Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Employment with the Florida Forest Service

The Florida Forest Service is a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and employs more than 1,250 people in more than 90 job classes.

Applying for Employment

Forests are one of Florida’s most beautiful and beneficial natural resources. Almost half of the state's 35 million acres is forest land. The Florida Forest Service has the responsibility of protecting and expanding forests through proper management, protection and public education. The Florida Forest Service provides fire protection for forests and natural areas and firefighting assistance to municipal and volunteer fire departments.

Members of the Florida Forest Service team may work in either a rural or urban setting. The Florida Forest Service assists and advises landowners in a wide variety of forestry matters and manages more than 1 million acres of state forest lands.

Full-time permanent employees of the Florida Forest Service receive the following benefits:

  • Opportunities for employment in 15 field units throughout Florida.
  • State benefits including a State of Florida retirement package, paid leave, health insurance and life insurance.
  • Ongoing training opportunities.
  • Diverse working environment.
  • Opportunities to assist wildfire suppression and management efforts on wildfires out West.
  • Opportunities for advancement within the agency. 

Common Job Classes

Most of the employees of the Florida Forest Service work in one of the following job classes:

Forester

 A Forester Measuring a Tree.

The Florida Forest Service employs rural, staff, state lands and supervisory foresters statewide. Foresters are professionals trained to manage timberland and forest ecosystems for many purposes. Florida's millions of acres of commercial forest land provide trees for paper and wood products, provide recreational areas for hunting, camping and fishing, help to purify our air and water, and provide homes for many species of wildlife. The forester provides assistance to landowners, educates the public about the value of forest resources and assists cities and counties with programs to protect and enhance their tree resources. Florida Forest Service foresters are trained to:

  • Manage forest systems for multi-use benefits.
  • Provide technical assistance to landowners.
  • Educate the public about the value, health and sustainability of forest resources.
  • Assist cities and counties with the develop­ment of ordinances and programs designed to protect and enhance community forests.

Additional duties include seedling survival checks, GIS mapping, timber marking, forest measurements, overseeing harvesting, landowner assistance, prescribed burning and coordination during wildfire incidents. All Florida Forest Service foresters must possess a four-year degree from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in forestry.

Brochure: Be a Forester, Your Adventure Begins Now [ Adobe PDF Document 1,002.74 KB

Forest Ranger/Wildland Firefighter

The forest ranger is first and foremost a wildland firefighter. Florida Forest Service forest rangers/wildland firefighters are an elite team of selfless public servants who put their lives on the line to protect the citizens, homes, businesses and natural resources of Florida. They fill various wildfire suppression roles including fighting wildfire on the ground using a range of specialized equipment. The forest ranger is also often called on for landowner assistance and to conduct fire prevention education programs at schools and civic group meetings. Additional duties include wildfire suppression, wildfire detection, wildfire prevention and mitigation, prescribed fire, cooperative forestry assistance, state forest management, reforestation, recreation and forest education.

All forest rangers must have a high school diploma or equivalent and must meet Florida Forest Service health and physical fitness requirements for initial employment. Within the first year of employment, forest rangers must successfully complete the curriculum for certification as a Certified Florida Wildland Firefighter. Training is provided at no cost to the employee.

Brochure: Be a Forest Ranger, Your Adventure Begins Now [ Adobe PDF Document 846.22 KB ]

 

 

Duty Officer

The duty officer is an important link in Florida's firefighting activities. The duty officer operates radio transmitters and computer terminals and transmits information and emergency messages related to firefighters. The duty officer dispatches forestry and fire crews by two-way radio. They also provide information pertaining to road and weather conditions, travel directions and related information, and plot exact locations of wildfires. All duty officers must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Telecommunications Specialist

The telecommunications specialist is responsible for installing, repairing, maintaining and replacing two-way radios, telephones, computers and other electronic communication equipment. The Florida Forest Service utilizes a complex network of communications equipment, both in fire control and in forest management. All Florida Forest Service telecommunications specialists must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and four years of work experience in telecommunications. College education from an accredited institution can substitute at the rate of 30 semester or 45 quarter hours for one year of the required work experience, provided such education includes telecommunication coursework.

Other Job Classes

  • Accountant
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Aircraft Mechanic
  • Biological Scientist
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Forest Area Supervisor
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Mechanic
  • Park Ranger
  • Pilot (Single, Twin & Rotorcraft)
  • Senior Clerk

The department is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people to review the job listings to find out if this agency can offer them a career opportunity.