Jobs at the US Forest Service – USDA Forest Service Careers

A serene watercolor painting depicting a diverse group of US Forest Service employees working together in a lush green forest, with one climbing a tree in the background, another examining plant speci

Introduction to USDA Forest Service Careers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service is a key federal agency responsible for the management and protection of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. Established in 1905, the Forest Service is tasked with promoting sustainable forest management through various land use programs. Working for the USDA Forest Service means contributing to conservation, resource management, and public service. The agency offers a diversity of careers to support its mission, ranging from forestry and natural resources management to administrative and technological support roles.

Types of Careers at USDA Forest Service

The Forest Service career opportunities are as diverse as the landscapes they manage. Whether you have a background in science, engineering, communication, or management, there is likely a fitting role within the Forest Service. Below are some of the main career categories:


Forestry professionals are at the heart of the Forest Service’s mission. They manage and protect forest resources through activities like timber harvest planning, forest regeneration, and disease prevention. Roles include Foresters, Silviculturists, and Logging Engineers.

Wildlife and Fisheries

These roles focus on the management and conservation of wildlife habitats and aquatic ecosystems within national forests. Positions include Wildlife Biologists, Fisheries Biologists, and Ecologists, who work to ensure that wildlife populations and habitats are healthy and sustainable.

Fire and Aviation Management

Crucial to the Forest Service’s mission is managing and responding to wildland fires. Career opportunities in this field include Firefighters, Fire Management Officers, and Smokejumpers. These professionals use a combination of ground and aerial firefighting techniques to manage fire in forested areas.


With millions visiting national forests each year, Recreation Planners and Rangers play a crucial role. They develop visitor management strategies, maintain trails and campgrounds, and provide educational programs about the natural environment.


Conservation efforts are vital for protecting ecosystems and biodiversity. Environmental Scientists, Hydrologists, and Soil Scientists work within the Forest Service to study landscapes and develop sustainable land-use practices.

Research and Development

The Forest Service operates a research branch responsible for advancing the science of forest management. Scientists and Researchers in fields such as botany, chemistry, and environmental science contribute to policy-making and on-the-ground management strategies.

Administrative and Technical Support

Support roles in human resources, information technology, finance, and public relations are essential to the functioning of the Forest Service. These positions provide the necessary support to frontline and field staff.

How to Apply for a Job at the USDA Forest Service

Jobs with the USDA Forest Service are federally appointed and typically listed on the U.S. government’s official job site, USAJOBS ( To apply, candidates must create a profile on the site, search for vacancies, and submit an application as per the guidelines for the specific job announcement. Each listing details the job requirements, duties, salary range, and application process.

Why Work for the USDA Forest Service?

Working for the Forest Service is not just a job; it’s a commitment to stewardship and public service. Employees have the unique opportunity to contribute to forestry research, conservation, and recreation efforts across the United States. In addition to a sense of fulfillment, the Forest Service offers competitive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation. Moreover, the agency is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, reflecting the diverse ecosystems it protects.


The USDA Forest Service offers a variety of career paths for individuals dedicated to managing and protecting the nation’s natural resources. With opportunities spanning scientific research, direct forest management, and support roles, aspirants from all professional backgrounds can find a fulfilling career path within the agency. More than just a job, a career at the Forest Service is an opportunity to make a tangible impact on the environment and communities across the United States.

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