Forestry Technician

Forestry Technician

GS-0462

Position Overview

The Department of the Interior has a critical job to do: helping to protect lives, property and resources from destructive fires. The women and men who support DOI’s wildland fire management efforts serve in a wide variety of roles, including: understanding and monitoring fire behavior; preventing and mitigating damaging fires; detecting and putting out fires; controlling smoke, loading helicopters; and, managing communications to dispatch people, equipment and resources to support firefighting.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate has a strong interest in protecting public lands from the devastating effects of fire, whether on the ground cutting firebreaks or supervising firefighting team operations. Teamwork is extremely important. Front line fire-fighting requires being adaptable to all varieties of weather, dust and smoke, uncomfortable living conditions, and unpredictable situations, so endurance and superior physical conditioning are absolutely necessary.

Work Environment

You could spend a great deal of time in forests and other remote environments with rocky and/or steep terrain covered with vegetation where temperatures can vary from above 100 degrees F to below freezing.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Individual Occupation Requirements and the Technical and Medical Support Positions Group Qualification Standard on the OPM websites.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Constructing firelines
    • Chopping brush
    • Finding and extinguishing flare ups
    • Loading helicopters

  • Mid:

    • Driving and operating a fire engine
    • Gathering and analyzing weather and fire data
    • Planning and carrying out prescribed burns to protect the landscape
    • Training staff

  • Journey:

    • Supervising fire management staff
    • Developing action items and recommendations on fire management issues
    • Assessing and coordinating onsite activities and reacting to changing conditions
    • Training staff

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Strengths by Level

Entry 3-5
Mid 6-7
Journey 8-10
  • Accountability
    Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Decision Making
    Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Oral Communication
    Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Physical Strength and Agility
    Ability to bend, lift, climb, stand, and walk for long periods of time; ability to perform moderately heavy laboring work.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Problem Solving
    Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Resilience
    Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Stamina
    Exerts oneself physically over long periods of time without tiring (which may include performing repetitive tasks such as data entry or coding).
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Teamwork
    Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Technical Competence
    Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10
  • Writing
    Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.
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    Entry 3-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-10

Common Pathways

Candidates who made this career change most commonly held these occupations...

95.3%

Range Technician

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0.8%

Dispatching

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0.8%

Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences

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Where We Are

DOI employs people at more than 2,400 locations across the United States and territories. Use the Position Locator tool to see where current DOI employees work. To check for job opportunities, scroll down and click "See jobs on USAjobs.gov."