Forestry Worker

Job Description:

Forestry workers plant, manage and harvest trees and care for the environment in forests and woodland.

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will 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


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Forestry Worker in the UK, there are no specific subjects that are typically required. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial for those considering a career in forestry. Here are some subjects and skills that may be relevant:

  1. Science: Taking science courses, particularly Biology, can provide a basic understanding of plant biology and ecology, which are relevant to forestry.
  2. Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are important for various aspects of forestry work, such as measurements and calculations related to tree growth and timber volume.
  3. Environmental Science: If available, consider taking courses in environmental science or geography, as they can provide a broader understanding of environmental factors and ecosystems.
  4. Physical Education: Forestry work often involves physical labor and outdoor activities, so being physically fit and active is important.

Post School

You’ll find it useful to have completed school subjects such as maths and English, the experience of working on the land or a qualification in forestry.

In college you can complete a Certificate in Land-based Technology (Level 2 in the UK) or in Agriculture, Land Management and Production (T level in the UK).

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

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Working Hours 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.

Career Path & 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.