Careers in farming, fishing, and forestry serve a variety of functions in the natural world. Most aim to either produce food or agricultural products or protect the environment. Although careers in this field are very different, work environments are strikingly similar and may include:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that an increased use of technology and other factors could limit potential in farming, fishing, and forestry careers over the next decade. As a result, job openings in this field are expected to decrease 3 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022. However, certain regions may be affected more than others as may certain industries.
Careers in Farming, Fishing, and Forestry (BLS, 2013)
|Career||Number of Workers Nationally in 2013||Job Description||Degree Requirements|
|Conservation Scientists and Foresters||27,810||These professionals oversee all forest activities, ensure that state and local regulations are being met, establish conservation procedures, and act in a way that ensures sustainability of all lands and forests in their care.|
They may also work in a supervisory role over other forest and conservation workers and technicians.
|The BLS notes that conservation scientists and foresters typically need a Bachelor's degree in Forestry or a related field. Some conservation scientists also pursue a Master's degree or Ph.D., although it is not necessarily required for the job.|
|Agricultural Workers||373,350||According to the BLS, agricultural workers perform physical labor and use machinery in various farm and agricultural settings. They prepare crops for harvest, take care of livestock, and perform various farm-related tasks such as marking and branding livestock, spraying fertilizers and pesticides, and irrigating farm soil.||Agricultural workers typically earn a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job.|
|Fishers and Related Fishing Workers||480||These workers use high tech equipment to locate schools of fish. They catch fish and prepare them for delivery on land while ensuring that all local, state, and national regulations are being met. Working conditions are often hazardous and may even be life threatening.||Fishers usually learn their skills on the job. No formal education is required.|
|Logging Workers||35,870||Loggers use specialized equipment to bring down trees. They prepare trees for take down, mark and label trees, operate tractors, and inspect all equipment for safety. They clear land and prepare logs for use as raw material that is then turned into countless products.||Most loggers earn a high school diploma and learn their trade on the job.|
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Training (BLS, 2013)
In order to prepare for a career in this industry, many students complete postsecondary education at colleges, universities, or trade and technical schools. The following table provides an outline of the career possibilities for each level of education in this field:
|Degree Type||Timeline for Completion||Possible Careers|
|Certificate||Certificate programs vary in length. However, most can be completed in one year or less.||Agricultural Workers, Fishing and Related Fishing Workers, Logging Workers|
|Bachelor's||Bachelor's degree programs typically take four years of full-time study to complete.||Conservation Scientists and Foresters|
|Graduate or Professional||Students can earn a graduate or professional degree in 1-2 year after earning a Bachelor's degree.||Conservation Scientists and Foresters|
"Bureau of Labor Statistics," May 2013 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
"Bureau of Labor Statistics," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Conservation Scientists and Foresters, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/conservation-scientists.htm#tab-1
"Bureau of Labor Statistics," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Agricultural Workers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/farming-fishing-and-forestry/agricultural-workers.htm#tab-1
"Bureau of Labor Statistics," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Fishers and Related Fishing Workers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/farming-fishing-and-forestry/fishers-and-related-fishing-workers.htm#tab-1
"Bureau of Labor Statistics," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Logging Workers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/farming-fishing-and-forestry/logging-workers.htm
This table shows summary data on occupations in the US. Clicking on any occupation name brings you to a page showing job prospects and salaries for that occupation in hundreds of metro areas across the country, with data updated through 2022.(Where data is denoted by an asterisk (*), summary info was not available.
Click each Occupation title for more details.
|Conservation Scientists and Foresters||8,300|
|Fishers and Related Fishing Workers||520|
|Forest and Conservation Workers||7,080|