Career Opportunities with the
South Carolina Forestry Commission

Imagine the emptiness of a landscape without TREES...
South Carolina is rich in forested land.

Our forests have a profound impact on our daily lives. They are essential to the economic well-being and to the quality of life in our state.

The mission of the South Carolina Forestry Commission is to protect and develop the forest resources of South Carolina.

To that end, employees of the Forestry Commission provide forest fire protection and forest regeneration and management services to the citizens of South Carolina. Within those broad categories there is a surprising variety of programs and activities.

If you choose a career with the South Carolina Forestry Commission, you will play a vital role in fulfilling our mission.




Forestry Technician I

A Forestry Technician Iís primary duty is suppression of wildfires. Because wildfire doesnít necessarily keep a nine-to-five schedule, neither can a Forestry Technician I. Current communications equipment (multi channel radios, pagers, computer networks and telephones) allows some flexibility, but a technician must agree to be available to be quickly dispatched to the location of a fire whether it be day or night, weekday or weekend.

Forestry Commission Forestry Technician I's will often be the first to arrive at the scene of a wildfire. Using mechanized equipment and/or hand tools, their job is to contain the fire. Although most day-to-day fire fighting will be in surrounding counties, they could be dispatched to any location in South Carolina.

Forestry Technician I's also perform routine equipment maintenance and assist with construction projects and fire prevention programs. Other duties may include seasonal nursery and tree improvement work and assistance with forest landowner services. Career advancement is possible through a Forestry Technician Career Ladder.

Minimum Job Qualifications: High school diploma and experience in forest fire protection duties or forest management.

Forest Technician II

Forest Technician II's work at one of the Commissionís state forests where they will do everything from tree planting and wildlife management to prescribed burning and heavy equipment operation.

Minimum Job Qualifications: High school diploma and experience in forest fire control, forest management, or nursery operations. An Associate degree in forestry may be substituted for the required work experience.



A forestry dispatcher functions very much like a police or EMS dispatcher. When a wildfire is reported, the dispatcher determines its precise location and notifies the nearest available Forestry Technician I. Dispatchers keep track of ongoing incidents and maintain radio contact with fire suppression personnel. They stay abreast of current fire information and issue weather updates to field locations. They also receive and process burning notifications from individuals who intend to set controlled fires. There is one dispatch center located in each of the three regions.

Minimum Job Qualifications: High school diploma and any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience that would enable an applicant to satisfactorily perform the job function.

Forestry Technician III/Supervisor

A Forestry Technician/Supervisor supervises fire suppression activities. Forestry Technician I's are under the direct supervision of a Forestry Technician/Supervisor. Forestry Technician/Supervisors are also responsible for forest fire law enforcement and fire prevention activities. They receive advanced training in law enforcement and forest fire fighting. A Forestry Technician/Supervisor is assigned a heavy pickup truck with a water pump and frequently directs fire fighting operations at the scene.

Most higher level Forestry Technician/Supervisorsí positions require an associateís degree in forestry or equivalent technician training. They may assist foresters with timber marking, planting, harvest site inspection and forest landowner services.

Minimum Job Qualifications: High school diploma and experience in forest fire control, forest management, or nursery operations. An Associate degree in forestry may be substituted for the required work experience.




This is a position with the greatest career latitude and opportunity for advancement to a supervisory or executive planning position.

Newly hired foresters will either be assigned to a unit where their primary responsibility will be working with private forest landowners, or they will be assigned to a state forest, or into the FIA (Forest Inventory & Analysis) program.

Foresters make woodland examinations and write plans tailored to a landownerís management objectives. They may mark timber, conduct prescribed burning, supervise harvesting and planting operations, and work with wildlife, soil conservation and other natural resource scientists. They will be involved in forest fire prevention and suppression and may supervise fire fighting personnel. They may also work in special programs such as urban forestry, insect and disease management, marketing, conservation education and environmental affairs.

Job Qualifications: Bachelorís degree in forestry from a college or university accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Must take the Registered Foresterís Exam.

Online Job Shadowing

Forester - (opens in a new window) Video module of a forester.

Forester - (opens in a new window) Youtube summary of forester online job shadow.


Forestry field offices employ administrative staff, radio and computer technicians, and mechanics.

The Columbia office houses departments that offer statewide services such as personnel management, accounting and purchasing, and creative services. There is a warehouse and machine shop complex located in Columbia, as well as the headquarters for Harbison State Forest.

Accounting Supervisor Elsie Montgomery


As a South Carolina state agency, the Forestry Commission offers a full range of fringe benefits, including paid annual and sick leave; health, dental, and life insurance plans; and an excellent retirement system.


The South Carolina Forestry Commission provides equal employment opportunity to all present and prospective employees regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or political affiliation. This policy applies to all personnel actions, including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, classification/compensation, benefits, transfers, terminations, and educational, social or recreational programs of the agency.

For additional information and an application, contact:

SC Forestry Commission
PO Box 21707
Columbia, SC 29221
Phone: (803)896-8879
Email: or your local Forestry Commission office.

News and Events / Reference Resources / Contacts