Open OPFA's mobile menu by checking this checkbox.
Sign In to access OPFA member content. Access the sign-in form by checking this checkbox.

Becoming a Professional Forester   >   Future Foresters

Future Foresters

Professional foresters in Ontario play a pivotal role in the stewardship and sustainability of the province’s forests, which constitute a significant portion of Canada’s forested areas. Their work is critical to environmental sustainability, encompassing a wide range of responsibilities from wildlife habitat management, maintaining forest aesthetics, protecting flora and fauna biodiversity, and safeguarding ecological services such as oxygen and clean water. The profession is regulated by provincial law to ensure that Registered Professional Foresters (R.P.F.s) meet high standards of education, experience, and ethical practice, thus safeguarding the public interest. Their duties include conducting thorough analyses and developing forest policy, management plans, and prescriptions to address various environmental challenges. All of which are supported by a strong commitment to accountability and professional integrity. 

Why Choose a Career in Forestry?

Pursuing a career in forestry offers a unique blend of nature appreciation, scientific inquiry, and environmental stewardship, making it an ideal choice for those passionate about making a positive environmental impact. Forestry professionals play a crucial role in sustainable forest management, ecosystem resilience, and biodiversity protection, contributing significantly to climate change mitigation. This field provides a variety of career opportunities, ranging from hands-on fieldwork and research, to policy development and education, catering to a wide array of interests and skills. Additionally, working in forestry often comes with the lifestyle benefit of living in more affordable, close-knit communities surrounded by nature, and also accommodates those who prefer urban living with opportunities to work from cities or office environments.

100% of university graduates from a forestry program are hired in the industry within two years of graduating.

(Ontario’s Universities, 2022, Graduate Survey)

Education Requirements

For those drawn to the natural world, the great outdoors, and the verdant expanses of Ontario’s forests, embarking on a career as a Registered Professional Forester (R.P.F.) could be a fulfilling path. The most direct route to achieving R.P.F. status involves completing a forestry program accredited by the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board at a university. However, individuals with degrees or diplomas in related fields can also pursue this career by initially becoming an R.P.F. in Training and subsequently working towards Full or Associate professional status. This alternative pathway requires undergoing a competency assessment to evaluate one’s education and experience. Irrespective of the educational background, aspiring foresters must accumulate 18 months of relevant mentored experience and provide sponsorship along with character witness documents before they can apply for R.P.F. or Associate R.P.F. designation.



Future Foresters

View All
  • Shaping the Future of our Forests Brochure

    June 19, 2024
    View Resource
  • Future Forward Forestry Infographic

    June 19, 2024
    View Resource