in power saw operation and maintenance and several months of on-the-job training are usually provided.
- Experience as a logging and forestry labourer may be required.
- A chemicals application licence is required.
- Workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) and transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) certificates may be required.
- A silvicultural worker's licence may be required.
Regulation by Province/Territory
Some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province, your licence may not be accepted in other provinces or territories. Consult the table below to determine in which province or territory your occupation/trade is regulated.
|Province and Territory||Regulation|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||
|Prince Edward Island||
The essential skills profiles can:
- Help determine, based on skill sets, which career may best suit a particular individual.
- Assist job seekers to write a résumé or prepare for a job interview.
- Help employers to create a job posting.
Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as “building blocks” because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Silviculture and Forestry Workers
Silviculture and forestry workers perform a variety of duties related to reforestation and to the management, improvement and conservation of forest lands.
- Read instructions and warnings written on signs, labels and packaging, e.g. read signs to learn about the location of hazards, such as high pressure gas lines. (1)
- Read comments on forms and maps, e.g. read comments on maps to learn where trees need to be thinned. (1)
- Read notices and bulletins, e.g. read notices from workers' compensation boards to learn about workplace hazards. (2)
- Read workplace safety materials and procedures, e.g. read instructions on how to use personal protective equipment, work safely around chicots (dry or rotten trees) and handle hazardous products, such as gasoline. (2)
- Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read instructions and procedures contained in orientation handbooks to learn how to plant trees and thin brush. (2)
- Read a variety of manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to operate and maintain equipment, such as chainsaws and firefighting gear. (3)
- May read contracts and regulations, e.g. read contracts to learn about the responsibilities of contractors and provincial regulations governing the use of heavy equipment, such as skidders used to prepare sites for reforestation. (4)
- Locate data on labels, e.g. locate data, such as dimensions, on labels attached to boxes of seedlings. (1)
- Use symbols and icons, e.g. use symbols on maps for orientation and icons on product packaging to recognize hazardous materials. (1)
- Read gauges and digital readouts, e.g. scan digital readouts to determine the operating condition of equipment. (1)
- Complete a variety of forms, e.g. complete coded timesheets by entering hours worked and forest fire weather index forms by circling numbers and entering dates, times and coordinates. (2)
- Complete hazard assessment forms, e.g. record the outcomes of hazard assessments and complete checklists on worksite hazard assessment forms. (2)
- Locate data in a variety of tables and schedules, e.g. locate waypoints, such as latitudes and longitudes, in tables and dates, times and coordinates in burn schedules. (2)
- Scan assembly drawings, e.g. scan assembly drawings of chainsaws to learn how to disassemble and reassemble them. (2)
- Refer to pictures of various plant species in order to recognize them. (2)
- Refer to maps and aerial photographs to learn about physical location coordinates, boundaries, distances and the location of work sites. (3)
- May enter data into complex forms, e.g. complete fire cost reports using information from a variety of sources, such as fire diaries. (3)
- Write short comments in log books, e.g. write entries in log books to record the number and types of trees and plants. (1)
- Write short notes to co-workers, e.g. write short notes to co-workers to inform them about defective equipment. (1)
- May write silviculture prescriptions and management plans using repetitive standard wording. (2)
- May write short incident reports, e.g. write short reports to describe complaints and events leading up to workplace accidents. (2)
- May write short descriptions, e.g. write short descriptions on pre-harvest assessment forms to report the relative health of stands and any visible signs of disease or insect damage. (2)
- May write fire cost reports to report the outcomes of fire suppression activities. (2)
- Take a variety of measurements using basic tools, e.g. measure the diameter of trees using tape measures. (1)
- Compare actual plant counts to specifications, e.g. compare the number of seedlings planted to project requirements. (1)
- May estimate requirements, e.g. how much fuel will be needed to operate chainsaws. (1)
- May estimate production rates, e.g. estimate the number of acres that can be thinned in one day. (1)
- May calculate their pay, e.g. use factors, such as rate per acre and rate per tree, to calculate money owed to them. (2)
- Calculate material requirements, e.g. calculate the number of seedlings needed to complete a project. (2)
- Calculate the number of trees planted on a per hectare basis using data, such as planting plot assessments. (2)
- May calculate averages, e.g. calculate the average number of trees planted per acre. (2)
- May use precision instruments to measure the height of trees and the grade of slopes, e.g. use clinometers to determine the height of trees. (3)
- May estimate the number of firefighters required to bring a fire under control, based on numerous factors, such as an assessment of wind conditions, surface moisture and the likelihood of precipitation. (3)
- Listen to and provide warnings, e.g. listen for signals from co-workers about falling trees. (1)
- Exchange information with co-workers, e.g. talk to supervisors to learn about job assignments, coordinate activities and discuss schedules. (2)
- May discuss planting requirements and strategies with forest service personnel. (2)
- Participate in group discussions, e.g. discuss safety, goals, procedures and time frames with firefighters, helicopter pilots and ground crews when fighting forest fires. (2)
- May provide detailed, step-by-step instructions, e.g. explain to new employees the procedures for working safely around chicots (dry or rotten trees) and the use of equipment such as chainsaws. (3)
- May find that the terrain is too rocky to plant seedlings. They use judgment to plant the seedlings only in places where they are likely to survive. (1)
- Evaluate the performance of equipment, e.g. determine the need to sharpen chainsaws by evaluating the ability of chainsaws to make speedy cuts. (1)
- Find information on the operation and maintenance of equipment by reading equipment instruction manuals and by speaking with co-workers. (1)
- May have difficulty getting the equipment and skidder to the work area because of streams or hilly terrain. They search for alternate routes to bypass the obstacles. (2)
- Encounter delays due to equipment breakdowns. They inform supervisors about equipment breakdowns and perform other work until repairs are completed. They may attempt to troubleshoot and repair the equipment themselves. (2)
- Are asked to perform unsafe work. They speak with supervisors to clarify their request and refuse to perform work they deem to be unsafe. They follow legislated 'right to refuse unsafe work' policies until satisfactory outcomes are achieved. (2)
- Select the processes, parts, tools and equipment required to perform tasks, e.g. consider ground conditions and seedling types to determine planting locations. (2)
- Decide which trees to cut and which to leave and the best positioning of cuts to bring a tree down. (2)
- Decide to report unsafe work conditions. They act on requirements to report unsafe work conditions by discussing their concerns and decisions with co-workers and supervisors. (2)
- Evaluate weather conditions, e.g. evaluate the impact that winds and moisture levels will have on forest fires. (2)
- Assess soil conditions. They consider factors, such as the rockiness of soil, amounts of clay, drainage conditions and accumulations of logging debris, when evaluating where to plant new seedlings. (2)
- Organize the area they have been assigned in conformance with the foreperson's guidelines. Since many work sites are remote, they plan their equipment and supply needs carefully. Failure to plan effectively can result in lost time. Weather conditions and the need to traverse difficult terrain can disrupt their plans and may cause them to revise their priorities. (2)
- Find information about forest fires. They talk to emergency responders, co-workers and pilots and review maps and weather forecasts. (2)
- Find information about worksite hazards by conducting physical inspections, reading site hazard assessment forms and speaking with co-workers. (2)
- May find, when burning debris, that the fire spreads too quickly. The crew works as a unit to bring the fire under control. (3)
- May have to deal with a fire suddenly flaring up because of a change in wind direction. They follow procedures and rely on past experience to cope with this emergency. (3)
- Decide the safest way to leave a forest fire site by, for example, building a helipad or walking out. (3)
- Evaluate the safety of work conditions and tasks. They observe slipping and falling hazards and the locations of safety gear, such as fire suppression equipment. They take note of other potential hazards, such as chicots, improperly cut trees, broken equipment and signs of wildlife, such as bears. (3)
- Use global positioning system (GPS) devices to map locations and determine elevations and coordinates. (1)
- Use two-way radios and satellite phones to communicate with co-workers. (1)
- May use hand-held digital data loggers to record data, such as latitudes and longitudes. (1)
- May use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
- May use word processing software to write reports. (2)
- May enter data into spreadsheets to tally amounts for invoices and estimates. (2)
- May use email to exchange information and documents with co-workers. (2)
- May use Internet browsers to access weather forecasts and advisories. (2)
- May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and trainers. (2)
Silviculture and forestry workers are part of a team, known as a work crew, but individual members often work independently to space trees, cut a section of a tree stand or plant a section of the plot. At times, they work with a partner on activities, such as establishing an initial thinning pattern, before beginning their solitary work. Forest firefighters may work with a partner to dig trenches or build a helipad.Continuous Learning
Silviculture and forestry workers learn on the job through practice and through interaction with co-workers. Many take first-aid training and courses in the safe use of chainsaws and other power tools. Workers who fight forest-fires take courses in such things as weather interpretation, fire behaviour prediction, fire fighting techniques, helipad construction and rappel safety.
All essential skills are affected by the introduction of technology in the workplace. Silviculture and forestry workers' ability to adapt to new technologies is strongly related to their skill levels across the essential skills, including reading, writing, thinking and communication skills. Technologies are transforming the ways in which workers obtain, process and communicate information, and the types of skills needed to perform in their jobs. In particular, silviculture and forestry workers need the basic digital skills required to use technology, such as global positioning (GPS) technology and two-way radios, which are commonplace in the industry. Digital technologies provide workers with tools, such as satellite phones, that increase opportunities for verbal interaction and improve workplace safety. For example, workers operating independently in remote locations can access supervisors and medical assistance using their satellite phones. Workers may also need the skills to use increasingly complex applications, such as word processing software.
Technology in the workplace further affects the complexity of tasks related to the essential skills required for this occupation. The sophisticated mechanisms found in equipment, such as chainsaws, have increased the complexity of technical drawings, to which silviculture and forestry workers sometimes refer. At the same time, GPS software has simplified map reading. Workers can also complete documents, such as fire-cost reports, with speed and accuracy using software applications that input data automatically. Alternately, they may calculate material requirements, conversions, volumes, rates and other numeracy-related tasks using Web-based applications, calculators and hand-held devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Information for Newcomers
Provincial credential assessment services assess academic credentials for a fee. Contact a regulatory body or other organization to determine if you need an assessment before spending money on one that is not required or recognized.
The assessment will tell you how your education compares with educational standards in the province or territory where you are planning to settle can help you in your job search.
- British Columbia - International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
- Alberta - International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- Saskatchewan - International Qualifications Assessment Service The Government of Saskatchewan provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
- Manitoba - Academic Credentials Assessment Service – Manitoba (ACAS)
- Québec - Service des évaluations comparatives d’études (SECE)
- Northwest Territories - International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS). The Government of the Northwest Territories provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
- Date Modified: