foresters' jobs

Will robots take foresters’ jobs?

Up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 and be replaced by robotic automation, a new report from a consultancy has found. The study of 46 countries and 800 occupations by the McKinsey Global Institute found that up to one-fifth of the global work force will be affected. It said one-third of the workforce in richer nations like Germany and the US may need to retrain for other jobs. Machine operators and food workers will be hit hardest, the report says. Poorer countries that have less money to invest in automation will not be affected as much, according to McKinsey. But what about jobs in the forest sector? Will robots take jobs of foresters, forest technicians or conservation workers? Let’s check it out! 

In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne published a report titled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?”. The authors examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation, by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier.

According to their estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. Although the report is specific to the US job market, it is easy to see how this might apply all over the world.


In this post, I extracted the jobs related to forestry and wood industry sectors from the website  , and I put them into the table with information about medium annual wage, hourly rate, projected growth by 2024, probability of automation and automation risk level.

Will robots take foresters’ jobs?

Based on my research, it seems that foresters and forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists are the only job types, which robots will not take in coming years.

>>READ ALSO: Greatest challenges for forest robots

However, economists (quite big suprise for me, as I am forest economist), forest and conservation technicians and wildlife biologists should start to worry that robots will outcompete them.

In more difficult situation are forest and conservation workers, sawing machine setters and operators, logging equipment operators, tree trimmers and pruners, fallers and first-line supervisors of forestry workers. Robots are already watching those positions.

>>READ ALSO: Forest workers will cry after seeing this

Finally, in the worst case are log graders and scalers, woodworking machine setters and operators, and industrial truck and tractor operators, who are basically doomed.


2 thoughts on “Will robots take foresters’ jobs?

  1. After 40 years in the woods, I have a gut feeling for how what I’m seeing will play out in the next 10 to 30 years. No robot will replace that

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