https://www.usajobs.gov/

USDA Forest Service

Partnerships intern

June 2019 • Ogden, UT

What I liked

I like helping others with projects they have and using my skills I’ve learned in school to make projects go smoother.

What I wish was different

To be graduating sooner so I could start my career in the USDA.

Advice

Even though there are better internships to get out there, at least you get your foot in the door and get your name out across the USDA for future jobs.
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Range technician

May - August 2019 • Monticello, UT

What I liked

Riding horses and being in the mountians

What I wish was different

More rain

Advice

Look on USA jobs often, customize your cover letter.
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Forestry Technician (fire suppression)

June - August 2019 • Crescent, OR

What I liked

Working in the outdoors, Meeting diverse group of people, Living remotely.

What I wish was different

Leadership I worked under had been more clear, direct. I wish there had been more work to be completed and less waiting for direction. I wish there was no egotistical factor with being a firefighter

Advice

Be patient, dont ask stupid questions.
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Wildland Firefighter

April - September 2019 • Richfield, UT

What I liked

-using driptorches on the prescribed burn for aspen regeneration -using saws to drop hazard trees and cut fireline -using handtools to dig fireline -the views at the top -getting paid to camp -silly games with the crew -the green pants are so comfy and have lots of deep pockets -learned to drive a four-wheeler -played a lot of cards and zipped around on ATVs -the challenge of keeping up with the boys, and getting a fair chance on the saw

What I wish was different

I wish I'd found some friends outside of work. The folks at my station had their own personal lives off the clock, but I came into fire with the expectation of work being my life, and my crew my new family. That's not the way it's set up in the Richfield Ranger District, there is a work/life separation, unlike other crews I'd heard about. There was no bunkhouse, so I had my own place all to myself in town, and I was lonely.

Advice

Know what questions to ask when they call to offer you a job. A lot of forests don't interview for seasonal positions, they just call with an offer. So YOU need to interview THEM to find out if the offer is truly what you want. The government super works on a "need to know" basis, so they won't tell you anything unless you ask. Here are some good questions to ask when considering a position: 1. What type of module am I being hired on to? How many people are on it? Make sure you understand your module's role 2. Is there government housing? This is important. If you're applying to faraway places, don't get stuck paying rent in town. The bunkhouse is cheap, and whether you like your crewmembers or not, you won't be isolated 3. How many hours of overtime did the crew work last season? Anything under 400 is terrible. Firefighters make their money in hazard pay and overtime. 4. How is the handcrew set up? Is it a "throw-together handcrew" or is it a set crew every time? There are pros and cons to each type 5. Do you work off district often? Off forest? If you like to travel, this is a plus 6. What kind of project work do you do when not fighting fires? Not all projects are created equal...if you like to work the saw, thinning and fuels reduction is what you want to hear. Otherwise, you might get stuck repairing fences
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Forestry Technician

May - August 2019 • Missoula, MT

What I liked

Outdoor field work, leadership experience

What I wish was different

Permanent position

Advice

Be ready to be available at all hours of the day if you are working fire
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Forestry Technician

May 2018 - August 2019 • Boyce, LA

What I liked

I loved being able to work outside and learn about many different forestry techniques. I loved that they didn't keep me in strictly silviculture or timber management and allowed me to do other things like wildlife (banding birds) or get fire certified.

What I wish was different

Available housing

Advice

This is definitely once in a lifetime experience and if someone has the opportunity to do this, I would highly recommend!
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Forest service crew leader

May - August 2019 • Grand Junction, CO

What I liked

I like how we were able to have an experience out in the wild and be able to go camping with people that you haven't met before and build with them over the summer.

What I wish was different

I was concerned with certain aspects of the government pertaining to spending habits.

Advice

Always come to work every day with a positive attitude and hands to get dirty.
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Forest technician (recreation)

May - August 2019 • St. George, UT

What I liked

I loved my co-workers and mentors. Everyone gave me opportunities to learn new things and build my resume.

What I wish was different

I wish it was longer!

Advice

Show you are interested and that you want to learn all about it.
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Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2019 • Superior, MT

What I liked

Location. Job is fun.

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

It was dope.
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Range Management

May 2018 • Ephraim, UT

What I liked

I love being in the mountains and working

What I wish was different

Wish I would have learned more clerical things

Advice

Ask lots of questions
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Forestry Technician

May - August 2019 • Blairsden Graeagle, CA

What I liked

I liked the opportunity to work outdoors and see a lot of new country. A great aspect of the job was the physical requirements. Hiking, lifting, and running helped me get both physically and mentally stronger. The men and women I worked with all had a common goal to help protect and preserve our wild lands and a shared love for adventure and the outdoors.

What I wish was different

I truly wish I started working for the forest service sooner. Before I applied for this job and took the necessary training courses I worked construction. Construction isn’t nearly as fulfilling as wild land firefighting.

Advice

If you enjoy nature and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, this is a great job to look into. The people you meet and work with along the way are incredible and is a great opportunity to see some beautiful country.
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Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2019 • Monte Vista, CO

What I liked

The people you work with, and the opportunities to go fight fire around the country.

What I wish was different

Longer season.

Advice

Don't be afraid to apply to an area you have never been before.
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Information Research Intern

September 2019 • Flagstaff, AZ

What I liked

Very informational experience with amazing people. Learned a lot of new information on the Forest Service and programs within.

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

Work with what most interests you. I got an internship on a very interesting project that has been fun and made me love working on it.
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Timber Crew Member

May - August 2018 • Ephraim, UT

What I liked

I liked working in the mountains and learning how to run chainsaws and the comradery of the other members!

What I wish was different

I wish that we could have came up with better game plans!

Advice

It's a great opportunity and you can make some seriously good money working here! If your trying to save up for college this is a great option!
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Forestry Aide

May - August 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

Opportunities to get paid training; camaraderie; being outdoors 90% of the time and learning a new trade while also having opportunities to explore other careers within the ranger district.

What I wish was different

Advice

Be prepared to hike tough terrain. Ask questions, even if you may seem annoying at first everyone will appreciate it if you start to grasp things faster!
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Forest Technician

May - August 2019 • Ephraim, UT

What I liked

I loved the actual work I was doing. Hard physical labor knowing I was making a difference.

What I wish was different

The leadership.

Advice

Prepare beforehand, ask questions and learn by example.
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Wildland Firefighter

May - August 2019 • Libby, MT

What I liked

I love the atmosphere and the people I work with

What I wish was different

I wish we had had a better fire season

Advice

It is the best way to help pay for college. If you save up over the summer you can almost pay your tuition for the year
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Forestry Aide

May 2017 • Baker City, OR

What I liked

What I enjoyed most of this experience was the time spent among nature and building relationships with crew members. This job has been unlike any other when comparing comraderie aspects, for I have made some of my closest friends while working here.

What I wish was different

It’s difficult to say, but one thing that I wish had been different about this job is the process of hiring and rehirement. Difficulties with HR is almost inevitable when summer employment begins with the rush of so many new employees. However, the system in place is horrible in regards to responding to employees, often leaving customers on hold for well over an hour. I have personally experienced this, and have even lost two weeks worth of pay due to complications.

Advice

One piece of advice I could give to anyone seeking employment here would to be prepared to spend a lot time outdoors. This includes long, unpredictable, hours as well as days away from home and a shower.
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Botany technician

June - August 2019 • Alturas, CA

What I liked

I really enjoyed learning a wide variety of plants and staying active; we hiked about 6-10 miles a day.

What I wish was different

Everything was great there. The people, job, and environment was very welcoming. I just wish my internship was closer to home.

Advice

Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone, it could turn out to be one of the best summers!
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Civil Engineering Intern

May 2018 • Mccall, ID

What I liked

Working in McCall all summer with other engineers. Most days were spent in the field rather than office.

What I wish was different

Nothing.

Advice

If you ever get an opportunity to work for the Forest Service, do it.
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