CAREER OPTION : Forest Officer
Career as a Forest Officer
If you care for the other part of your living world i.e.; “flora and fauna” and if you want to safeguard them, then you should become a forest officer. As a forest officer, you will hold the responsibility of safe-guarding the flora and fauna within your jurisdiction. You have to prevent illegal cutting or destruction of these living beings. Even though there is not much glamour associated with this profession, many young ones are taking this up as a career because of the job satisfaction they receive. It is suitable for a person who cares for the nature and wants to do something about preventing it.
It is an ever demanding career where you have to work even harder after getting a job than you worked for your admissions. To be an Indian Forest Officer is not a small thing by any means. If you love the nature and its living beings and want to enjoy their beauty, you can opt for this career. But, remember that along with your satisfaction also comes a great responsibility to carry out. You have to work hard for 2 years in order to become a forest officer. You will have to attend vigorous tests, exams and interviews before you qualify to become a guardian of the forest.
- You must have qualifying grades in your H.S.C. (10+2) exams under a recognised board of education.
- You must have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in maths, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, statistics, veterinary science or animal husbandry. If not a B.Sc. you should possess a bachelor’s degree in engineering, forestry or agriculture, or an MBBS degree.
- The minimum age to apply is 21 and the maximum age is 30.
- You must be physically fit according to the physical standard set by the Indian Forest Service Examination.
- Practical instincts to realise vulnerable or dangerous situations.
- Recognise changes in landscape cause by extreme weather conditions.
- Since you have to work outdoors in all seasons and weather conditions, you have to be physically fit and immune.
- You must be self-motivated and alert since human interaction is not available throughout your day of work.
- You will have to learn traditional survival skills like building a shelter, starting a safe fire, identifying harmless food.
- You must possess the interest to learn on how to handle fire arms when and where necessary.
- You must be hardworking, have stamina, be alert by the mind and be adaptable to follow different time schedules since the work is not a time bound one.
- You must be self-disciplined, patient, punctual, committed and self-confident.
How to Become a Forest Officer
STEP 1: There is an examination you need to attend to become an IFA (Indian Forest Officer). The details about the examination will be published in national newspapers. You have to apply for the examination by sending in the application form along with brochure of Indian Forest Services Exam to the Secretary of the Union Public Service Commission. The forms and brochures will be available in a nearby post-office from your locality.
STEP 2: In the months of May-June you have to attend preliminary examinations consisting of 2 papers; General Studies and Optional Subjects. There are around 22 choices for your optional subjects which includes topics like agriculture, animal husbandry, veterinary science, botany, chemistry, commerce, economics, geology, philosophy, psychology, electrical engineering, public administration and much more.
STEP 3: After qualifying in your preliminary test, you have to attend the final exam which consist of papers like Essay Type Indian Language Qualifying Paper, English Qualifying Paper, General Essay Type Paper, General Studies Paper and Optional Subject Paper.
STEP 4: After the final exam comes the interview where you will be tested for your personality and mental ability. If qualified, you will be admitted into Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration for training. After this, there will be a forest specific orientation about forest and wildlife management, soil conservation, surveying scheduled tribes and handling weapons. Then you become a professional forest officer.
Ranks of the forest service are as follows:
- Assistant Conservator of Forest
- Deputy Conservator of Forest
- Conservator of Forest
- Chief Conservator of Forest
- Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest
- Principal Chief Conservator of Forest
- Director General of Forests
The Indian government has fixed salary schemes for forest officers. They only change with new commissions and changing governments in rule. Apart from the salary, there will be other benefits like dearness allowance, city compensatory allowance, leave and travel allowance, medical and subsidized housing allowance. The Starting salary for a fresher is between Rs.15, 000 and depending upon your rank and service the highest pay is Rs.80, 000 per month.