Getting a Forestry Degree Online
Getting a degree in any field can help you in a number of ways. Not only do many positions require a degree even to get an entry-level job but some may have such stiff competition that a degree will help you stand out from the crowd. When it comes time for advancement and raises, having a degree may give you a big boost because it shows that you have a high level of dedication to the field.
What Is a Forestry Degree?
A forestry degree can be any level of degree in the many fields of study related to forestry and natural conservation, including things like fire control and more. An associate’s degree takes around two years to complete, a bachelor’s degree around four years, and a master’s degree another year up to four years after that. There are Ph.D. programs for forestry, but those are typically for people who are interested in research and academic positions in the field.
What Jobs Are Available with a Forestry Degree?
The type of job that you can get with a degree may depend on the level of competition, the number of jobs available, and other factors in the area where you are looking for a job. Obviously, there will be some areas of the country where forestry jobs are more plentiful, while in others, there are going to be far fewer positions, if any at all.
For someone with an associate’s degree:
- Forestry technician. A forestry tech assists a forester with a number of tasks, including fire management and tending to trees in a nursery. Yearly wages can vary, with the average being around $37,000
- Fisheries tech. Much like a forestry tech, the fisheries tech assists a higher-level person (in this case, typically a marine biologist) in a variety of tasks, including cleaning tanks, recording information, and more. There is a wide range in pay here, especially when you compare employment through private sector companies versus state or federal government assignments. Some government assignments are seasonal and may have different compensation rates than a permanent state employee at the same level.
For someone with a bachelor’s degree:
- Game warden. A game warden is a law enforcement officer tasked with monitoring the fish and wildlife population and upholding all of the laws governing them. This can include tracking potential poachers, removing illegal traps, or keeping people out of restricted areas. The average salary is $56,000 However, there are several states where game wardens are paid very well. The state with the highest pay rate is Illinois, with a listed average pay of just over $88,000.
- Forester. A forester is in charge of the health of a forest, including controlling wildfire conditions, setting controlled fires to remove dead brush, and more. The average salary is $56,000
With a master’s degree, the jobs would be more managerial in nature and are typically given to people who have already established a career in the field and also demonstrate leadership skills. The pay is also typically higher and may have additional perks, such as conferences in various locations.
It is ironic that while the cost of getting a doctoral degree is higher than any other level, the salary may not reflect that, especially in the academic field or in private sector research positions. At some colleges, a tenure track position may be the higher paid, but it may be difficult to get and very strongly competed for.
What Is the Cost of Getting a Forestry Degree?
The cost of getting a degree depends on the type of degree, the school you are attending, and how you are attending since online classes are less costly than traditional classes. The longer that you are required to attend, the more expensive the degree will become.
You can find very affordable programs if you choose an online forestry degree program.
The average cost of a two-year degree is around $50,000, while the cost of a bachelor’s degree is around $140,000. In addition to these costs, there are costs associated with licenses and certificates that may be required, including the prep work and practice exams, if there are any. If you attend school out of state, there will be the cost of housing, food, and travel to consider as well.
What Are the Prerequisites to Enter a Forestry Degree Program?
To get into a forestry degree program, you must meet certain requirements. For all levels, you will need to have either a high school diploma or a GED. Some schools, especially those that are very competitive, will require a fairly high grade point average and may require SAT scores that are equally competitive. Other requirements may also be listed, including membership in certain organizations, internship, or other things that show your level of interest in the field.
For a bachelor’s degree, you must successfully complete the associate’s degree first, and you may still need to complete additional testing for placement. To get into a master’s degree program, you will need a bachelor’s degree in a field of study related to natural science. You may also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores and may need a certain number of field hours to be considered. In some cases, you can work at your current level while trying to obtain your master’s degree with your current position being used as your required field hours.
In some states, you may also be required to obtain certain licenses and/or certifications before you can earn your degree. In other states, you may be able to obtain the degree but must obtain these documents before you can be employed at the higher level. It is important that you know the full requirements for the state you are applying within so that you can apply for the positions that you are technically qualified for.
Finally, there are non-educational considerations, including overall health and aptitude. Someone who is unable to meet the physical demands of the position would obviously not be well-served by an education in the field, so there may be health and physical standards that must be considered as well.