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Employment: Conservation Scientists and Foresters




Conservation scientists and foresters held about 33,000 jobs in 2002. Nearly one-third of all workers were employed by the Federal Government, many in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Foresters were concentrated in the USDA’s Forest Service; soil conservationists were employed primarily in the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. Most range managers worked in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, or the Forest Service. Another 20 percent of conservation scientists and foresters worked for State governments, and about 10 percent worked for local governments. The remainder worked in private industry, mainly in support activities for agriculture and forestry or in wood product manufacturing. Some were self-employed as consultants for private landowners, Federal and State governments, and forestry-related businesses.

Although conservation scientists and foresterswork in every State, employment of foresters is concentrated in the Western and Southeastern States, where many national and private forests and parks, and most of the lumber and pulpwood-producing forests, are located. Range managers work almost entirely in the Western States, where most of the rangeland is located. Soil conservationists, on the other hand, are employed in almost every county in the country. Besides the jobs described above, some foresters and conservation scientists held faculty positions in colleges and universities. (See the statement on teachers—postsecondary elsewhere in the Handbook.)