Gaining Work Experience
Most employers expect to see a combination of formal academic/technical qualifications and practical experience when they are assessing candidates. Many early career foresters and arborists must therefore find ways to develop their profile and gain practical work experience while they are completing their studies.
Generally, there are four essentials to gaining a good job in the forestry sector:
- Enthusiasm for trees, woods and forestry.
- Qualifications that meet the requirements for the job.
- Practical work experience that demonstrates your commitment and resourcefulness.
- A valid Driving Licence.
Employers will always check for these features of your profile, and you should make details very clear on your CV and in your job application.
You will find further information about college courses here and university degrees here. In addition, information about RFS Qualifications is here. Information about apprenticeship opportunities is here.
Most students require work experience that is paid. This can often be gained through placements, which are generally supported by colleges and universities offering forestry and arboriculture qualifications. When applying to a college or university it is a good idea to ask about their links to employers and the opportunities to complete a "sandwich" placement mid-way through your studies.
Where it proves difficult to secure paid employment of the types of experience you are seeking, working as a volunteer or intern on short-term projects can make a very significant impact on your career development and impress prospective employers.
Gaining a range of work-based experiences and demonstrating your commitment to forestry will strengthen your CV.
Remember that most employers had to follow a similar path to get established in their chosen profession. They have an understanding of what is reasonable and achievable in the early stages of a career. From their perspective, they seek candidate who are "work ready" and where only a minimum amount of training is required before the new entrant is contributing to the business or organisation.