https://www.usajobs.gov/

USDA Forest Service

Forestry Technician

May - August 2020 • Springerville, AZ

What I liked

I enjoyed being outside, and the education I received.

What I wish was different

I wish I had gotten more experience with forestry methods.

Advice

expect to get covered in paint every day.
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Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2020 • Bonners Ferry, ID

What I liked

I loved being able to work outside everyday and explore new country. My crew was great to work with and I learned a lot!

What I wish was different

It would have been nice to not have all of the COVID restrictions as that really hampered our work.

Advice

Don’t be intimidated by your work or your crew. I was the only female on an otherwise all male crew. Be cause I wasn’t intimidated by them, they respected me and treated me as their equal.
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Wild land firefighter

May - August 2020 • Grangeville, ID

What I liked

I love being in the outdoors, and the job is submersed in it. The job also allows for great profession even in the few short months. The crew was amazing and the work was good!

What I wish was different

In this profession we have to do physical training every day (PT). We started the season off really strong. In the first week we had ran 15 miles, and hiked 20 in full PPE. But after that first week, we really started to decline. We would have really easy PT and then every once in a while we’d get hit with like an 8 mile run. We were all out of shape for this and it made all of us struggle.

Advice

This job takes hard work. It also consumes your life. Out of the four months I worked I like I had about 10 days off MAX. The year before, I only had 3. It’s takes dedication, but it will bring the money in and train you hard!
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Seasonal Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2019 • Elko, NV

What I liked

The whole job from responding to fires to just working out getting ready for fires

What I wish was different

Advice

Be in good shape and be ready to work extremely long and hard hours
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Botanist

June - August 2019 • San Bernardino, CA

What I liked

I really enjoyed getting to apply my skills in the field.

What I wish was different

I would have liked to spend more time doing botanical surveys.

Advice

I recommend applying for internships as soon as possible.
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Hydrologic Technician

April 2019 • Cedar City, UT

What I liked

The forest service is a great place to work. My supervisors have been really helpful and have taught me a lot about how things operate on the Forest. I also have enjoyed being able to spend 40 hours every week up in the mountains exploring new places and helping map springs.

What I wish was different

One thing I wish was different is the time I have had to spend imputing data into the computer. It’s not hard, it’s just slow and not very exciting.

Advice

I would say apply for jobs you want even if you feel you are not the most qualified. I didn’t fill qualified for this position, but applied anyway and expressed a willingness to learn.
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Biological Technician

May - September 2019 • Tiller, OR

What I liked

Working outdoors and in the field that I am passionate about. This is the field that I got my degree in (Botany).

What I wish was different

Advice

Keeping an open mind and continue to ask questions. Learning never stops, especially in the professional arena!
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Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2019 • Seeley Lake, MT

What I liked

I very much enjoyed my experience with the forest service

What I wish was different

Nothing!

Advice

Earn it to enjoy it
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Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2019 • Greybull, WY

What I liked

Everything it was the funnest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had

What I wish was different

Advice

Go into it knowing it’s going to suck you are going to work long hours with a lot of physical labor. But you can get really close to people and there is a lot of camaraderie. The pay is great and it is really fun! Where else can you get paid to play with a chainsaw!
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Wildland Firefighter

April - September 2019 • Escalante, UT

What I liked

Being outdoors

What I wish was different

Had a busier fire season

Advice

It is hard manual labor
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GS 4 Forest service timber crew member

May - August 2019 • Montpelier, ID

What I liked

Excellent job! I got to work in the mountains every day and cover some really neat country.

What I wish was different

Nothing. Loved the job

Advice

Get into shape for hiking early in the season!
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Forestry Technician

May - September 2019 • Baldwin, MI

What I liked

Working outdoors in our great Manistee National Forest.

What I wish was different

I wish that I would have been able to work across different disciplines more often.

Advice

Study your trees, know the differences between maples, oaks, aspens. Use your knowledge as a foundation for your decision making. Timber marking as much as it is a science, it is an art.
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Wildlife Technician

May - August 2019 • Cedar City, UT

What I liked

I really liked that I was able to work outdoors all summer. I love the mountains and love the schedule the forest service has working 4 ten hour shifts getting all weekends and holidays off. The pay is also very good for a student.

What I wish was different

I wish that I could have had the opportunity to receive overtime and been able to work longer throughout the year.

Advice

If you want to work for the Forest Service you have to look at the job listings extremely early. To get hired on in May 2019 I applied clear back in October of 2018.
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Fuels Technician

May - August 2019 • Ferron, UT

What I liked

Worked outdoors, great coworkers, learned lots of new skills. Good hours, good pay.

What I wish was different

Nothing I really liked my job

Advice

Even if you're scared at first about getting a new job, do it. It may turn out to be the best job you've had.
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Wilderness Ranger

May - September 2019 • Mountain View, WY

What I liked

Everything. The people, the experience, the area. And that experience helped me get my foot in teh door with other opportunities.

What I wish was different

I wish it was a longer season but because of weather and school it is cut short.

Advice

Never put yourself above anything you can do.
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Forestry Technician

June 2016 • Idaho City, ID

What I liked

Consistent hours, getting to be outdoors, choosing the days I work, working with friends.

What I wish was different

More Variety of work

Advice

Have a good resume and be ready to work hard in the summer heat and drink lots of water. Also it's great experience no matter what field you are going into.
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Wildland Firefighter

May - September 2019 • Missoula, MT

What I liked

Working outside, good people

What I wish was different

Better payp

Advice

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Information Receptionist

May - December 2019 • Cedar City, UT

What I liked

I really liked how this job position allowed me to work with every division within the forest service. I was able to learn new skills and I also had the opportunities to go out on the forest and see the different projects that were going on, on the district. A big part of my job was customer service whether it was selling permits or merchandise, answering phone calls, or replying to letters and emails sent from the public.

What I wish was different

I wish I was able to go out in the field more. My job at the office definitely kept me busy but it was nice going out on the mountain when I could.

Advice

Be open minded when working for any agency that offers multiple career paths. I have been and am still set on working for the Forest Service's Range Management department, but this job showed me just how much more there is behind the scenes at the office. This agency has so much to offer from timber programs to hydrology to engineering, there is so much this place offers.
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Recreation technician

May - August 2019 • Oscoda, MI

What I liked

Great environment to work in and opportunities to grow. They want the best for their employees.

What I wish was different

I wish i could have worked there longer.

Advice

Be ready for a changing work environment. You have to be flexible I the job.
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Pathways Intern Forester

March 2019 • Fort Collins, CO

What I liked

I liked the range of experiences that I was exposed to. I liked my coworkers and the opportunity to serve the forest service. I liked the opportunity I was given to go to Alaska and do real work for the FS instead of being stuck in the office doing paperwork and staying in the background. I appreciated the ability to network across the nation that was available at my office since it is an extension of the national office where policies, manuals, handbooks, etc are written and programs are made, decisions for the agency are deliberated and it affects the entire nation.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more time in the summer to go to more experiences, more classes, etc.

Advice

If an opportunity is offered and it is not what you wanted or expected, don't discount the possibility it may be better for you in the end. Keep your head and spirits high as if you had been given the best opportunity you hoped for. Attitude is more important than aptitude in many office settings. My internship is not what I had expected or hoped for, but it was far better than what I had hoped for. I am set up for a better career path and my internship was extended to cover me during a Master's offer I accepted while working my internship.
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