Forestry workers manage trees, plants and the environment in forests and woodland.

What does a forestry worker do?

Your typical day as a forestry worker could involve:

  • clear undergrowth for planting
  • plant new tree seedlings
  • dig drainage systems
  • thin out densely wooded areas
  • fell trees, strip branches and chop up tree trunks
  • protect the forest against insect pests and disease
  • clear footpaths and nature trails, and maintain car parks
  • put up fences, gates, signs and public information notices
  • check and maintain tools and equipment
  • prevent forest fires

What do I need to do to become a forestry worker?

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • graduate training scheme


You could study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • forestry
  • arboriculture
  • countryside management
  • forest management
  • woodland ecology and conservation

You may choose to study a degree accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree


You could take a college course to learn some of the skills needed in this job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Land-based Technology
  • Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course


The following apprenticeships can help you get into this role:

  • Level 2 Arborist
  • Level 2 Forest operative

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship


Volunteering for a woodland or wildlife charity is a good way to get experience, which could help you when looking for work. You can find opportunities with the following organisations:

Other Routes

You can apply for a graduate training scheme with Forestry England.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Leadership
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem solving

Related subjects

  • Geography
  • Maths

Where to find out more

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Chartered Foresters, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in forestry from the Royal Forestry Society and Forestry England.

Where could I be working?

You could work in a park or in woodland.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career opportunities

You could progress to senior forest worker or become a forest or arboricultural officer.

You could also become a forest ranger, working with wardens or conservation officers to look after wildlife.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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