It may seem obvious: The USDA Forest Service needs people with forestry degrees. But that’s not all. You also could work on managing natural resources if you’re pursuing or recently graduated with a degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry or related disciplines.

If managing natural resources isn’t your passion, but you value the agency’s mission, you’re in luck. The Forest Service has a place for you if you’re interested in medicine, communications, IT, career counseling, civil rights, legislative affairs, business operations, HR or other areas. The agency even hires chefs and nurses.

USDA Forest Service photo by Preston Keres

What kind of degree are you pursuing or do you have?


Forestry careers

If you’ve chosen to study forestry, you’re likely committed to protecting and cultivating land—and the agriculture and people on the land.

Foresters work in regions across the country, managing the growth of trees and other plants. Projects include:

  • Completing environmental assessment and impact reports.
  • Planting seeds and inspecting contractors’ work.
  • Ensuring maps are accurate and up to date.
  • Overseeing tree harvesting and sales—including pricing, cutting and disposal—and ensuring the environment isn’t damaged in the process.
  • Issues and questions come up daily in the life of a forester. You’ll need to use sound judgment to make good decisions, based on agency guidelines and plans.

Click here for a list of early career forestry jobs. If you don’t see the perfect position, remember: New postings are added all the time.

Here are other ideas for getting your first Forest Service job:

Biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry and related disciplines

Natural resource management and science careers

The natural resource managers the Forest Service hires are social, biological and physical scientists of all academic and experience levels.

Here are a few examples of what early career natural resource managers do:

  • Develop environmental plans.
  • Review requests and issue permits for the use of forest land.
  • Work with data to create and update maps showing the condition of land and where the agency’s ownership starts and ends.
  • Draft reports, design presentations and answer data questions related to the above topics and others.

Click here to see a list of early career natural resource management and biological sciences jobs open to the public.

Keep in mind that new postings are added all the time. If the perfect position (regarding location, grade level, etc.) isn’t posted, here’s what you can do:

Other college degree; high school diploma or equivalent

The opportunities are endless

While this webpage focuses on careers in the forestry and natural resource management realm, don’t exit out if you are looking to launch your federal careers in other areas including medical, communications, IT, career counseling, civil rights, legislative affairs, business operations, HR, and more!

The agency has nearly 30,000 employees and you can be one of them.

Visit the main Forest Service careers page for more comprehensive information.