Seasonal Jobs with the Forest Service

The US Forest Service employs over 55,000 people, which includes nearly 20,000 seasonal or temporary employees. It is a splendid place to work and you’ll love every minute of it. You may work in Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest, California’s Tahoe National Forest, Michigan’s Ottawa National Forest, or Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest. You really can’t go wrong.

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Working for the Forest Service is often a way to spend your days outside, with much personal interaction with people. Here are a few of the seasonal jobs that the US Forest Service regularly offers:

Biologists study the environment. You may study pine beetles or capture and track wolves. They may do surveys or collect field data. They spend their time outdoors doing research. These positions require at least a 4-year degree.

Aides and Technicians spend days in backcountry settings recording information. There are many different types of aides and technicians. Forestry, hydrologic, physical science, biological, surveying, and range aides and technicians all do different jobs relating to their field.

Craft workers and trades people do many jobs that are required in the forests. They may be welders, operate heavy machinery, pack smokejumper parachutes, fire control, campground maintenance, or road construction. Usually you need about 6 months of experience for these jobs, but trade school is a common substitute. Wages are based on local wages for similar jobs, which is usually around $10 to $12 an hour.

Forest Workers help maintain the forest. You collect and destroy undesired plants, dig ditches, build fences, or load and unload equipment. The work is labor intensive, but gets you out of an office. This job makes you $8 to $14 an hour.

Reforestation workers work at replanting the forest. Private contractors working for the Forest Service usually employ them, but occasionally the Forest Service will form its own reforestation crew. These jobs can make upwards of $15,000 a season.

Clerks work for the Forest Service as indoor staff. You do basic office jobs, but get to spend their breaks and days off in the great outdoors. Plan on $8 to $10 an hour.

Forest Firefighters have one of the most popular, dangerous, and demanding jobs available. You will fight forest fires that threaten surrounding towns and communities. Seasonally you’ll make around $10 an hour plus hazard pay or if you work year-round, you’ll make $35,000 to $50,000 a year plus hazard pay.

The US Forest Service has lots of jobs available for people just like you. They all require you to be in good physical shape and be willing to work long hard hours doing manual labor. Every job is satisfying and will allow you to sleep well every night, knowing that you’re going to spend tomorrow outside in the fresh air.


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