Forests are an essential natural resource. They provide us with the timber to create different products, are habitats for many animals, and produce necessary nutrients and oxygen for our ecosystem. It is the job of Forest Engineers to ensure this important resource remains intact while designing and managing projects such as forest management, logging operations, and building roads or structures.
Forest Engineering students take classes to learn how to create equipment that will help with timber production, surveying, and other forestry related activities. These classes cover topics such as civil engineering, engineering design, physics, surveying, and calculus. In order to understand the impact these projects have on forests, students also take additional classes in forestry, ecology, and environmental science.
As with other engineering majors, students should have a strong background in math and science. Forest Engineering is rooted in civil and mechanical engineering making analytical and critical thinking skills necessary, as well a proficiency in computer-aided design. Students will learn how to handle multiple projects and lead a team of fellow professionals. Strong communication and interpersonal skills with help you work effectively with others as well as communicate with the general public about project plans and their expected impact.
Forest Engineering graduates can expect to work full time, often in an office setting. However, frequent visits to project locations will be important when surveying the ground to plan and to ensure the project is moving along on schedule.
When looking for new hires, employers place an emphasis on previous experience, making internships, summer jobs, or participation in cooperative engineering programs beneficial to students. While this career is based in engineering, work with places such as the U.S. National Park Service will also provide you with valuable experience and knowledge in forestry.
Many Forest Engineering graduates find jobs with organizations such as the U.S. Forestry Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Department of Environmental Conservation. However, others have gone to work for companies that specialize in housing developments, road and highway construction, or logging. This degree provides students with the skills to go into any engineering occupation that deals with forestry.
With the increasing desire to preserve natural resources, Forest Engineering graduates are in demand. Students should not have a difficult time finding a job after graduation.