From time immemorial forest resources have been a source of human sustenance. They are home to the most amazing herbs, medicinal compounds, natural cosmetics and above all the Wild life. Forestry and Wild Life go together since forests serve as home for wildlife which itself is also very important for the maintenance of ecological balance on the earth.

As the consciousness among the people for conservation of forest is growing, so also the career opportunities available to Forestry graduates are also increasing. Forestry graduates can take up jobs in various government departments like department of forest and wildlife. They can be employment in NGOs working in conservation and up gradation of forests. Corporate houses involved in timber plantations also need the services of Forestry graduates. They also can take up research work in public sector research institutions like Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Institute of Social Forestry and Eco-rehabilitation and Wildlife Research Institutes. They also can be employed in Botanical and Zoological parts, Wildlife sanctuaries and National parks. They also can take up teaching jobs in many universities offering Forestry as a subject. Other career options available to Forestry graduates are still photography, film making and wildlife journalism. There may also be opportunities in television channels like Discovery and Natural Geographic. Further Forestry graduates can run their own private consultancy in environmental impact assessment of large projects. Organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Centre for Environment Education, Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) and consultancy firms like Ernst and Young and KPMG hire a number of Forest and Wildlife graduates.

Forestry

Forestry involves protection of forests and verities of trees to ensure contributing timber supply. Forester takes care of forest resources by protecting them from fire, pests, disease, encroachment and indiscriminate felling of trees. They can take up work either in offices, laboratories or outdoors depending on their field of specialization.  The misuse of forests like other natural resources has led to severe natural calamities like landslides, floods and droughts. Indiscriminate killing of wild animals have led to the extinction of many rare species.

How to become a Forester?

Forester is responsible for protecting and regenerating forests, protecting wildlife habitats, checking for and fighting wild fires, landscape management and so on. With experience foresters can graduate to managing public relations, preparing reports and managing budgets.

1. Educational Qualification

Aspiring candiate should hold a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, statistics, veterinary science and animal husbandry; or who hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, forestry, or agriculture; or a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. and who are between the ages of 21 and 30 as on July 1 of the year of the examination. Upper age limits are less restrictive for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Classes (SC/ST/OBC).

2. Age

The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years on 1st July of the year of examination and must not have attained 30 years of age on that date.

The upper age limit will be relaxed by 3 years for OBC candidates and 5 years for SC/ST candidates.
The upper age limit is also relaxed in favor of certain categories of civil servants working under the Government of India and Defense Services Personnel.

To be a Forester one has to follow the below given steps:

Step 1

As a first step the aspirant has to apply for the test taken by the various central recruitment agencies like UPSC etc .for filling up the posts of Forester from time to time as per their requirement.

Note: The notification for the examination with relevant details regarding rules and syllabus is published in the month of December in the ‘Employment News’ / ‘Rozgar Samachar’ , ‘Gazette of India’, and in some leading Newspapers of the country.

Step 2

After competing in the test the selected candidates are imparted short term training of the forest conditions and the nature of tasks to be done by them.

Step 3

After completion of training they are posted in the various forests spreading in all over the country at various places. Besides this Foresters can take up work either in offices, laboratories or outdoors depending on their field of specialization

Forester Job Description and Career Prospects

The forester is responsible for protecting and regenerating forests, protecting wildlife habitats, checking for and fighting wild fires, landscape management and so on. With experience foresters can graduate to managing public relations, preparing reports and managing budgets.

Forester Officer Salary

Aspriing forester can expect Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 rupees per months. But this figures keeps on changing from time to time.

Other Career options related to Forestry and Wildlife

Dendrologists :
These professional are specialist in the scientific study of trees and woody plants. Their work involves research on the history, life span, measuring, grading, classifying the varieties of trees, and studying ways and means of tree improvement through a forestation etc.

Enthologists :
Experts of animals behavior in their natural environment. Enthologist studies and analyses the evolution, behavior, biological functions etc. of an organism in its natural environment. Enthologist play an important role of designing healthy habitats for animals in zoos, aquariums, and labs. They also study animal behavior to enhance our knowledge of human physiology and psychology.

Entomologists:
Entomologists specialize in the study and control of diseases caused by various kinds of insects nd pests.

Silviculturists:
This professional is apt in the growth of plantations that yield periodic harvests. 

Forest Range Officers:
Forest range officers take care of public forests, sanctuaries, botanical gardens etc. They have conservators, loggers and other junior personnel working with them. Entry into this post is through the IFS Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

Zoo curators:
They are responsible for animal welfare in the zoos and also undertake conservation programmes. Zoo curator plays a role in the administration of zoo functions and captive breeding programs. They review reports made by zookeepers, calculate the budgetary requirements for the zoo and encourage research activity.

To conclude :

Other than various career options mentioned above forestry specialists   with attributes like Liking for outdoors, spirit of adventure, good health, stamina and physical fitness, patience, scientific temperament, organizing ability, public relations skills, practicality, courage, decision-making ability, capacity to work long hours, a genuine interest in the preservation of the natural environment and habitat, inclination for research and academic bent of mind, curiosity, excellent skills of observation, interest in agriculture and geography and appropriate qualification in the related fields can get jobs abroad as wildlife consultants for esteemed organizations. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one such organization that deserves a special mention. Many organizations are also recruiting Indian professionals in this field for working in countries like Kampuchea, Vietnam, South Africa to name a few.