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Georgia’s Forestry Industry Creates Massive Economic Impact

Perhaps the film industry comes to mind when you think of booming industries in Georgia. Maybe logistics, too, or aerospace—assuming you’ve been reading Georgia At Work.

One industry that might not be atop your list is forestry, but that should change.

According to report by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia’s forestry industry’s total revenue—that’s jobs, compensation paid out to workers, and overall output—topped $35 billion in 2016

The forestry industry employed nearly 52,000 Georgians in 2016, accounting for $3.7 billion in annual compensation. When Georgia Tech’s team looked into the multiplier effect—jobs created from forestry jobs though not directly forestry jobs themselves—the number of jobs grows to more than 144,000.

To put that in perspective, check out what the report says about how large (and impactful) the forestry industry is in Georgia.

“Another way to examine forestry in Georgia is to compare it with the state’s other manufacturing sectors. Forestry ranked second in total employment and first in terms of wages and salaries.”

While the forestry industry has been a mainstay in Georgia for some time, 2016 saw an increase in output, employment, and salaries. From the report: 

“Compared to 2015, the industry’s 2016 output grew by 8 percent, employment grew by 3 percent, and wages and salaries increased by 5 percent. The industry’s increased activity resulted in high net revenues for the state government.”

There is a wide range of possibilities for forestry positions. Some are more physically demanding, though hardly the old-school lumberjack roles of yesteryear. It’s more likely you’d need training on heavy equipment than you would a strong bench press number.

You could also become an arborist or a survey technician. Currently on there are close to 100 openings when you search forestry jobs in Georgia.

If you think you need more education before jumping into the pool, you’re in luck.

Our friends at the Technical College System of Georgia have a few programs at a few locations that offer forestry technology degrees and/or certifications.

As you can see, the forestry industry is sort of a big deal, and its growth is something you should take note of when thinking about industries that are growing in Georgia. 

Parrish Walton

Parrish Walton is a communications specialist with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). He is the primary author of the Georgia@Work blog, which aims to educate Georgia citizens on all of the great things done by the Workforce Division within GDEcD. Parrish is a proud product of the public school system of... more