Forestry Testimonials

Southern Illinois University



SIU Forestry - Alumni in the Workforce


Photo: SIU Forestry alumni Jacqueline, Project Forester for the South Carolina Forestry Commission, managing a prescribed burn.

The Big Picture

What do Forestry graduates do when they complete their degrees at SIU? 

In general, conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources. They work for state, local, or federal governments, on privately owned lands, or in social advocacy organizations. 

What are the job prospects for graduates with a Bachelor of Forestry degree?
  • Conservation scientists and foresters held 36,100 jobs in 2019. 
  • Employment is expected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The continued need for wildfire prevention and suppression services will help drive demand for conservation scientists and foresters.
What is the earning potential of conservation scientists and foresters?

In 2019, median salary was $62,660 for conservation scientists and $61,790 for foresters. Earning potential increases as you gain experience and knowledge.

REFERENCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Conservation Scientists and Foresters, at (visited March 24, 2021).

Where do SIU Forestry graduates work?


  • US Forest Service and other USDA agencies
  • US National Park Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • State conservation agencies
  • National conservation organizations including: The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, The Parklands Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Prairie Rivers Network, etc.
  • US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Dept. of Defense Military Installation Land Management
  • Community forestry: e.g., DuPage County Forest Preserve District; McHenry, Vermillion, and Linn County Conservation Districts; Champaign and Collinsville Park Districts and more
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Industry and private companies in areas such as land management, timber, tourism, landscaping, ecological restoration, consulting forestry, and others
  • Large-scale contractors including: Davey Resource Group, Marion Plywood Corp., Quality Forest Mgt, Illinois Forest Products, Iowa Oak, Long Forestry Consultation
  • Land investment/acquisitions and estate law planning firms
  • Self-employed as consultants
  • Universities, community colleges, research agencies
  • And more!